The Manual is a comprehensive guide to Florida’s Open Meetings and Public Records Laws, and is published by the First Amendment Foundation each year in cooperation with the Attorney General’s Office. The Sunshine Manual provides public officials, citizen activists, and journalists with up-to-date information, including recent case law and attorney general opinions. The Foundation also offers an electronic (Kindle) version of the manual available for purchase at amazon.com. The e-manual includes a searchable database of the manual, as well as a searchable database of exemptions from access requirements.
The Pocket Guide is a small booklet designed to fit in a notebook or back pocket for handy access. It includes a review of the most frequently asked questions about open government laws. It also contains a list of open government resources when immediate help with an access issue is necessary.
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Freedom of Information (FOI) Hotline
The First Amendment Foundation runs the FOI Hotline, where callers to our toll-free number (800-337-3518) can get information and assistance with their questions about the application of the Sunshine Law and the Public Records Law. Currently, the FOI Hotline is averaging about 200 calls a month, with almost half coming from the general public. The Foundation also responds to emailed questions about open government. Contact us by email.
The Foundation monitors the Legislature, state agencies, the courts, and, when possible, local governments, for actions and issues related to open government, alerting its members through periodic reports of all open government activity.
Prior to the start of each legislative session, the First Amendment Foundation prepares an extensive analysis and review of all open government bills for its members. The Foundation then tracks the legislation throughout the legislative session, providing members with a weekly report on the legislative activity each Friday. The Foundation prepares a final legislative report when the legislative session is concluded.
The Foundation holds a series of Sunshine Seminars around the state, inviting the participation of government officials, journalists, and members of the general public. In addition, the Foundation will provide individual seminars on request, with tailor-made presentations to meet the needs of the participants.
The First Amendment Foundation is active in open government litigation throughout the state, either by joining important open government cases or filing briefs as a friend of the court.