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Clouds Form Over Florida's Sunshine Laws

It's known as the Sunshine State...and Florida's Sunshine law gives you the right to see what your government is doing. But a new report says clouds are forming over our sunshine law.

This special Florida Matters focuses on ethics in state government. Our friends at WLRN in Miami have teamed up with the Center for Public Integrity and Public Radio International on this State Integrity Investigation. The investigation graded each state on a variety of measures of corruption.

Overall, Florida was graded a C-. Florida ranked 18th in how susceptible it is to corruption.

But in some categories, Florida scored much worse. Florida has a national reputation for its Public Records Law and yet, one of the state’s lowest scores was for “Public Access to Information.”

There were 14 different sub-categories. By far, Florida did the best in "Redistricting." In fact, it led the entire country in that category with a 100% score.

Critics wonder how Florida could score a 100-percent, A++ for its redistricting process in a year when the state courts rejected the Senate's map.

On some things, Florida's ethics laws for government officials are very strict. Lawmakers can't accept a meal from a lobbyist...but as WLRN's Kenny Malone reports, it's perfectly OK for that lobbyist to donate tens of thousands of dollars to help that same lawmaker get elected.

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Florida Matters

Florida Matters tackles tough issues, highlights little-known stories from our part of the world, and provides a greater perspective of what it means to live in the Sunshine State.

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