Fl. House Votes to Allow Secret University Meetings
State university foundations could meet in secret under a bill passed by the Florida House.
The bill (HB 115) barely passed since it takes a two-thirds vote to create exemptions to the state's public records and open meetings laws. The vote was 83-33 with most Democrats voting no.
People who give money to university foundations can already keep their identities anonymous. But the bill passed by the House would allow foundation boards to meet in secret if they are discussing research proposals and funding for that research.
Supporters of the bill defended the need for secrecy, saying that some of the research proposals could include trade secrets.
But Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, called the measure a "dangerous bill" that would cloak why universities were doing certain types of research.