WUFT News

Bill Would Allow University Foundations to Discuss Research in Private

By on April 1st, 2014

A proposed senate bill would carve out an exemption to public-records and open-meetings laws for Florida university foundations considering research proposals.

House Bill 115, which passed Thursday by a vote of 83-33, would allow foundation boards of universities to meet secretly if they are discussing research proposals or spending.

The bill comes months after the University of Florida announced UF Rising, a campaign to expand research initiatives and attain Top-Ten status amongst public research institutions.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda stands in opposition of the bill and said she is trying to retain transparency for the media.

“I just wanted to have that check and balance so the press could find out who was funding the research and generally what the research was,” she said.

Rehwinkel Vasilinda said the public needs to know who research is funded by so they can draw their own conclusions.

“People need to be able to see what’s being researched, what the outcome of that research is, so we can make our own determinations and we’re not kept in the dark about what our taxpayer-funded universities are doing,” she said.

However, supporters like Rep. Cary Pigman, the sponsor of the bill, said research proposals contain trade secrets and require secrecy in order to prevent their ideas from being stolen.

He said the bill exists in order to protect researchers, not keep people out.

“If we didn’t have the public meetings exemption, then the moment you showed up to talk about your new idea, it could be taken over by anyone,” Pigman said. “Typically, these devices at this point aren’t patented. They’re not complete.”

The bill, which would go into effect Oct. 1, requires a two-thirds vote to create exemptions to the public-records and open-meetings laws.

Alex Harris contributed to this report.

 


This entry was posted in Florida, Politics and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Dopple Gang

    Where unleashed along with the courage and industry that liberty begets, competition has been proven to best motivate genius and creativity

 

More Stories in Florida

Scott Richardson, 52, co-owner of Northwest Seafood Inc., fillets fresh-caught red grouper purchased from one of Northwest Seafood’s trusted fisherman in Yankeetown, Florida. “It pays to know your fish man,” said Lee Deaderick, Richardson’s business partner.

Florida Fishermen Face Fierce Competition

Florida fisherman are concerned with the growing taste for imported fish. As imports from other countries increase, questions of ethics and safety are floating to the surface.


BearHunt1

Protestors Voice Concern Over Proposed Bear Hunt

Protesters voiced their opposition to the proposed bear hunt on Monday outside of the Ocala office for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. The FWC is expected to vote on the issue Wednesday.


John King, recreational fisherman from Dunnellon, Fla., shows off a red snapper caught during the 2013 season. King said recreational fishermen should have longer than 10 days to catch and keep red snapper this year.

Amendment 40 Splits Red Snapper Season, Extending For Charters

Red snapper season was divided on June 1 into two recreational sectors: federal for-hire charter captains and private recreational fishermen. The season for recreational fisherman will be limited to 10 consecutive days, ending at 12:01 a.m. on June 11.


House, Senate Still Stuck in Health Debate

Florida legislators began a special session Monday to pass a budget for the year beginning July 1. But the House and Senate are still in a stalemate over whether to adopt a Senate proposal use Medicaid expansion money from the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income Floridians purchase private health insurance.


Court Limits Damages In UCF Player’s Death

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday the parents of University of Central Florida football player, Ereck Plancher, are limited to collecting $200,000 in a lawsuit they filed against UCF Athletics Association, Inc. Plancher collapsed and died in March 2008 after off-season football drills supervised by football coach George O’Leary.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments