August 30, 2019
These are punishing times for Florida’s public records law.
Too many local governments have long made sport of requests for public records. They demand to know why someone wants the information (that’s illegal). They say there’s no one around to deal with the request (also illegal). Or they ignore the request (again, illegal).
Lawmakers get in on the fun by passing bipartisan bills that carve out new exceptions every year, rarely doing anything to make public information more accessible. With them the goal is subtraction, not addition.
Not wanting to feel left out, the executive branch of state government under Gov. Ron DeSantis is doing its part to thwart transparency by slow-walking public records requests made by citizens and the media alike.