Bill would further ‘Sunshine’
By MARC CAPUTO – Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau
In the aftermath of a lawmaker’s indictment and a scathing grand jury report, a pair of legislators want voters to amend Florida’s Constitution to require more “sunshine” in the state Capitol.
The proposed constitutional amendment by Miami Sen. Dan Gelber and Sarasota Rep. Keith Fitzgerald, both Democrats, would require higher standards for open meetings, budget writing and public records.
Fitzgerald’s district includes a part of south Manatee County.
Gelber, who first started pushing for more open meetings two years ago, said the need for change was underscored by a Tallahassee grand jury’s indictment in April of Destin Rep. Ray Sansom, the former House speaker, over his handling of the budget on behalf of a wealthy contributor and a local community college.
The grand jury also bashed the Legislature for too much secretiveness.
“It doesn’t take a grand jury report and the indictment of a House speaker to know that Tallahassee needs to reform the way it does its business,” Gelber said.