How do local legislators fare in the sunshine?

Bradenton Herald by Hannah Morse

June 24, 2017

It’s no secret that the Sunshine State has one of the most open governments in the country.

But do its legislators hold that duty to a high esteem, steadfastly voting to keep all aspects of their government in the sun? It’s a little shady.

In a thorough analysis called the “Sunshine Scorecard” generated by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editor’s Public Records Committee and led by the Palm Beach Post editor Nick Moschella, the voting records of Florida representatives and senators were graded based on if they voted for or against a bill that would help or hinder access to public records.

Legislators received three points if they voted on a bill in favor of open government and lost three points if they voted against. If they co-sponsored or sponsored legislation, seven or 10 points were added, respectively. Bonus points were added to the scores if legislators consulted with the Florida First Amendment Foundation.

Out of 160 legislators, not one received an A grade. A few received Fs.

So how do the legislators in our area fare?

The Bradenton Herald looked at Manatee County’s four state legislators and one from Sarasota, comparing how they voted on seven different open government bills from the 2017 legislative session. Topics ranged from hiding employees’ families’ information, requiring major pollution events to be made public and relieving the court clerk of liability if confidential information is inadvertently released.


To learn more about the “Sunshine Scorecard” and other state legislators’ scores, visit[READ MORE]

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