With two weeks to go in the lawmaking session, open government and ethics measures favored by watchdog groups are stalled in the Florida Legislature. There is a two-part concern about citizen access to public records.
The first worry is about the number of public-record exemptions that are pending this year. Barbara Petersen of the First Amendment Foundation says it's a dozen.
"It will be a record number of new exemptions and push the total number of exemptions to both the public records law and the open meetings law close to 1,100," Petersen said.
The Florida Public Records Act, also known as F.S. 119, is straightforward: All state, county and municipal records are open for personal inspection and copying by any person. And it is the duty of each agency to provide you with access to public records.