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.
Tuesday at 6:30 PM | Sunday at 7:30 AM on WUSF 89.7
Monday at 10:00 PM on WSMR 89.1
Carson Cooper is a familiar voice. He has become a favorite of WUSF listeners as the local host of NPR's "Morning Edition" on WUSF 89.7 since he took the job in 2000. Carson has worked in Tampa Bay radio for more than two decades. He has been the host of WUSF 89.7's Florida Matters since its launch in 2006. During that time he has reported on a variety of issues of importance to the community, including growth management, education, transportation, affordable housing, taxation, public health and the environment.
Florida Matters isn’t just one-way communication. We want you to get involved in the conversation each week and tell us what you think about the topics we’re discussing. All you have to do is sign up for a free account on our Web site -- it’s free, easy, and we promise we won’t share your information! We welcome your input as we continue to find new stories to share in the Bay area.
And if you have an idea for a show or want to contact the producers, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.