Posts Tagged ‘Rick Scott’

FOI DAILY DOSE: Fla. records requests get cheaper, push for transparent redistricting in Ohio

Good news: Florida records to cost a little less

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making it a little cheaper to access public records, easing the costs his open records policy originally required.

The state won’t charge people for public records work that takes less than 30 minutes to complete, according to a post by the Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Political Pulse blog. It also won’t charge requesters for the first 30-minute period of work that follows if the search takes longer than the initial half-hour time span.

The hourly rate that requesters will be charged for the time personnel spend on their request will also be changed. The rate was previously based on the salary of the specific person handling the records request, but people will now be charged $19.43 – an administrative assistant’s hourly rate.

Ohioans call for transparent redistricting process

Ohio residents gathered at the statehouse Wednesday to promote the need for transparency in the state’s congressional redistricting process.

People advocated in the first of five planned legislative hearings for representatives to improve the transparency of redistricting by disclosing proposed maps for public feedback prior to voting and to encourage public input in the process.

State lawmakers have until December 7 to approve a new map of the redrawn congressional districts, according to an Associated Press article.

The Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting is running an online political contest where state residents can create maps that can then be voted upon by various users.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).


FOI DAILY DOSE: Footage of killings private in Fla., federal FOIA responses mixed

Fla. governor keeps killing footage from public view

Just before the weekend began, Fla. Governor Rick Scott signed a bill that would keep photos and video and audio recordings showing a person getting killed from media outlets and the general public.

The bill, signed on June 2, exempts this information from the mandatory disclosure rules for the state’s open records act. Only particular members of the immediate family and local, state and federal government agencies would be allowed access.

Citizens would still be able to request the recordings, but they would have to prove there is a “good cause” for disclosing the records, in accordance with the exemption guidelines.

The bill could make it more difficult to learn the actual circumstances of a person’s death due to a lack of public access to the photographs and recordings, according to Naples Daily News Editor Phil Lewis.

The Hill shows mixed FOIA request responses at federal level

The Hill submitted FOIA requests more than six months ago asking for FOIA logs for over 70 federal agencies.

Requested information included the names of individuals who requested records, the subject of their requests and any affiliations they had. Many departments honored the request, but there wasn’t a consistent standard upheld by executive branch agencies.

Some logs were handwritten, and most agencies took months to release the information. A few departments, though, provided the information within days of the initial request.

The best-responding federal agencies included the Department of Transportation, the Defense Contract Management Agency and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

The worst departments were the Department of Health and Human Services, Farm Credit Administration and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

– Morgan Watkins

Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email ( or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).


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