On November 29, 2018, I had the pleasure of helping to present during a recent Florida First Amendment Sunshine Seminar in Jacksonville. Members of the news media and representatives from local governments attended the event to learn more about complying with laws on open meetings and public records in Florida.
The seminar, which took place at the Florida Times-Union headquarters, was hosted in part by the First Amendment Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists-Florida, and the League of Women Voters in Florida. Discussions included the structure of public records and open meetings laws with specific examples of how to stay in compliance. Open discussion also gave the attendees a chance to discuss broad topics under the First Amendment and state law.
The First Amendment Foundation offers training in seminars across the state to help records requesters and custodians alike understand and comply with Florida’s robust open-records laws. Similar topics were discussed in Orlando and Tallahassee the week of the Jacksonville seminar. The FAF provides certification training, so public officials can comply with ethics requirements for sunshine law training.
In addition to seminars, the FAF also offers legal aid and advocates with the legislature in response to the constant pressure from special interests wanting to weaken public access to government information.
The FAF website is a rich resource for anyone who wants to know more about Florida’s constitutional commitment to open government. You can also stay up-to-date on upcoming Sunshine Seminars through their Facebook page.
I encourage you to support the FAF. It works for the benefit of all Floridians.