01/30/16 – By Editorial
Of all the attempts by the Florida Legislature to gut our state’s venerable Sunshine laws, this latest move has to be the most galling.
Twin bills in the House and Senate would remove, with a one-word change, the requirement that judges award attorney fees to people who successfully challenge state or local governments for violating the state’s public records law. As the law reads now, a judge “shall” award attorneys fees when citizens win a lawsuit over a public records request that was wrongfully denied. The proposed SB 1220(a companion is advancing in the House) would change that to “may,” allowing a judge to deny legal fees to anyone who successfully challenges a government agency’s denial of a public records request. [Read More]