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Lawmaker wants to give arts donars anonymity

By Regan McCarthy

Tallahassee, FL – The Senate Community Affairs Committee is looking into whether private donors should be allowed to give to publically owned performing arts centers without being subject to the state's public records laws. Regan McCarthy reports Senator Jeremy Ring is sponsoring the bill.

Senator Jeremy Ring, a Democrat from Margate, says he's got people on his side who want the bill he just can't say who they are. Ring says exempting private donors who give to publically owned performing arts centers from the state's public records laws would increase the dollars those centers receive. Senator Norman, a Republican from Tampa says he can see why that might be.

"Good example, Mr. George Steinbrunner. He was torn between two cities his team was in New York. He lived in Tampa, He wanted to help behind the scenes. He did everything he could to get his name off of public records."

But Norman says Steinbrunner often caught heat when he returned to New York for any contributions he made while in Florida. The bill passed favorably out of committee. Some members of the public have raised concerns about adding new exemptions to the state's public records law.