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

Garrett Holeve poses in the sunlight shining through a room full of punching bags at American Top Team in Weston. Florida on Oct. 19. Despite having Down syndrome, Garrett has proven himself to be a formidable opponent in mixed martial arts, or MMA. “You have to adjust a little bit, but you don’t want to go too easy on him either,” said John De Jesus, professional MMA fighter and occasional sparring partner for Garrett. “You can’t let him connect on you because he’ll knock you out!”

G-Money: In The Cage With Down Syndrome

Garrett “G” Holeve has Down syndrome, but his condition isn’t stopping him from pursuing his passion — mixed martial arts. G will face David Steffan on Nov. 8 in a long overdue fight against the odds.


Cassidy, an 18-month-old Lab/American Bulldog mix who was part of Academy 14 and his inmate trainer.

Paws On Parole Looking To Continue Perfect Adoption Rate

The Alachua County Animal Services and Florida Department of Corrections Work Camp is working together with this year’s “Hairy Pawter” dog academy to prepare a new group of house-trained dogs for homes.


A wild hog mills around outside the runway enclosure of Williston Municipal Airport. The hogs often explore around a water source by the neighboring rock quarry, Barry said.

Hog Infestation Halts Historic Airport Runway

A hog infestation at Williston Municipal Airport’s grass runway is causing delays in the approval of the runway by the Federal Aviation Administration.


Photos of the "Incredible Flying Cars," made by ITEC.

The Men Behind the Flying Car That Crashed in Marion County

A flying car crashed on Tuesday in Marion County after going on an orientation flight. Two passengers suffered minor injuries but are currently safe.


Gov. Scott Announced Funding For Final Phase Of Restoration Projects

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced funding for the third and largest phase of early restoration projects to combat the Deepwater Horizon (BP) Oil Spill of 2010 on Oct. 7. Although $100 million was allocated to Florida by the Deepwater Horizon [...]


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
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments