March 8, 2019
The Honorable Ray Wesley Rodrigues
Florida House of Representatives
402 S. Monroe Street, Room 422 Cap
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Re: HB 407, Public Records
Dear Representative Rodrigues:
We are writing to express our enthusiastic support for your meritorious bill, HB 407, which prohibits a government agency from responding to a request to inspect or copy the agency’s public records by filing a civil action against the requestor.
These civil actions filed by government agencies put public record requestors – citizens and media – in the position of having to defend their right of access rather than selectively litigate access disputes.
Quite frankly, we believe this is simply wrong. Florida is one of a small number of states with a constitutional right of access to the records of our government and citizens should not be forced into court by a government agency simply because they have exercised that right.
We thank you on behalf of all Floridians, Representative Rodrigues. If there’s anything we can do to help ensure passage of this good bill, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
Barbara A. Petersen, President
Cc: Cindy McCurry-Ross, Executive Editor, TODAY NETWORK, Florida