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Legislature's bi-partisan legacy: shield more records from public view

In the hyper-partisan Florida Legislature, Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much, but every year they work agreeably to extend public records exemptions and create new ones.

The session that ends Friday will continue the trend toward greater secrecy in a state that prides itself on citizen access to information, known as government in the sunshine.

The 2013 Legislature will close off public access to the email addresses of voters as well as the names of spouses and children of law enforcement officers, corrections officers and child abuse and revenue investigators.

“It’s not that complicated,” said Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, who sponsored the bill to shield names of family members, saying it is needed to protect the loved ones of public safety workers from stalkers or vengeful lawbreakers.

“There are all kinds of perpetrators of evil out there, and this is just an effort to build that wall,” said Hays, who could not recall where he got the idea to propose the bill. More here from Steve Bousquet.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/04/26/3367104/lawmakers-putting-a-few-clouds.html#storylink=cpy