Update: Florida Legislators write the laws but they also write the exemptions. Until now, those exemptions have included providing the public the list of legislative salaries and their contracts.
The Herald/Times has been reporting about this distinction since we first began writing about the controversy following the botched $5 million Transparency 2.0 web site, in which the Senate spent taxpayers money on a web site to increase access to Senate budget documents but then let the web site sit idle until the contract ran out.
This fall, the Herald/Times requested the salaries of all legislative staffers of the House and Senate through a public records request because, unlike the governor's FloridaHasARighttoKnow.com, the legislative salaries were not available for the public to see. We wrote a story.
We also had to submit a public records request for all contracts, because they also are not included on any of the state's transparency web sites. We included those details in our stories.
Now, quietly, and without fanfare, the House and Senate have posted the salaries and contracts for all to see on Jan. 30, less than two weeks after the IT staff was assigned the duty, said Ryan Duffy, House spokesman. It was also after we noted yet again that while lawmakers write the rules, they also write the exceptions.
We commend them both for this development. Here is the link to the Senate salaries, the Senate contracts. The House's tool is not nearly as easy to use as the Senate's. To get the list of salaries, leave the fields blank and click search and then download the file to excel. We've done if for you here: Download House contracts 2413 Download House salaries 20413