1997 Legislative Report for Period Ending April 18

Symbol Meaning
Current action
CS Committee Substitute
P Passed both Chambers
W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: April 18

CS/HB 95 Exemption for Individual Motor Vehicle Records: Implements the federal Driver’s Privacy & Protection Act; creates an exemption for personal identifying information contained in motor vehicle records upon request by the person who is the subject of the record; provides certain exceptions; authorizes disclosure of driver history records under certain circumstances; authorizes resale and redisclosure under certain conditions; increases the fee from $3 to $5 for copies of driver history records. Similar to CS/SB 2028. Rep. Sallie Heyman (D-N. Miami Beach)

  • House: Passed the House (112 – 0).

CS/HB 181 Exemption for Victims and Witnesses: Creates an exemption for identifying and locating information of victims of and witness to crimes obtained in connection with victim and witness protection services. Similar to SB 174. Rep. Addie L. Greene (D-West Palm Beach)

  • House: Passed the House (116 – 0).

SB 304 Journalists’ Shield Law: Creates an absolute privilege for confidential sources, stipulating that a professional journalists does not have to be a witness or disclose any information, including the identity of any source, that the journalist received in the course of gathering news; creates a qualified privilege for the same information, stipulating that the journalist does not have to disclose the information unless the party seeking the information can show that (1) the information is relevant and material to unresolved issues; (2) the information is not available from other sources; and (3) a compelling interest exists for requiring disclosure. Similar to CS/SB 71. Sen. Don Sullivan (R-Seminole)

  • S. Judiciary Committee: On the committee agenda for 4/18; action will be reported in next week’s report. Please call the Foundation if you want more information.

w HB 403 Exemption for Drug Testing Information: Creates an exemption for certain identifying information concerning drug testing of applicants to and participants in WAGES, Medicaid, and other public assistance programs. Similar to HB 1957. Rep. Evelyn Lynn (R – Ormond Beach)

  • House: Withdrawn from further consideration.

HB 605 Investigations/Health Care and Social Services Interns: Expands the current exemptions in §§ 455.225 and 455.261, F.S., for investigations of complaints against licensed health care and social services professionals to also include interns and provisional professionals. Identical to SB 660. Rep. Everett Kelly (D-Tavares)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Amended to create an exemption for all information and records generated by the Department of Health, its county health departments, and its agents or contractors, including information related to consumer complaints, investigations, or prosecutions, and patient records; reported favorably with two amendments.

SB 886 Exemption for Photographs of Law Enforcement Personnel: In part, stipulates that the exemption from the Public Records Law for photographs of active and former law enforcement personnel is inapplicable in the case of arrested personnel. Identical to HB 465. Sen. Doc Myers (R-Stuart)

  • S. Criminal Justice Committee: Not considered 4/15; on the agenda for 4/18. Action will be reported next week. Call the Foundation if you want more information.

CS/HB 901 Employee Assistance Program: Revises a provision exempting records and communications relating to a state employee’s participation in employee assistance programs. Also creates a similar exemption for county and municipal employees. Stipulates that the routine monitoring of employee telephone calls does not violate the exemption. Similar to SB 1832. Rep. Margo Fischer (D-St. Petersburg)

  • House: Passed the House (115 – 0).

SB 904 Exemption for Florida Surplus Lines Service Records: Creates an exemption for information filed by surplus lines agents with the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

  • S. Banking & Insurance Committee: Amended to create an exemption for initial risk-based capital reports and adjusted reports, risk-based capital plans and revised plans, and working papers and reports of examination or analysis of an insurer performed pursuant to a plan or corrective order or regulatory action; also exempts proceedings and hearings regarding such reports and plans; stipulates that the exemptions terminate one year following the conclusion of any risk-based capital plan, or on the date of entry of an order of seizure, rehabilitation, or liquidation; reported favorably as a CS. (Conforms to HB 1941)

SB 946 Domestic Violence/Confidentiality: Creates the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence; allows a victim of domestic violence to apply to the Secretary of State to have an address designated by the Secretary as the victim’s address of record; allows the victim to request that state and local agencies use the designated address in all public records; stipulates that the Secretary may not disclose the victim’s real address. Similar to HB 1637. Sen. Betty Holzendorf (D-Jacksonville)

  • S. Children, Families & Seniors Committee: Amended to transfer program from Secretary of State to Attorney General and to provide cap on state funding; reported favorably as a CS.
  • S. Governmental Reform & Oversight Committee: One technical amendment adopted; reported favorably.

w HB 1029 Public Safety Information Act: Creates the Public Safety Information Act; authorizes state or local law enforcement agencies to release public criminal offender information that is not exempt from public disclosure under the Public Records Law. Similar to CS/SB 514. Rep. Victor Crist (R-Temple Terrace)

  • House: Withdrawn from further consideration.

HB 1139 Exemption for Rabies Certificate Information: Prohibits disclosure of rabies certificate information in the aggregate or in list form, but allows inspection and copying of such certificates one at a time. Similar to SB 1580. Rep. Bob Sindler (D-Apopka)

  • House: Amended to allow limited access by the physician of any person who was been bitten, scratched or otherwise exposed to rabies and by the veterinarian treating the animal responsible to information in the rabies vaccination certificate, and to stipulate that any person, upon written request, may inspect or copy such certificates one at a time. Passed the House as amended [108 – 1 (Rep. Anne Mackenzie voting no)].

SB 1292 Exemption for Victims of Domestic Violence: Creates an exemption for certain personal information about participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence (see SB 946). Similar to HB 1639. Sen. Betty Holzendorf (D-Jacksonville)

  • S. Children, Families & Seniors Committee: Amendment to allow release of the exempt information under certain, specified conditions is adopted; reported favorably.
  • S. Governmental Reform & Oversight Committee: Amendment to clarify that the exemption created applies only to information provided to the Attorney General, and not to other public records is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment.

HB 1413 State Financial Matters: In part, allows the Department of Management Services to collect fees for the use of its “electronic information services;” stipulates that the fees, at a minimum, must be sufficient to cover the cost of providing the service, including overhead. Similar/identical to CS/SB 718. Rep. Alzo Reddick (D-Orlando)

  • H. Finance & Taxation Committee: Reported favorably as a CS.

HB 1433 Children and Family Services Records: Amends § 119.07(7), F.S., by providing for the release of records relating to investigations by the Department of Children and Family Services of the death of disabled adults, elderly person or children as a result of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or abandonment. Stipulates that a court must order that such records are exempt from disclosure if the Department or any person or organization shows a compelling interest requiring nondisclosure. Similar to CS/SB 888. Rep. Mary Brennan (D-Pinellas Park)

  • H. Children & Family Empowerment Committee: Amended to stipulate that such records are open except that identifying information in the records is exempt from public disclosure; reported favorably.

HB 1613 Exemption for Housing Assistance Information: Creates an exemption for medical history records, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, telephone numbers, and information related to health or property insurance furnished by an individual to any agency pursuant to federal, state, or local housing assistance programs. Similar to SB 240. Rep. Mandy Dawson-White (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Amended to make such information confidential and exempt, and to allow use of the exempt information by an agency in any administrative or judicial proceeding; reported favorably as a CS.

SB 1634 Complaints/Managed Care Ombudsman Committee: Creates an exemption for patient records and identifying information of complainant involved in complaint to a statewide or district managed care ombudsman committee. Identical to HB 511. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

  • S. Health Care Committee: Amended to also exempt those portions of committee meetings where patient records and information identifying a complainant are discussed; reported favorably.

HB 1637 Domestic Violence/Confidentiality: Creates the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence; allows a victim of domestic violence to apply to the Secretary of State to have an address designated by the Secretary as the victim’s address of record; allows the victim to request that state and local agencies use the designated address in all public records; stipulates that the Secretary may not disclose the victim’s actual address. Similar to SB 946. Rep. Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Amended to transfer program from Secretary of State to Attorney General; reported favorably as a CS.

HB 1639 Exemption for Victims of Domestic Violence: Creates an exemption for certain personal information about participants in the Address Confidentiality Program for Victims of Domestic Violence. Identical to SB 1292. Rep. Tony Hill (D-Jacksonville)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Amendment to allow release of the exempt information under certain, specified conditions is adopted; reported favorably as a CS.

SB 1812 Donors/Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida Graduates: Creates an exemption for donors to the Florida Endowment Foundation for Florida Graduates who desire to remain anonymous. Identical to HB 1945. Sen. Jim Horne (R-Jacksonville)

  • S. Education Committee: Reported favorably.

SB 1832 Employee Assistance Program: Revises a provision exempting records and communications relating to a state employee’s participation in employee assistance programs. Also creates a similar exemption for county and municipal employees. Similar to CS/HB 901. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

  • S. Community Affairs Committee: Reported favorably.

CS/CS/SB 2028 Driver History Records: Implements the federal Driver’s Privacy & Protection Act; creates an exemption for personal identifying information contained in motor vehicle records upon request by the person who is the subject of the record; provides certain exceptions; authorizes disclosure of driver history records under certain circumstances. Similar to CS/HB 95. Sen. Jim Hargrett (D-Tampa)

  • S. Ways & Means Committee: Not considered.

w SB 2160 Exemption for Advisory Committees: Creates an exemption to § 286.011, F.S., for meetings of an advisory committee established by any public agency or entity if the advisory committee does not have the power to bind the public agency and no more than one member of the public agency that created the advisory committee attends the closed meeting. Sen. Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

  • Senate: Withdrawn from further consideration.

SB 2430 Personal Financial Information/Housing Assistance Award: Creates an exemption for personal financial information provided by applicants for a housing assistance award administered by a local government entity; stipulates that such exemption is for a period of three years and does not apply to information related to action taken by the local government in processing a particular application. Also allows a party to petition a court for access to the exempt information. Sen. Buddy Dyer (D-Orlando)

  • S. Community Affairs Committee: Not considered 4/15; on the agenda for 4/18. Action will be reported next week. Call the Foundation if you want more information.

SB 2444 Background Screening Information/Direct Care Employees: Creates an exemption for information obtained in a background checks on direct care employees of assisted living facilities and adult day care centers. Also exempts notification of adverse incidents by a hospital or ambulatory surgical center to the Agency for Health Care Administration. Sen. Howard Forman (D-Hollywood)

  • S. Health Care Committee: Minor amendments adopted; reported favorably as a CS.

NEW BILLS FILED

HB 1995 Medical Practitioner Records: Creates an exemption for any patient name or information identifying a patient obtained by the Department of Health for the purpose of compiling a practitioner profile. Also exempts other information obtained by the Department in the compilation of a practitioner profile until such profile is submitted to the public. Identical to SB 884. Rep. Elaine Bloom (D-Miami Beach)

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This is the last week of regularly scheduled committee meetings in both the House and Senate, so in the final two weeks of session we will be concentrating almost entirely on floor action in each chamber. To date, no open government bills have passed the Senate. The following bills have passed the House, and are either in Senate Messages or referred to Senate committees:

CS/HB 37 Genetic Testing
CS/HB 95 Driver History Records and Fees
CS/HB 181 Exemption for Victims and Witnesses
CS/HB 493 Florida Violent Crime Council
CS/HB 901 Employee Assistance Program Records
CS/HB 1139 Exemption for Rabies Vaccination Certificates

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