Nov. 26, 2007 · In less than a year, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R) appears to be fulfilling his campaign promises to champion the cause of open government throughout state agencies.
Immediately after taking office he established a state office for training state agencies and ensuring agency compliance with public records laws. Then in June, Crist created a nine-member commission made up of media representatives, open government advocates, state legislators and law enforcement agents to review and evaluate Florida's public records and open meetings laws.
Now Crist has taken recommendations put forward by the open government commission and signed into law a first-of-its kind "Open Government Bill of Rights."
The declaration of rights directs state agencies to treat the public with respect and professionalism; obviates written records requests unless specifically required by law; assures requests receive prompt attention; enumerates the public's right to itemized records fees; and, reiterates state constitutional rights to public records and open meetings.