The Phoenix Flyer

Public may be able to “attend” May FL Cabinet meeting in Israel via video, Attorney General Moody says

By: - April 29, 2019 2:08 pm

Jerusalem. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Next month’s meeting of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet – 6,600 miles away in Israel —  will be a formal proceeding, complete with an official agenda and possibly public participation via a video link, Attorney General Ashley Moody said Monday.

The combined Cabinet meeting and trade mission is scheduled for May 25-31 and will include stops in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. As the meeting  time nears, the DeSantis administration has released few details about the trip’s cost, agenda, or which government officials or business people will participate.

Aides are still working out the details, Moody said in a brief interview at the Capitol while returning to her office from a memorial service for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

The Cabinet meeting – which an initial news release said will be at the new U.S. embassy in the disputed capital of Jerusalem – will be more than merely ceremonial, she said.

“All of the Cabinet officers will be meeting. There’ll be a published agenda. We’re ensuring that all of the proceeding is in accordance with the Sunshine Law, so that the public can attend and can view and can participate,” Moody said.

The Florida Phoenix has filed a public records request with the governor’s office and Enterprise Florida, the state’s business-generating agency, seeking documents outlining the arrangements.

According to Moody, officials genuinely don’t know yet.

“The final agenda has not been ironed out yet but as soon as it is, I’m sure you’ll have it,” she said.

Her own staff is researching the Sunshine Law to make sure the state remains in compliance, Moody added. “We’re making sure that every T is crossed and every I is dotted. That’s our responsibility and we’ll make sure it’s done.”

That could include public participation both by any Floridians who find themselves in Jerusalem  and via a video link to home.

“I believe that’s part of the discussion. I also believe it’s going to be open to the public that wants to attend. But I know that all of that is in the works,” Moody said.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.