1995 Legislative Review: Pre-Session Report

Foundation Members: The following is a list of bills–grouped by general category–we will be tracking throughout the 1995 Session. We have selected those bills with open government and first amendment implications that we think will be of interest to our members. During session, we will report any activity on these bills, as well as any new legislation that may be filed, on a weekly basis. We suggest that you keep this pre-session report, as the weekly reports will not contain a complete description of the bills. Should you have any questions, or need further information on a particular piece of legislation, please call (904) 222-3518, or (800) 337-3518.

Public Records

Patient Records

HB 107: Amends § 395.3025(1), F.S., to limit the fees that hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers may charge for copies of patient records; stipulates that the fee for patient records may not exceed $1.00 for the first 25 pages, and 25 per page for all pages in excess of 25. Representative Larry Crow (R-Dunedin)

  • 2/21/95: Temporarily deferred by House Health Care/Health Standards Subcommittee.

SB 490: Similar/identical to HB 107. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

HB 137: Stipulates that patient records held by the statewide or a district managed care ombudsman committee are confidential and exempt from § 119.07(1), F.S.; exempts the names and identities of complainants involved in a complaint to such committee unless complainants provide written consent for release or a court orders the release of such information. Also closes portions of ombudsman committee meetings in which committee discusses such confidential information. See: HB 139 (creating Statewide Managed Care Ombudsman Committee). Representative John Rayson (D-Pompano Beach)

  • 2/21/95: Reported favorably with 1 amendment by House Health Care/Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee.

SB 558: Similar/identical to HB 137. See: SB 560 (creating Statewide Managed Care Ombudsman Committee). Senator Peter Weinstein (D-Tamarac)

Safety and Privacy for Jurors Act of 1995

HB 109: Stipulates that the names and addresses of jurors are exempt from § 119.07(1), F.S., and “shall not be disclosed to ensure the safety and protect the privacy rights of jurors in a civil or criminal case.” Authorizes court to disclose such names and addresses upon motion by any party to a civil or criminal case. Representative Greg Gay (R-Cape Coral)

Access to Legislative Information

HB 167: Requires the Joint Legislative Management Committee to make certain legislative information–legislative calendar, bill text, bill history, bill status, staff analysis, vote information, Florida Statutes, Florida Constitution, etc.–available to the public through the Internet; stipulates that no fees may be charged to access such information. Representative Tracy Stafford (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

SB 282: Similar/identical to HB 167. Senator Robert D. Wexler (D-Boca Raton)

Exemption for Social Security Numbers

HB 409: Amends § 119.07(3)(dd), F.S., to exempt the social security numbers of all current and former government agency employees; stipulates that “government agency” shall have the same definition as in § 119.011(2). Representative Josephus Eggelletion (D-Lauderdale Lakes)

SB 890: Similar/identical to HB 409. Senator Robert Wexler (D-Boca Raton)

Exemption for Identifying Information/Welfare Recipients

HB 423: Creates an exemption for data identifying applicants or recipients of foods stamps, AFDC, or Medicaid that is registered and maintained in the automated fingerprint identification system operated jointly by HRS and the Agency for Health Care Administration; stipulates that such data may not be “used, disclosed, or released for any purpose other than the prevention of duplicate enrollments,” and may not be disclosed in response “to a subpoena or other compulsory legal process or warrant, or upon request or order of any agency . . . .” Representative Dennis Jones (R-Treasure Island)

Exemption for University Health Services Support Organizations

HB 497: Stipulates that all meetings and records of a governing board of a university health services support organization are open and available to the public; provides specific exemptions for records, including “all credentialing and peer review records.” See HB 503 (authorizing state universities to establish university health services support organizations for the purpose of making arrangements with “other entities as providers for accountable health partnerships, as defined in s. 408.701.”) Representatives Cynthia Chestnut (D-Gainesville; Ben Graber (D-Coral Springs); George Albright (R-Ocala); Bob Casey (R-Gainesville), et al.

SB 1012: Similar/identical to HB 497. Senators Don Sullivan (R-Seminole); John Grant (R-Tampa); Howard Forman (D-Hollywood); Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

Exemption for Environmental Audits

HB 709: Exempts environmental audit reports as defined in § 93.01(2)(b), F.S., and documents related to an environmental self-audit from the requirements of chapter 119. See: HB 707 (creating chapter 93 relating to environmental self-audits. Representatives Kelley Smith (D-Palatka); Debby Sanderson (R-Ft. Lauderdale); Lars Hafner (D-St. Petersburg); Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie); et al.

SB 934: Similar/identical to HB 709. Senators Rick Dantzler (D-Winter Haven); Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach); Charles Williams (D-Live Oak); Robert Harden (R-Ft. Walton Beach); et al.

Exemption for Victim of Crime Information

HB 819: Amends § 119.07(3)(y), F.S., to exempt any document that reveals the identity, telephone numbers, addresses, or assets of the victim of a crime upon written request by such victim. Representative Mark Flanagan (R-Bradenton)

Exemption for Records of Economic Development Agency

HB 1269: Broadens definition of “economic development agency” to include “any private agency, person, partnership, corporation, or business entity when authorized by a municipality or county to promote the general business interests or industrial interests of that municipality or county.” Representative Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach)

SB 442: Similar/identical to HB 1269. Senator Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

  • 2/21/95: Reported favorably with 1 amendment by Senate Community

Exemption for Trade Secrets

SB 810: Creates § 381.83, F.S., to exempt trade secrets obtained by HRS. Senator Buddy Dyer (D-Orlando)

Exemption for Department of Revenue Personnel

SB 972: Amends 119.07(3)(k), F.S., to exempt the home address, telephone number, social security number, and photographs of personnel of the Department of Revenue whose responsibilities require personal contact with the public for purposes of tax administration or child-support enforcement; provides exemption for information regarding the spouse and children of such personnel. Senator Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

General Exemptions

SB 854: Creates a vehicle for some future exemption by stipulating that “[t]he records required to be maintained by SB ___ are confidential and exempt” from chapter 119, F.S. Senator Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

SB 856: Identical to SB 854. Senator Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

Public Records Modernization Trust Fund

SB 764: Reenacts the Public Records Modernization Trust Fund, authorizing clerks of the circuit courts to charge $1.00 for the first page and 50¢ for each additional page for recording instruments in the official records; amended to exempt judgments received from the courts and notices of lis pendens from such fees. Also amended to stipulate that fund may not be used for payment of specific items, and to tighten reporting and auditing requirements. Committee on the Judiciary.

Victims of Sexual Crimes

HB 695: Creates the “Crime Victims Protection Act” for the purpose of protecting victims of sexual offenses by limiting the disclosure of their identities to the public; creates § 92.56, F.S., stipulating that all court records, including testimony from witnesses, which contain the name, address, or photograph of the victim of various sexual crimes are confidential and may not be made public or part of the public record upon certain findings by the trial court; prohibits publication or broadcast of identifying photographs, an identifiable voice, or the name or address of the victim unless the victim has consented in writing and filed such consent with the court; states that a knowing and wilful violation constitutes contempt. Amends § 119.07(3)(h) to allow disclosure to certain counseling services. Stating that a public officer or employee who willfully and knowingly discloses such records is guilty of a second degree misdemeanor, and creates a civil right of action against any entity or individual who communicates the identity of a sexual crime victim prior to open judicial proceedings. Representatives Mike Fasano (R-Jacksonville); Jim Fuller (R-Jacksonville); Carl Littlefield (R-Dade City); Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville); et al.

SB 496: Similar to HB 695. Senator Robert Wexler (D-Boca Raton)

Whistle-blower’s Act

SB 530: Amends § 112.3188, F.S., which allows an exemption for information given to certain public officials under the Whistle-blower’s Act, to include local chief executive officers and “other appropriate local officials”; stipulates that all information received by such local officers and officials pursuant to fact finding or investigations conducted pursuant to the Act is exempt if the information relates to allegations made under the Act and the investigation is active. Senator Jim Hargrett (D-Tampa)

Confidentiality of Public Records

SB 960: In part, repeals § 119.07(3)(a), F.S., which exempts confidential records from the public records law. Senate Committee on Governmental Reform

Remote Electronic Access

HB 1149: Amends § 119.01, F.S., to add a statement of legislative intent regarding remote electronic access to public records; stipulates that fees for such access as provided for in 119.085 shall be permissive rather than mandatory. Also amends § 282.307, requiring agency state strategic plans for information resource management to include components identifying agency data and applications that can be made available through remote electronic means, and to specify an agency’s plans to do so. Representatives Ron Klein (D-Boca Raton); Anne Mackenzie (D-Ft. Lauderdale); Luis Morse (R-Miami); Helen Spivey (D-Palatka)

SB 1334: Similar/identical to HB 1149. Senators Don Sullivan (R-Seminole); Daryl Jones (D-Miami)

Electronic Records

HB 1163: Creates the Public Records Mediation Program within the Office of the Attorney General; amends § 119.01, F.S., to add a statement of legislative intent regarding the automation of public records; amends the definition of “public record” to include electronic mail and agency-created data processing software, and to stipulate that the use of external communication systems does not alter an agency’s obligation under ch. 119; defines “proprietary software”; stipulates that agencies using proprietary software must either obtain a license for such software so that a copy of the software may be provided to a requestor, or ensure that the proprietary software is capable of creating a copy of the public records controlled by such software into some common format such as ASCII; requires an agency to provide a copy of a public record in the medium requested if the agency maintains the record in that medium; stipulates that an agency may elect to provide a copy of a requested record in some other medium; requires an agency to adequately plan for public access and the redaction of exempt information when acquiring or modifying any electronic recordkeeping system; prohibits an agency from entering into contracts for the creation or maintenance of a public records database which would impair the right of the public to inspect or copy public records; requires the Department of State to promulgate a model rule on access, and to institute a training program on public access requirements. Representatives Ron Klein (D-Boca Raton); Anne Mackenzie (D-Ft. Lauderdale); Luis Morse (R-Miami); Helen Spivey (D-Palatka)

SB 1336: Similar/identical to HB 1163. Senators Don Sullivan (R-Seminole); Daryl Jones (D-Miami)

Open Meetings

Access to Local Public Officials

CS/HB 5: Creates § 286.0115; provides definition of “local public official;” authorizes any person not otherwise prohibited by law to discuss with any local public official matters which may be taken up by the board or commission on which such official is a member, and authorizes a local public official to read written communications from any person; requires a local public official to disclose or summarize the substance of any such communication before or during the public meeting at which a vote is to be taken, so that others are afforded a reasonable opportunity to respond. Also authorizes a local public official to conduct investigations and site visits and to receive expert opinions regarding quasi-judicial action pending before the local public official if the existence of such investigation, site visit, or expert opinion is made part of the record before final action is taken. Representative Lee Constantine (R-Altamonte Springs)

  • 2/22/95: Reported favorably as a committee substitute by House Ethics and Elections.

SB 438: Similar/identical to HB 5. Senators Ron Silver (D-North Miami Beach); Patsy Ann Kurth (D-Palm Bay); John McKay (R-Bradenton)

  • 2/21/95: Reported favorably by Senate Community Affairs.

Public Meetings

HB 29: Amends § 286.011, F.S., to require reasonable notice of any board or commission meeting, and to stipulate that conduct occurring outside the state which would constitute a knowing violation of the Open Meetings Law is a second degree misdemeanor. Representative Lee Constantino (R-Altamonte Springs)
2/21/95: Reported favorably by House Governmental Operations.

Open Government Sunset Review

Repeal of the Open Government Sunset Review Act

SB 874: Repeals §§ 119.14 and 286.0111, F.S., which provide for the periodic review of exemptions to the public records law and the open meetings law. Senate Committee on Governmental Reform and Oversight

OGSR – Motor Fuel Marketing Practices Act

HB 291: Broadens current exemption in § 526.311, F.S., making trade secrets and proprietary confidential business information contained in records received by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs pursuant to a written request or a Department of Legal Affairs subpoena confidential and exempt from § 119.07(1), F.S. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee).

  • 3/06/95: On Special Order Calendar.
  • 3/07/95: Read 2nd time.

SB 158: Similar/identical to HB 291. Senate Committee on Agriculture

  • 2/21/95: Reported favorably by Senate Agriculture.

OGSR – HMO Patient Data

SB 166: Repeals §§ 119.07(3)(r) and (v); creates § 395.404(3), F.S., stipulating that patient records obtained by HRS or its agent (1) containing the name, home or business address, telephone number, social security number, or photograph of the patient, patient’s spouse, relative, or guardian; (2) are patient specific; or (3) either directly or indirectly otherwise identify the patient are confidential and exempt from § 119.07(1), F.S. Transfers current exemptions for public hospital records and meetings from § 119.16 to § 395.3035, and broadens provision to exempt all records generated at a governing board meeting closed to the public. Senate Committee on Health Care

  • 2/08/95: Reported favorably by Senate Health Care.

OGSR – Health Care-Related Information

HB 885: Broadens exemption in § 408.704, F.S., for by closing portions of grievance-appeal proceedings when exempted reports or records are considered. House Committee on Governmental Reform and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

CS/SB 226: Similar/identical to HB 885. Broadens records exemption in § 408.704, F.S., as above; amends § 483.621, to exempt records, reports, or documents that are patient-specific or otherwise identify a patient (currently exempts inspection reports which were confidential by state or federal law). Also amends § 408.001 to exempt patient medical records and patient insurance records which contain information that is patient-specific, or otherwise identifies a patient. Senate Committee on Health Care

  • 2/08/95: Reported favorably as committee substitute by Senate Health Care.

HB 321: Reenacts and amends § 400.512, F.S., allowing an exemption for criminal records, juvenile records, or central abuse registry information obtained by the Agency for Health Care Administration for determining the moral character of home health agency personnel, nurse registry personnel, and sitters, companions, and home makers. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

OGSR – Spaceport Florida Authority

HB 257: Expands current exemption in § 331.326, F.S., for trade secrets held by Spaceport Florida Authority, to allow an exemption for any meeting or portion of a meeting of the Authority’s board or supervisors when the board is discussing trade secrets. Also exempts any public record generated during the closed portion of such meetings. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

  • 3/06/95: Placed on Special Order Calendar.
  • 3/07/95: Bill read 2nd time.

OGSR – State Lottery

HB 279: Amends § 24.105, F.S., which allows the state lottery to determine by rule which information relating to the operation of the lottery should be held confidential and exempt, to stipulate that confidential information may be released to other government entities as needed in connection with their duties. Also amends § 24.106, F.S., expanding current exemption for meetings of State Lottery Commission when discussing confidential matters to include any public record generated during the closed portions of such meetings. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

  • 3/06/95: Placed on Special Order Calendar.
  • 3/07/95: Bill read 2nd time.

SB 1296: Similar/identical to HB 279. Senate Committee on Commerce and Economic Opportunities

OGSR – Enterprise Florida Innovation Partnership

HB 283: Expands exemption in § 288.9520, F.S., for materials relating to methods of manufacture or production, actual trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, generated, ascertained, or generated by the Enterprise Florida Innovation Partnership, to include financial information and “agreements or proposals.” Exemption would also apply to such material held by “affiliates or subsidiaries and partnership participants” of Enterprise Florida. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

  • 3/06/95: Placed on Special Order Calendar.
  • 3/07/95: Bill read 2nd time.

OGSR – Investigations of Nonprofit Organizations

HB 263: Amends § 617.0503, F.S., to stipulate that records pertaining to investigations of nonprofit organizations by the Department of Legal Affairs are exempt only while such investigation is active; provides definition of “active.” House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

  • 3/06/95: Placed on Special Order Calendar.
  • 3/07/95: Bill read 2nd time.

SB 1298: Similar/identical to HB 263. Senate Committee on Commerce and Economic Opportunities

OGSR – Investigations of Pari-Mutuel Industry

HB 269: Amends § 550.0251, F.S., to stipulate that records pertaining to investigations of the pari-mutuel industry by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation are exempt until an administrative complaint is issued or the investigation is closed “or ceases to be active;” provides definition of “active”. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

OGSR – Professional Golf Hall of Fame Audits

HB 277: Amends exemption in § 288.1168, F.S., for audits of the professional golf hall of fame by the Department of Revenue, to require that the Department provide a summary of such audits, including information as to whether the facility has complied with its statutory requirements and a description of any noncompliance. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

OGSR – Whistle-blower’s Act

HB 583: Narrows the exemption in § 112.3188, F.S., for information produced or derived from investigations by certain agencies, stipulating that such information is exempt for an initial period of up to 30 days to determine whether an investigation is needed, or until an investigation is closed or ceases to be active; provides a definition of “active”. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

OGSR – Prepaid Limited Health Service Organizations

HB 883: Expands the current exemption in § 636.064, F.S., to include proprietary financial information contained in contracts entered into with prepaid limited health service organizations. Also exempts certain other information obtained pursuant to an examination or investigation until the examination report has been filed or the investigation is completed or ceases to be active. House Committee on Governmental Operations and Representative Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

First Amendment Issues

Instructional Aids

HB 119: Authorizes district school boards to allow teachers and administrators to read or post a variety of instructional aids and course materials; stipulates that there will be no content-based censorship of American history or heritage based on religious references in such materials. Representatives Buddy Johnson (R-Plant City); Carl D. Littlefield (R-Dade City); Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey); Stephen R. Wise (R-Jacksonville); Dave Bitner (R-Punta Gorda); Jim Fuller (R-Jacksonville)

SB 334: Similar/identical to HB 119. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

Public Nudity

HB 351: Amends § 800.03, F.S., making it unlawful to willfully and intentionally be in a nude state in public; defines “in a nude state” as exposure of the genitals or pubic area, or exposure of “a female person’s breast below the top of the nipple;” stipulates that such prohibition applies only to state parks. House Committee on Criminal Justice and Representative Buddy Johnson (R-Plant City)

SB 938: Similar/identical to HB 351. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

Unlawful Activity/Medical Facilities

HB 457: Creates § 870.08, F.S., establishing a 50-foot access zone around the perimeter of each medical facility, and prohibiting protests or “other constitutionally protected activity” with that zone for the purpose of safeguarding citizens’ access to medical facilities. Provides for criminal penalties. Representatives Sally Heyman (D-North Miami Beach); Debby Sanderson (R-Ft. Lauderdale); John Rayson (D-Pompano Beach); Lois Frankel (D-West Palm Beach); et al.

  • 2/22/95: Withdrawn from further consideration.

Excretory Conduct

SB 14: Amends § 847.001, F.S., by adding definition of “excretory conduct” and “prurient interest;” adds excretory conduct to list of material considered obscene. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

Obscene Photographs

SB 76: Prohibits photographs and videotapes which expose the genitals or buttocks of a child under 18 years without the express consent of the parent or legal guardian; prohibits possession of any material that includes exposure of a child’s genitals or buttocks for the purpose of sexual excitement; stipulates that the possession of three or more of the above photographs is prima facie evidence that the material is for the purpose of sexual excitement when there is an intent to exploit a child’s nudity or where the material was obtained in a clandestine fashion. Senator Karen Johnson (D-Inverness)

Distribution of Violent Video Games

SB 228: Prohibits knowing distribution of “excessively violent” video games to any person under the age of 18; provides penalty. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

Discretionary School Invocation and Benediction

HB 505: Authorizes district school boards to adopt resolutions allowing the use of an invocation or benediction at a secondary school commencement, sporting event, or noncompulsory student assembly; provides requirements for such resolutions. Representatives Randy Mackey (D-Lake City); Jorge Rodriguez-Chomat (R-Miami); George Crady (D-Yulee)

SB 876: Similar/identical to HB 505. Senator Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

Bills of Interest

Constitutional Defense Council Act

HB 217: Provides legislative findings and declarations; creates the Constitutional Defense Council for the purpose of examining and challenging federal mandates; court rulings; authority granted to or assumed by the federal government; laws, regulations, and practices of the federal government; and any other activity “deemed appropriate by the council.” Representatives Bill Posey (R-Rockledge); Howard Futch (R-Indialantic); Charles Sembler (R-Vero Beach)

SB 532: Similar/identical to HB 217. Senator Charlie Bronson (R-Indian Harbour Beach)

Geographic Information Council

HB 365: Amends § 282.403, F.S., to create the Florida Geographic Information Council for the purpose of facilitating the identification, sharing, and coordination of geographic information among federal, state, regional, and local agencies. Requires council to: conduct a biennial assessment of geographic information and geographic information systems in the state; promote sharing of geographic information; reduce the redundancy of data acquisition; establish standard data definitions and formats; develop and maintain a data directory of geographic information; develop criteria, policies, and procedures for electronic data transmission; etc. Encourages local governments to participate. Representatives Alzo Reddick (D-Orlando); Luis Morse (R-Miami); Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie); Anne Mackenzie (D-Ft. Lauderdale); et al.

SB 814: Similar/identical to HB 365. Senators Robert Harden (R-Ft. Walton Beach); Daryl Jones (D-Miami); Don Sullivan (R-Seminole); Howard Forman (D-Hollywood); et al.

Tobacco Products

HB 463: Amends various statutes to prohibit the sale or delivery of tobacco products to anyone under the age of 21 (currently 18), and creates § 859.065, F.S., to prohibit the possession of tobacco products by persons under the age of 21. Provides penalties, including the mandatory suspension or revocation of the violator’s driver’s license. Representative Steve Feren (D-Plantation)

SB 574: Similar/identical to HB 463. Senator John Grant (R-Tampa)

Clerks of the Court

SB 342: Provides that services charges in excess of those authorized by § 28.2401, F.S., which are authorized by the governing authority of a county and are charged by clerks of the court, may be used to “provide and maintain equipment.” Senator Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

Highway Safety

HB 725: In part, stipulates that any person operating a motor vehicle in Florida has, “by so operating such vehicle,” consented to submit to a field sobriety test. Representative Jim Fuller (R-Jacksonville)

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