March 14, 2019
An otherwise grim Sunshine Week is coming to an end with a ray of some optimism.
The reason is a bill introduced in the House by Estero Republican Ray Rodrigues — and approved by a subcommittee this week — that would end an insidious little tactic local governments use to thwart public records requests.
It happens this way: A citizen or media outlet requests public records. Rather than respond by fulfilling or denying the request, the government hauls the requester into court so a judge can decide.
The citizen freaks out because they now have to hire an attorney and go to court, a scary and expensive prospect for someone who just wants to get some records they feel the law entitles them to.