Make us your home page

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Scott and Haridopolos plan private dinner Sunday



Senate President Mike Haridopolos seems to have noticed another closed meeting with Gov. Rick Scott.

A notice on the Senate web site shows the two will meet at the Governor's Mansion at Sunday at 7 p.m. and that "no state business is expected to be discussed."

Scott left the meeting off his public schedule released today.

"Ask the governor's office. It's their event," Haridopolos' spokesman David Bishop said in a text message tonight. "No business will be discussed." Scott's communication director Brian Burgess, who re-affirmed the governor's committment to transparency this week in a public records memo, could not immediately be reached.

The last time the Haridopolos made a public notice of a private dinner with Scott where no public business was supposed to be discussed three members of his leadership team appeared to violate the chamber's own open meeting rules.

This time the state Constitution could be the issue. Here's Article III, Section 4(e):

The rules of procedure of each house shall provide that all legislative committee and subcommittee meetings of each house, and joint conference committee meetings, shall be open and noticed to the public. The rules of procedure of each house shall further provide that all prearranged gatherings, between more than two members of the legislature, or between the governor, the president of the senate, or the speaker of the house of representatives, the purpose of which is to agree upon formal legislative action that will be taken at a subsequent time, or at which formal legislative action is taken, regarding pending legislation or amendments, shall be reasonably open to the public. All open meetings shall be subject to order and decorum. This section shall be implemented and defined by the rules of each house, and such rules shall control admission to the floor of each legislative chamber and may, where reasonably necessary for security purposes or to protect a witness appearing before a committee, provide for the closure of committee meetings. Each house shall be the sole judge for the interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of this section


[Last modified: Friday, March 4, 2011 11:25pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours