FAF Letter to Sen. Rader Re: SB 1364 Exemption/Substance Abuse Service Providers

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5 January 2018
The Honorable Kevin J. Rader
The Florida Senate
404 South Monroe Street, Room 222 Senate Office Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300

Re: SB 1364 Exemption/Substance Abuse Service Providers

Dear Senator Rader:

We are writing to express some concerns regarding SB 1364, which creates a public record exemption for the home addresses and other public record information of current or former directors, managers, supervisors, nurses, and clinical employees of a substance abuse service provider, and their spouses and children.

While we are not necessarily opposed to the proposed exemption, Senator Rader, we believe the statement of public necessity is constitutionally insufficient. The statement of public necessity merely asserts that release of this information might result in disgruntled persons trying to harm the protected employees or their spouses and children. We, however, have seen no evidence that a threat of harm exists to these individuals or that such harm has in fact occurred. As it is currently drafted, the statement of public necessity is speculative at best and fails to justify the exemption. 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 SB 1364 be amended so as to include compelling evidentiary support in the statement of public necessity.

Thank you for your attention to our concerns, Senator Rader. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Sincerely,
Barbara A. Petersen, President

Cc: The Honorable Joe Negron, President, The Florida Senate
Jon Kaney, General Counsel, First Amendment Foundation
Sam Morley, General Counsel, Florida Press Association

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