by Sunshine State News’ Allison Nielson and Nancy Smith
May 31, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott can’t veto a bill he doesn’t have, and he still hasn’t been given the controversial education bill, House Bill 7069. But, with the exception of a holiday-weekend letter writing campaign, the public comment flooding the Governor’s Office is beginning to even out. In the end, however, the governor gets to weigh what he sees and feels and cast the deciding vote.
Fewer than three days separated a public unveiling of the full language of the bill and the floor vote — causing many of 7069’s detractors to criticize it for lack of transparency.
On Tuesday, even the First Amendment Foundation checked in with Scott, requesting an outright veto of the bill it claims in every possible way represents bad government.
The Foundation isn’t commenting on policy, it’s knocking the procedure.
“The secretive process precluded any opportunity for public oversight or input on major changes to Florida’s education policy,” wrote Barbara Petersen, president of the Florida First Amendment Foundation. “Alarmingly, local school officials were also shut out of the process, as were many legislators who were ultimately asked to approve this voluminous and complicated legislation decided in a manner closed even to them.
“Our citizens deserve the respect and the commitment of our elected leaders to uphold our Florida Sunshine laws, a 33-year-old tradition and benchmark of good government,” she said. [READ MORE]