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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Did top three Senate Republicans violate their own open meeting rule?

8

February

UPDATE: Story here.

Here's the answer from the Florida First Amendment Foundation:

"Discussions by three senators about the budget would appear to fall within this rule and, as such should have been open," Jim Rhea said.

Three of Senate President Mike Haridopolos' top lieutenants agreed to a private dinner Monday night with Gov. Rick Scott, despite their own rule forbiding more than two senators discussing legislative business outside of an open meeting.

Haridopolos' office has not offered an official comment. Spokesman David Bishop said earlier Monday the Senate would put a public notice on the chamber's website, but did not require Scott to open the Governor's Mansion to the public.

For his part, Scott said there was no violation of Sunshine Laws at his dinner. Asked if the meeting was open to the public, Scott said, "I'm comfortable we comply with the law."

[Last modified: Wednesday, February 9, 2011 8:23am]

    

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