This afternoon Joel Chandler of the Citizens Awareness Foundation, Inc. meet with Florida Senate President Don Gaetz. The hour long meeting included the Senator’s Chief Policy Advisor (and former Secretary of the Department of Revenue) Lisa Vickers.
The conversation included a “report card from the field” that consisted of a blunt analysis by Chandler of how things really work for regular folks trying to gain access to public meetings and public records.
This is the second time that Gaetz and Chandler have meet to discuss ways that open government laws in Florida can be improved. Last year’s meeting led to the introduction of Section 119.0701. That bill was passed unanimoulsy by the House and Senate and became law on July 1, 2013.
The majority of the hour long discussion was dedicated to a spirited but collegial brainstorming session about upcoming legislative proposals. It was obvious today, as it has been in the past, that Senator Gaetz is committed to open government in Florida.
It should be noted that Senator Gaetz is considered by many political observers as being one of the most conservative members of the Florida Legislature. By contrast, Chandler is considered by many to be a political liberal. The common ground shared by Gaetz and Chandler on the issue of open government is indicative of the non-partisan nature of the issue.
Many of the legislative proposals have the full support of the Citizens Awareness Foundation, Inc. The CAFI Report will provide more coverage as the bills make their way through the legislative process.