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Legislation To Strengthen Public Records, Open Govt Laws Passes First Senate Committee

 

News Release: Florida Senate

Tallahassee–The Florida Senate Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability, chaired by Senator Jeremy Ring (D-Margate), today voted to introduce Senate Proposed Bill (SPB) 7064, Public Records and Meetings.

“Florida already leads the nation in open records and open government,” said Senate President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “This legislation substantially strengthens Florida’s existing public records and open government laws by clarifying how the public may access records and how government should respond.”

SPB 7064 brings additional transparency to organizations that accept membership fees from the government and to businesses with government contracts. The legislation requires organizations that accept public funds for membership dues or fees to keep records related to those funds and members, and to make records given to its members or the public available for inspection and copying.

The legislation further provides the fee charged for satisfying a voluminous or complicated public records request is limited to the cost of the lowest paid personnel capable of performing the work, and excludes employer-paid benefits. Additionally, SPB 7064 requires a private contractor acting on behalf of a public agency to inform the agency before denying a public records request and to notify the agency if the private contractor is sued for failing to provide public records.

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