Transparency in government is key to a healthy and strong democracy.

In 1976 working in coalition, Common Cause volunteers actively solicited signatures supporting Florida’s first, successful citizen’s initiative. Through the leadership of Governor Reuben Askew, this initiative successfully added the Sunshine Amendment to Florida’s constitution. The amendment mandated financial disclosure by public officials, imposed sweeping ethics reforms and created the Florida Commission on Ethics. It was our first, big win.

The Florida Open Meetings Law (Fla. Stat. sec 286) governs the extent to which public meetings are open to the public.

The Florida Public Records Law (Fla. Stat. sec. 119) governs the inspection and copying of public records

In recent years, there have been ongoing efforts by the Florida Legislature to chip away at our sunshine laws. We continue to advocate to ensure government transparency and accountability for Floridians.

In the 2024 legislative session, we fought hard against an Ethics bill (SB7014) that would paralyze both the ability of citizens to file ethics complaints and the ability of the Florida Commission on Ethics and local ethics boards to investigate corruption.

In 2023 and 2024, we also worked in coalition to kill two dangerous Defamation bills that would have had a disastrous chilling effect on the ability of journalists and news organizations to report on the actions of the government, politicians and public figures. These bills threatened the first amendment rights of free speech and a free press, and would have limited our ability to hold officials accountable.



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