Cheers and jeers

Florida Capitol building
(Photo: PHIL SEARS/THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Gainesville Sun Editorial

July 7, 2017

State lawmakers representing Alachua County received poor marks on a measure of their support for the state’s Sunshine Law — but they aren’t alone.

Jeer: More than half of Florida’s state lawmakers, for getting a “D” or “F” grade on the first Sunshine Scorecard.

The Florida Society of News Editors produced the scorecard, based on information from the Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation on lawmakers’ support for legislation adding exemptions to public records and meetings laws. None of the state’s 160 legislators received an “A” grade, nine were given a “B” and most fared far worse.

None of Alachua County’s lawmakers received a failing grade, but they didn’t do much better: Rep. Clovis Watson, D-Alachua, received a “D” grade; Rep. Elizabeth Porter, R-Lake City, received a “D+” and both Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry, and Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, received “C-” grades.

The Legislature passed a near-record number of Sunshine Law exemptions this year, adding to more than 1,100 exemptions added over the years. Hopefully the scorecard will cause lawmakers to think twice before further closing the door on open government in Florida.

Cheer: Orlando trial attorney John Morgan, for suing the state over its implementation of an amendment that legalized medical marijuana in Florida. [READ MORE]

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