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open government

On open records, half Florida’s legislators rate F or D

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Half of Florida’s legislators failed or nearly failed in a review of their support for public records and meetings given by Florida newspapers and an open-government group after this year’s legislative sessions. In a “scorecard” produced by the Florida Society of News Editors and based on information provided by Florida’s First Amendment Foundation — which tracked a priority list of public records exemptions — the 160 legislators totaled three Fs, 77 Ds, 71 Cs, and 9 Bs. Each year FSNE completes a project devoted to Sunshine…

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‘Lack of transparency’ causes calls for Rick Scott budget veto

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Both citing a “lack of transparency,” the heads of the League of Women Voters of Florida and the First Amendment Foundation are calling for Gov. Rick Scott to veto the just-passed state budget for 2017-18. But with the House of Representatives passing the budget 98-14 and the Senate approving 34-4 on Monday, there are enough votes there to override a veto, assuming none change. League President Pamela S. Goodman and FAF President Barbara A. Petersen alerted their members in separate emails on Tuesday.…

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Rick Scott to feds: Release the Orlando 911 tapes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Update: Later Monday, the Justice Department released a full text of one of the shooter’s calls, saying it wanted to “provide the highest level of transparency possible under the circumstances.” Click here for the statement and transcript. Gov. Rick Scott Monday called on federal authorities to release more from the 911 calls made by the Orlando shooter. But an open government expert said Scott should save the bully pulpit talk for local law enforcement, who could release the same information. Scott, who has…

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Today on Context Florida: Open government in West Palm, early education and ending the filibuster

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Today on Context Florida: Open government sustained a serious setback this month, writes Jac Wilder VerSteeg. For this, he says you can “thank” the city of West Palm Beach, along with West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio and spokesperson Elliot Cohen. The city – in response to public records requests – posted information online that revealed the names of several undercover officers, police informants and people who are the subjects of continuing criminal investigations. The posts contained information about local and…

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OpenGov rollout puts St. Pete budget data a click away

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

The City of St. Pete launched an online platform called OpenGov last month that allows residents to interactively monitor how the city is spending taxpayer dollars. OpenGov can be used to monitor and compare current and past spending in various departments and funds and see what that money was used to purchase. The platform is used in 36 states among 270 local governments representing 34 million citizens and nearly $90 billion in annual spending. “This is another step forward toward…

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Champions and chumps of governmental transparency

in Statewide by

From the Tallahassee Democrat: A selection of legislators who have acted in the interest of Florida’s Sunshine Laws or who have sponsored bills that are contrary to them. Champions: •Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland. Dockery is Senate sponsor of a bill to enact the recommendations of the Governor’s Commission on Open Government. She was a member of the commission. •Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, D-Sarasota. House sponsor of a bill that would open the legislative process, particularly budget negotiations. •Rep. Clay Ford, R-Gulf…

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