The Clark Fork Chronicle: Thank you Florida for starting our sunshine laws
BY IAN MARQUAND
It isn’t often that Montanans can say, “Thank you, Florida.” This time of year, however, the Big Sky owes the Sunshine State a tip of the cap. Not because we envy the warmth of its spring (although it certainly is enviable in Montana in mid-March) or its renowned entertainment attractions (although Daytona and Orlando play roles in this story.)
Florida deserves our thanks because that state’s newspapers stood up against government secrecy and, by their example, inspired a national movement.
The year was 2002. Florida’s legislature was primed to restrict access to a host of public records as a response to 9-11. Led by the Orlando Sentinel and its editor, Tim Franklin, Florida newspapers staged a one-day editorial effort to call attention to the assault on open government laws. They called it “Sunshine Sunday.”