public records

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

The Florida Department of Transportation must release public records that could shed light on a deadly bridge collapse outside Miami, a judge ruled Tuesday.

In an order, Leon County state court judge Kevin Carroll said the documents were public records under Florida law and could not be withheld, as FDOT argued, because of an ongoing federal investigation into the March 15 collapse of the Florida International University bridge. It’s not yet clear if FDOT will appeal.

Updated at 1:23 p.m. ET

At Tuesday's White House briefing, press secretary Sarah Sanders misleadingly asserted that the Trump administration's use of nondisclosure agreements both during and after government employment was very common.

"Despite contrary opinion, it's actually very normal. And every administration prior to the Trump administration has had NDAs, particularly specific for anyone that had a security clearance." said Sanders.

Florida To Provide Limited Voter Information To Panel

Jul 7, 2017
MIAMI HERALD STAFF

With Democrats and some Republicans increasing calls this week to fully reject a federal commission's request for voter information, Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner announced Thursday that the state will only provide publicly available data.

Paramedics, EMTs Could Get Public-Records Exemption

Jan 19, 2016

Florida senators this week could approve a bill that would create a public-records exemption for information about paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

The Senate on Friday took up the bill (SB 320), filed by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, and could vote on it during a floor session Thursday. The bill would prevent the release of records that include personal information, such as home addresses, telephone numbers and photographs, of current and former paramedics and emergency-medical technicians.

NADA / Flickr

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is considering a run for the White House. So he released 250,000 emails this week from his time as governor.

But Bush’s desire to be transparent may cause trouble for some of his former constituents.

Social security numbers have turned up in some of the newly released documents. Bush told reporters in Tallahassee the state was supposed to cover up such personal information.

Scott For Florida

Gov. Rick Scott could face sanctions over his use of a private email account now that a judge in Tallahassee has given the okay for an additional complaint against Scott relating to public records. 

freedigitalphotos.net

With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.

The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.

"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.

freedigitalphotos.net

When Florida media groups are concerned about freedom of the press and open government, they turn to the First Amendment Foundation for help.

Pete Weitzel, former senior editor of the Miami Herald, founded the non-profit 30 years ago.

The foundation is funded through contributions. It provides training, legal aid, and the annual Government in the Sunshine Manual as a guide to Florida’s open meetings and public-records laws.