Public-record exemptions in Parkland bill lower Sunshine scores for most lawmakers

Miami Herald by Emily L. Mahoney

April 10, 2018

When it comes to their votes on transparency bills in the Florida Legislature, Miami-Dade and Broward lawmakers scored across the board — from an F to an A+ — according to new “grades” put out by the Florida Society of News Editors on Wednesday.

How your local lawmaker fared was based on how many bills they supported that would allow for more exemptions to public records and meetings laws, or on the flip side how many they supported that would expand public access. The Florida Society of News Editors is made up of about three dozen news agencies, including the Miami Herald and the Tampa Bay Times.

The grades bear no correlation to political party, as the addition of more public records exemptions added each year has been supported and fought by members across the aisle.

But one bill in particular, a part of the Legislature’s sweeping response to the February tragedy in Parkland, brought nearly every lawmaker’s score down this year. For some local legislators, like Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, his “F” grade was due in large part to his actions on this bill. [READ MORE]

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