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Miami-Dade commissioner reveals 'hate' for Florida's open-government law

@PatriciaMazzei

A Miami-Dade County commissioner let it be known in a public meeting Thursday that she’s no fan of the state law that required the meeting to be public in the first place.

Sally Heyman bemoaned Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law, which among other things forces policy meetings between two or more commissioners to be advertised in advance and open to all.

“We still hate this,” she said at an aptly named “sunshine meeting” with Commissioners Esteban “Steve” Bovo and Xavier Suarez. They spoke about an upcoming vote on a ballot question to finance a new civil courthouse.

She and Suarez pointed fingers at Bovo, a former state legislator, and his ex-colleagues for the law. He answered that it predated him.

It was also already in effect when Heyman was in the Florida House of Representatives, from 1994 to 2002.

So she mentioned another commissioner, Javier Souto, who was not present and who served in the state Legislature from 1984 to 1992. “We can blame Souto,” she concluded.

Except Souto had nothing to do with it, either. The law, considered a model of government transparency for the rest of the country, has been in effect since 1967.

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