Bills advance allowing public to speak at public meetings

Public Safety Advocate Lisa Hurley updated Historic City News on a very timely Senate bill, and its companion House bill, that we, and others in the media, are following as the two bills make their way to the floor.

Yesterday, a Florida Senate committee unanimously passed SB-206; which requires local government public meetings to provide a reasonable opportunity for the public to be heard. This was the last Senate committee stop for the bill.

Its House companion, HB-355, was heard in Rulemaking and Regulation today, which is also its final committee.

In contrast to the recent 30-second time limit that was imposed on the delegation of residents who traveled to Tallahassee to be heard on the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind eminent domain issue, this legislation appears to acknowledge the importance of law makers hearing what their constituents have to say.

Unfortunately, the new law, if enacted as currently written, will only apply to local — not state — government bodies.

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