Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed a measure that provides a public-records exemption to help shield information about military-service members and military families.
The measure (HB 185), sponsored by Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, will allow current and past members of the U.S. armed forces, reserves or National Guard who have served since Sept. 11, 2001, along with their spouses and dependents, to request that home and personal information be exempt from state public records.
The bill pointed to terrorist groups threatening service members and families.
“The Legislature finds that allowing continued public access to the identification and location information of current or former service members and their families jeopardizes the safety of service members, their spouses, and their dependents,” the bill said.
The Tallahassee-based First Amendment Foundation, which advocates for open government, asked Scott to veto the proposal, pointing in part to unnecessary burdens for clerks, property appraisers and others government officials.
(Disclosure: The News Service of Florida is a member of the First Amendment Foundation.)
Scott on Tuesday also signed two other public-records exemption bills approved during this spring’s regular legislative session.
One bill (HB 7) dealt with court records related to the settlement of claims on behalf of minors, while the other (HB 7061) dealt with records held by agencies investigating violations of the Florida RICO Act.
Original article here.