Tampa Bay Times: A curious champion for Senate President Don Gaetz’s public records bill

Tampa Bay Times

Michael Van Sickler, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE — Senate President Don Gaetz made a public records bill one of his top priorities this session, only to see it stall in the Florida House.

SB 1648, which passed the Senate last month, would make a number of technical fixes to current law to generally improve the public’s access to records. But among the bill’s chief beneficiaries are attorneys who specialize in public records lawsuits, a select group that includes the Senate president’s son — Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach.

The bill allows lawyers to be paid for time spent negotiating for the legal fees they win. Currently, they are paid only for time spent on the case. READ MORE

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