New Year, More Sunshine from Sunshine State Government

By: E&P Staff

With the Jan. 2 inauguration of Charlie Crist as governor of Florida, the Sunshine State will enhance its reputation for transparency with the official kick-off of a new state “Office of Open Government.”

Earlier this month, Gov.-elect Crist created the office to monitor compliance with Florida’s strong Sunshine In Government law on public access to government documents and meetings.

The new office will also train government agencies on rapid and complete fulfillment of public records requests.

“Respecting the public trust that is bestowed upon all of us who serve the people of Florida is a top priority for me and for my administration,” Crist said in a statement.

Crist, who is ending his term as state attorney general, has long been recognized for his support of open government initiatives. In 2005, the First Amendment Foundation honored him with its Pete Weitzel/Friend of the First Amendment award.

Crist succeeds Gov. Jeb Bush, who was generally not regarded as a strong advocate of open government.

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