Bill 1495 Exempting Florida Lawmakers Travel from Public Records?

Bill to exempt lawmakers travel from public records?

A Senate committee will discuss a bill that opponents say violates Florida’s Sunshine laws.

Per the above article: “Florida lawmakers are discussing legislation that could make it harder for people to know what public officials are doing.

“On Tuesday, a Senate committee will discuss a bill that would exempt Gov. Ron DeSantis’ travel from public records.

House Bill 1495: Public Records/Transportation and Protective Services also would apply to travel involving the lieutenant governor, the cabinet and other elected Florida leaders.

The bill would seem to run contrary to Florida’s reputation as a place where reporters, and curious members of the public, can unearth government data and documents that shed light on the decisions made by elected officials.

Florida’s lawmaking government records open to public inspection dates to 1909, long before similar measures emerged in many other states.  It added a Sunshine Law requiring public meetings in 1967.

Then, in 1992, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment guaranteeing a public right to access records and meetings. A decade later, as lawmakers were adding exemptions, voters approved another a constitutional amendment making it harder for legislators to approve future exceptions.

Opponents of the bill said it violates Florida’s Sunshine Laws.

The bill applies to future travel but also retroactively to any trips the governor or leaders have taken in the past”.







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