1996 Legislative Review: Pre-Session Report

Foundation Members: The following is a list of bills–grouped by general category–we will be tracking throughout the 1996 Session. We have selected those bills with open government and first amendment implications 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 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

COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS RECORDS

SB 92 Deepwater Ports and Nongovernmental Entities: Creates an exemption for proposals and counter proposals and related financial records related to the sale, use, or lease of land or port facilities exchanged between a deepwater port and a nongovernmental entity. Such records cease to be exempt 30 days before such proposals or counter proposals are considered for approval by the governing body of a deepwater port. Identical to HB 183. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

HB 183 Deepwater Ports and Nongovernmental Entities: Identical to SB 92. Rep. Les Miller (D-Tampa)

  • Reported favorably by H. Transportation Committee.

HB 709 Exemption for Marketing Corporations: Creates an exemption for the identity of persons responding to marketing and advertising research projects conducted by the Florida Tourism Industry Marketing Corporations and for trade secrets obtained pursuant to research. H. Tourism & Cultural Affairs Committee

HB 977 Exemption for Pawnbroker Transactions: Creates an exemption for records delivered to law enforcement officers relating to pawnbroker transactions. Rep. Elvin Martinez (D-Tampa)

HB 1111 Exemptions from Ad Valorem Taxes: Stipulates that certain information submitted in connection with a determination of the nonprofit status of an applicant for certain exemptions from ad valorem taxation is not exempt from the Public Records Law. Rep. Charles W. Sembler, II (R-Vero Beach)

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

SB 368 Terminated District School Board Employees: Requires the Department of Education to create a database of school board employees terminated for various, specified reasons, stipulating that such information shall be available to the superintendents of public school districts. Identical to HB 815. Sen. Matt Meadows (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

HB 815 Terminated District School Board Employees: Identical to SB 368. Rep. John Rayson ((D-Pompano Beach)

HEALTH CARE RECORDS

SB 42 Managed Care Ombudsman Committees/Patient Records: Creates an exemption for patient records held by the statewide or a district managed care ombudsman committee. Also exempts the names or identities of complainants involved in complaints to such committees unless complainant has provided written consent to have name released or if a court orders that name and identity be public record. Identical to HB 171. Sen. Peter Weinstein (D-Tamarac)

HB 171 Managed Care Ombudsman Committees/Patient Records: Identical to SB 42. Rep. John Rayson (D-Pompano Beach)

  • Reported favorably by H. Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee.

HB 165 University Health Services Support Organizations: Exempts contracts for managed care, marketing plans, trade secrets, and peer review procedure records of university health services support organizations. Also closes any portion of a governing board meeting during which such confidential and exempt information is discussed. Stipulates that those portions of any public record generated at closed board meetings which relate to exempt information are also exempt. Similar to SB 560. Rep. Cynthia Chestnut (D-Gainesville)

SB 560 University Health Services Support Organizations: Similar to HB 165. Sen. Don Sullivan (R-Seminole)

HB 889 Exemption for Health Care Antitrust Information: Creates an exemption for information submitted to state officials by members of the health care community as a part of a review of antitrust issues. Identical to HB 1035. Rep. Harry Goode, Jr. (D-Melbourne)

HB 1035 Exemption for Health Care Antitrust Information: Identical to HB 889. Rep. Ben Graber (D-Coral Springs)

HB 925 Public Access to Health Care Information: Proposes to the Legislature that legislation be adopted to require the reporting of health care information by health care providers and to expand public access to such information. Rep. Mary Brennan (D-Pinellas Park)

HB 1223 Exemption for Antitrust No-Action Letter: Creates an exemption for health care information submitted to the Attorney General’s Office in a request for an antitrust no-action letter. Rep. Tom Warner (R-Stuart)

INSURANCE RECORDS

SB 286 Reports of Insurers: Creates an exemption from the Public Records Law for reports of the risk-based capital of insurers filed with the Department of Insurance, and makes reports of insurers concerning the acquisition or disposition of assets or the nonrenewal, cancellation, or revision of a ceded reinsurance agreement confidential. Similar to HB 1067. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

  • Minor amendments by S. Banking & Insurance; reported favorably as CS.

HB 1067 Risk-Based Capital of Insurers: Stipulates that risk-based capital reports filed with the Department of Insurance by insurers are confidential; provides for confidentiality of reports on acquisition or disposition of assets or the nonrenewal, cancellation, or revision of a ceded reinsurance agreement. Similar to SB 286. Rep. Buddy Johnson (R-Plant City)

JUDICIAL AND COURT RECORDS

HB 47 Safety and Privacy for Jurors Act of 1996: Exempts information identifying jurors in criminal trials upon completion of the jury selection process and the swearing in of jurors. Prohibits disclosure of such information by the court, court personnel, or any attorney of record. Upon a showing of good cause, a court may permit disclosure of such information upon motion by any party or application of any interested person. Allows jurors to voluntarily participate in post-trial interviews, but prohibits disclosure of identifying information of fellow jurors. Stipulates that any person willfully and knowingly violating such prohibition is guilty of a first degree misdemeanor. Rep. Greg Gay (R-Cape Coral)

SB 202 Safety and Privacy for Jurors Act of 1996: Identical to HB 47. Sen. Tom Rossin (D-West Palm Beach)

  • Amended by S. Judiciary; reported favorably.

SB 78 Exemption for Guardian Ad Litem: Renumbers and reenacts exemption for information collected pursuant to the security background investigation of participants in the guardian ad litem program. Similar to HB 739. Sen. Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

  • Amended by S. Judiciary to require background checks prior to certification as guardian ad litem; reported favorably with 1 amendment.

HB 739 Exemption for Guardian Ad Litem: Similar to SB 739. H. Judiciary Committee

PERSONAL INFORMATION

SB 110 Exemption for Grand Jurors: Amends § 119.07(3)(I), F.S., to exempt the name, home address, home and business telephone number, social security number, place of employment or any other information that would identify the foreperson or members of grand juries. Also removes stipulation that § 119.07(3)(I), F.S., is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act. Sen. Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

  • Amended by S. Judiciary to stipulate that grand jurors are not required to request confidentiality of personal information; reported favorably with 2 amendments.

SB 426 Exemption for Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority: Creates an exemption for information on individuals using EPASS, an automated electronic system for collecting tolls via credit card or check, in the possession of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority. Identical to HB 689. Sen. Buddy Dyer (D-Orlando)

  • Amended by S. Transportation to add an exemption for similar information held by the Department of Transportation; reported favorably as CS.

HB 689 Exemption for Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority: Identical to SB 426. Rep. Allen Trovillion (R-Winter Park)

SB 468 Exemption for Rabies Vaccination Certificates: Creates an exemption for identifying information in rabies vaccination certificates, authorizing the release of such information under certain, specified circumstances. Sen. Charlie Bronson (R-Indian Harbour Beach)

HB 629 Exemption for Medicaid Fraud Unit: Creates an exemption for information identifying current and former investigators of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and their families. Rep. Josephus Eggelletion (D-Lauderdale Lakes)

HB 717 Uniform Motor Vehicle Records Disclosure Act: Implements the federal Driver’s Privacy Protection Act; stipulates that drivers must opt-in , thus allowing public access to driver history records; authorizes disclosure of driver history records under certain circumstances; authorizes resale and redisclosure under certain conditions. Similar to SB 766. Rep. Sallie Heyman (D-N. Miami Beach)

SB 766 Motor Vehicle Records: Creates § 119.07(3)(z), F.S., to stipulate that personal information contained in any motor vehicle record is exempt upon request of the subject of such records. Similar to HB 717. S. Transportation Committee

SB 946 Exemption for Donors to Commission on Status of Women: Creates an exemption for donors to the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. Sen. Patsy Ann Kurth (D-Palm Bay)

SUNSET REVIEW

SB 668 Public Records Exemptions: Deletes several public records exemptions reviewed in 1995 under the Open Government Sunset Review Act that were not reenacted. Repealed exemptions include dropout and graduation information; student records and juvenile justice records; records of the Professional Golf Hall of Fame; HIV-test results; patient medical records; and inmate HIV test results. Also repeals § 213.30(3), F.S., exempting information on the identities of persons providing certain information to the Department of Revenue. S. Governmental Reform and Oversight Committee

  • Reported favorably by the S. Governmental Reform and Oversight Committee.

SB 894 Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995: Makes various changes to § 119.15, F.S., the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, to correct errors and omissions. S. Governmental Reform and Oversight Committee

PUBLIC MEETINGS

JUVENILE JUSTICE

HB 231 Restorative Justice Boards: Creates an exemption from § 286.011, F.S., for meetings of a Restorative Justice Board (to be created by HB 229) when the board is discussing or deliberating the appropriate sanctions or terms of resolutions for a juvenile matter pending before the board. Also creates an exemption from ch. 119, F.S., for all records generated at such closed meetings. Rep. Joe Arnall (R-Jacksonville Beach)

  • Amended by the H. Juvenile Justice Committee to require tape recordings of all closed meetings and to stipulate that records become public under certain conditions.

LITIGATION

SB 674 Sunshine in Litigation: Amends § 69.081(9), F.S., to exempt municipalities and counties from the requirement that public notice of settlements made by governmental entities be provided; amends § 164.106, F.S., to require public hearings for settlements by municipalities or counties of suits in excess of $5,000, unless the settlement agreement is entered into and funded by an insurer of the local government. Identical to HB 1115. Sen. Daryl Jones (D-Miami)

HB 1115 Sunshine in Litigation: Identical to SB 674. Rep. Tracy Stafford (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

BILLS OF INTEREST

JURORS

HB 129 Crimes Against Jurors: Amends § 918.21, F.S., to stipulate that the willful and malicious harassment of a grand or petit juror is a third degree felony; harassment with a threat of bodily harm is a second degree felony. Rep. Greg Gay (R-Cape Coral)

LIBRARIES

SB 606 Library Materials: Authorizes libraries to disclose information to local law enforcement officials for the purpose of recovering overdue library materials. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbour)

PUBLIC/PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS

HB 553 Privatization of State Programs and Services: Provides legal standards for public/private partnerships, and, in part, stipulates that all public/private partnerships are subject to the Public Records Law and the Open Meetings Law. House Governmental Operations Committee

VICTIM OF CRIME INFORMATION

SB 538 Protection of a Victim or Witness of a Crime: In part, requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to establish a protocol within each county for protecting a victim or witness to a crime, and requires local law enforcement agencies to identify any victim or witness who may be at risk of harm due to a verbal or written threat. Identical to SB 538. Sen. Tom Rossin (D-West Palm Beach)

HB 969 Protection of a Victim or Witness of a Crime: Identical to SB 538. Rep. Addie Greene (D-West Palm Beach)

FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES

ABORTION

HB 115 Woman’s Right to Know Act: Prohibits abortion except with the voluntary and informed consent of the woman upon whom the procedure is to be performed; stipulates that consent is voluntary and informed only if the woman is informed of the medical risks at least 24 hours prior to the abortion, and if the woman certifies in writing that the required information has been provided. Rep. Bob Brooks (R-Winter Park)

FLAG DESECRATION

SB 72 Desecration of the U.S. Flag: Prohibits any person from knowingly casting contempt upon the U.S. flag by publicly mutilating, defacing, defiling, burning, or trampling; provides a penalty of a first-degree misdemeanor. Sen. Charlie Crist, R-St. Petersburg)

PORNOGRAPHY

HB 1069 Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation: In part, amends computer pornography and child exploitation offenses in § 847.0135, F.S., to include the element of facilitating, encouraging, offering, or soliciting sexual conduct of or with a person believed to be a minor; defines the offense of knowingly using a computer or internet service to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child or person believed to be a child to commit an act relating to sexual battery, lewdness and indecent exposure, or child abuse; prohibits the owner or operator of a computer or internet service from knowingly permitting a subscriber to commit the offense; increases penalty from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony. Identical to SB 1074. Rep. Bob Sindler (D-Apopka)

SB 1074 Computer Pornography and Child Exploitation: Identical to HB 1069. Sen. Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

PRAYER

SB 66 Invocation or Benediction at Secondary School-Related Events: Authorizes individual district school boards to allow, by resolution, invocation or benediction at secondary school-related events, including commencement services, sporting events, or noncompulsory student assemblies, and requires that the invocation or benediction be at the discretion of the students, be given by a student, be nonsectarian and nonproselytizing in nature, and that school personnel not participate in or otherwise influence the determination of whether to use an invocation or benediction. Identical to HB 125. Sen. Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

HB 125 Invocation or Benediction at Secondary School-Related Events: Identical to SB 66. Rep. Randy Mackey, Jr. (D-Lake City)

HB 9019 National Day of Prayer in Florida: A House resolution acknowledging May 2, 1996, as The National Day of Prayer in Florida. Rep. George Albright (R-Ocala)

The First Amendment Foundation wishes to thank Florida Legislative Reporters for providing the Foundation with on-line access to its FAST System.

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