5 January 2018
The Honorable MaryLynn Magar
The Florida House of Representatives
402 South Monroe Street, Room 214, The Capitol
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1100
Re: HB 1101 Exemption/Advanced Birth Centers
Dear Representative Magar:
We are writing to express some concerns regarding HB 1101, which creates a public record exemption for clinical records held by an advanced birth center.
While we are not opposed to the proposed exemption, Representative Magar, we believe the statement of public necessity is constitutionally insufficient. Article I, s. 24(c), of the State Constitution requires that any proposed exemption state with specificity the public necessity justifying the exemption. As it is currently drafted, the statement of public necessity merely asserts that the Legislature finds the exemption to be a public necessity and provides absolutely no reasoning to explain why the proposed exemption is necessary or why the Legislature finds it so. As a result, the exemption does not meet the constitutional standard for public record exemptions under Article I, s. 24, of the State Constitution.
Therefore, we suggest that HB 1101 be amended so as to include a compelling and specific reason for the exemption in the statement of public necessity.
Thank you for your attention to our concerns, Representative Magar. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Barbara A. Petersen, President
Cc: The Honorable Richard Corcoran, Speaker, The Florida House of Representatives
Jon Kaney, General Counsel, First Amendment Foundation
Sam Morley, General Counsel, Florida Press Association