Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board
December 26, 2019
2019 was a dark year for sunshine in Florida government:
- The voter-approved Marsy’s Law amendment to protect victims showed us the true meaning of unintended consequences. In some places, police are now refusing to identify murder victims.
- The Legislature passed a law to seal an untold number of criminal arrest records that don’t lead to a conviction (good luck with that background check on your new babysitter).
- State Sen. Kelli Stargel has given a whole new meaning to entitlement, introducing a bill that would make secret the home addresses and phone numbers of state legislators.
- The Florida Cabinet held a meeting, which was supposed to be open to the public, literally on another continent.
- Barbara Petersen, the First Amendment Foundation’s longtime champion of government-in-the-sunshine, retired from her job.
- And the Florida Department of Law Enforcement demonstrated its contempt for enforcing open government laws by rejecting, with the flick of a wrist, an investigation into possible Sunshine Law violations at the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
Fortunately, Gov. Ron DeSantis isn’t so eager to put to rest the last item on that list.