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Janet Reno on Government Reform

Former Attorney General; Democratic Challenger FL Governor


Applied “sunshine laws” to open federal government

As Reno was quizzed about cases by the White House screening team [during her Attorney General nomination], “I was amazed [that we could] look back and watch how my office responded. We were able to do this because we had participated in open government, and we had explained ourselves to the people in an appropriate way.” She brought Florida’s government-in-the-sunshine approach to Washington, launching a long-overdue overhaul of the federal Freedom of Information Act within 8 months of taking office.
Source: Doing the Right Thing, by Paul Anderson, p.124-25 Jan 1, 1993

Authored Florida’s no-fault divorce law & civil court code

In March 1971, Reno was hired as general counsel to the Florida House Judiciary Committee to assist with a major rewrite of the Florida Constitution. In a matter of months, Reno authored Florida’s no-fault divorce law and tackled the constitutional amendment to reform Florida’s courts. She studied the often conflicting ideas of committee members, judges, academics, and others, then sorted reality from rhetoric.

When a workable compromise emerged, she drafted the legal terminology that abolished municipal courts and created a uniform two-tiered trial system: county courts for small cases; state circuit courts for large civil cases and major crimes. Under the plan, appeals would be heard by state district courts and then the state supreme court.

Voters ratified the amendment the next year. Reno had earned a reputation as the consummate legislative staffer-someone who did the hard work but let the politicians take the glory.

Source: Doing the Right Thing, by Paul Anderson, p. 60-61 Mar 1, 1971

Other governors on Government Reform: Janet Reno on other issues:
AK Frank Murkowski
AL Bob Riley
AR Mike Huckabee
AZ Janet Napolitano
CA Arnold Schwarzenegger
CO Bill Owens
CT Jodi Rell
DE Ruth Ann Minner
FL Jeb Bush
GA Sonny Perdue
HI Linda Lingle
IA Tom Vilsack
ID Dirk Kempthorne
IL Rod Blagojevich
IN Mitch Daniels
KS Kathleen Sebelius
KY Ernie Fletcher
LA Kathleen Blanco
MA Mitt Romney
MD Bob Ehrlich
ME John Baldacci
MI Jennifer Granholm
MN Tim Pawlenty
MO Matt Blunt
MS Haley Barbour
MT Brian Schweitzer
NC Mike Easley
ND John Hoeven
NE Dave Heineman
NH John Lynch
NJ Jon Corzine
NM Bill Richardson
NV Kenny Guinn
NY George Pataki
OH Bob Taft
OK Brad Henry
OR Ted Kulongoski
PA Ed Rendell
RI Don Carcieri
SC Mark Sanford
SD Mike Rounds
TN Phil Bredesen
TX Rick Perry
UT Jon Huntsman
VA Tim Kaine
VT Jim Douglas
WA Christine Gregoire
WI Jim Doyle
WV Joe Manchin III
WY Dave Freudenthal
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