Public Records

Scott Signs ‘Nonviable Birth’ Certificate Bill

Jun 1, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed five bills, including a measure that would allow families to request certificates of “nonviable birth” after miscarriages.

Open government advocates say they’ve dodged a bullet now that Governor Rick Scott has signed a compromise measure designed to squelch predatory public records lawsuits.

Open government advocates are urging Governor Rick Scott to veto a measure that would seal nearly three million criminal records from public view.

The bill started as a non-controversial proposal to crack down on internet publishers of police booking photos. But Sarasota Republican Greg Steube quietly added an amendment on the Senate Floor.

“This amendment addresses the concerns from FDLE and would enable the department to administratively seal the criminal record of a person found not guilty or where the charges against that person have been dismissed.”

Florida lawmakers have a budget. But that’s come at the cost of a process that has in recent years, been a lot more transparent than it is now. Lawmakers have struck deals largely in secret, seemingly backtracking on House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s promise that this would be the most transparent process in legislative history.

According to state law and conventional wisdom, sunshine is the best disinfectant for political corruption. Florida lawmakers agreed Tuesday. The House blocked a plan to let local officials keep some of their meetings in the dark.

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