Miami Herald by Mary Ellen Klas
October 24, 2019
Florida may have been the first state in the nation to enshrine the right to access public records into its statute books, but it is also earning a reputation as a place where governments sue taxpayers for asking for government documents.
The most high-profile cases have involved the South Florida Water Management District and the city of Orlando, which each responded to a records request by going to court to sue the people who wanted the documents.
A bill, HB 195, before the state Legislature for the third year, would make it illegal for any state or local government agency to sue the public for asking for records. Rep. Ray Rodrigues, an Estero Republican, received unanimous approval for the measure from the House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee on Thursday.