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Sunshine Week

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

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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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Sunshine Week: First Amendment Foundation goes to bat for Florida’s right to know

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It’s Sunshine Week in the Sunshine State, and not just because it’s Spring Break. Since 2005, open government and freedom of information advocates have designated March 13-19 as a time to celebrate public transparency and raise awareness about the critical importance of access to government records. Sunshine Week is timed to coincide with the birthday of James Madison, author of the First Amendment. True to form, the First Amendment Foundation has been busy at the Florida Capitol battling to ensure…

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran making good on transparency, accountability promises

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House Speaker Richard Corcoran began his two-year speakership in November by promising a “transformational leap” in government accountability and transparency. “The Florida House will set the standard for others to emulate,” he declared. Such pronouncements are often uttered by politicians, especially those who may aspire to higher office. But one week into Florida’s annual legislative session the hard-charging Republican reformer from Land O’Lakes has a lot to show for his audacious accountability talk. While the final outcome is far from certain, under…

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Today on Context Florida: End of Crist, Death Mermaid, Sunshine Week and censorship

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Today on Context Florida: The era of Charlie Crist has come to an end, says Peter Schorsch. Crist, the man who has been on a statewide general ballot six times since 1998 took to Facebook to say “no mas.” And while he may one day again run for office, his time at the center of Florida politics is officially over. When the Death Mermaid shows up, Diane Roberts warns to pay attention. Last week the Mermaid materialized at the South Florida…

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Bill Day’s latest: ScottBlock super-SPF for Sunshine Week

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Welcome to government in the Sunshine Week! Instituted by the American Society of News Editors, Sunshine Week is a national initiative focusing attention on the importance of transparency and pitfalls of government working in the shadows. The program first began March 2005 with grants from the nonprofit John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, an organization dedicated to excellence in journalism and community engagement. Since Florida is the “Sunshine State,” open and transparent government in Tallahassee should be a natural. Not quite,…

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Florida Clerks Association to recognize Sunshine Week

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The Florida Court Clerks & Comptrollers Association has announced it will celebrate “Sunshine Week,” a nationwide initiative dedicated to governmental openness and access, as well as educating citizens on the importance of the business of government. “Transparency in government is at the core of every Clerk’s office throughout the state,” said Joseph E. Smith, FCCC president and clerk of the Circuit Court of St. Lucie County in a statement Thursday morning. “Florida’s Court Clerks and Comptrollers are committed to ensuring dependability, clarity and…

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