Florida's Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings

Course Overview

Florida's Sunshine Laws: Open Meetings
Self-Directed Course
Time Estimate:
This course should take around four hours to complete.

About Self-Directed Courses

In a self-directed course, you can start and stop whenever you like, progressing entirely at your own pace and going back as many times as you want to review the material.

This interactive online program provides an overview of Florida’s public meetings requirements and is designed for Florida public officers and staff--as well as anyone interested in access to those meetings. It is part of a package developed by the First Amendment Foundation and The Poynter Institute, combining the best of the Foundation's training with the flexibility of online learning.

This course is part of several programs:

If you enroll in this course individually, you will not be eligible for the Sunshine Certificate or CLE hours. You must enroll in the appropriate program to receive credit.

What Will I Learn:
  • Who is subject to Florida's open meetings laws
  • What qualifies as a meeting
  • Procedural requirements that all meetings must meet
  • Exemptions to open meetings laws
  • Penalties for violating open meetings laws
Who should take this course:

All constitutional officers and elected municipal officers who are required to receive annual open government training. Attorneys who wish to earn 14.5 general CLEs, including 5 ethics CLEs. Journalists and other members of the public who want a deeper understanding of Florida's ethics guidelines.

Course Instructor:

Barbara Petersen

Barbara Petersen is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and Florida State University College of Law. She has been president of Florida’s First Amendment Foundation since 1995, and was previously a staff attorney for the Joint Committee on Information Technology Resources of the Florida Legislature, where she worked exclusively on public records legislation and issues.

Training Partner:

First Amendment Foundation

The First Amendment Foundation believes that government openness and transparency is critical to citizen trust and involvement in a democratic society — without Government in the Sunshine, civic engagement cannot bloom. Through ongoing monitoring of the state’s public records and open meetings laws, and the education of government officials and the citizens they serve about those laws, the Foundation promotes the public’s constitutional right to oversee and to participate in the governance process.