When Florida’s legislature reconvenes on March 4, it will be the third to last state body to do so this year.
But despite its late start date, there are already some perennial issues you can expect to see come up. Tampa Tribune reporter James L. Rosica explores one of them: the push to expand secrecy. “Every year, state lawmakers try to make more public information secret,” he writes.
As in many states, lawmakers in Florida can file bills before the start of the session. And this year at least some of those bills include provisions to protect various kinds of information. Here’s Rosica’s partial list of what the bills would cloak if passed (and read his piece for more on the effort and history of keeping things in the dark in the Sunshine State):
The names of people applying to be president, provost or dean of a state university or college.
Email addresses obtained by tax collectors to send paperless tax notices.
Photos of license plates shot by automated license plate recognition systems, such as those used on toll roads.
Meetings of collegiate direct-support organizations such as “booster” clubs when discussing “the identity of a donor or prospective donor.”
The names of people who apply for concealed-weapon licenses at tax collectors’ offices. The exemption already applies to those who file directly to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.