1998 Legislative Report for Period Ending March 13

Symbol Meaning
Current action
CS Committee Substitute
P Passed both Chambers
W Withdrawn from further consideration
97 Bills carried over from 1997 Session

For Period Ending: March 13

SB 112 Exemption for Employee Assistance Program Records: Creates a public records exemption for all records and communications concerning a state, municipal, or county employee’s participation in an employee substance abuse program. Similar to CS/HB 901. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

  • Senate: Passed the Senate, 34-0. In House Messages.

SB 198 Exemption for Lethal Injection Records: Creates a public records exemption for information that would identify the person administering the lethal injection. Identical to SB 1248; similar to CS/HB 3053. Sen. Ron Klein (D-Delray Beach)

  • Senate: Laid on table; CS/HB 3053 substituted. SEE CS/HB 3053.

SB 348 Exemption for Video-Taped Statements of Minors: Creates a public records exemption for the video-taped statements of minors who are the victims of certain, specified sexual crimes. Similar to CS/HB 1105. Sen. Anna Cowin (R-Leesburg), and others.

  • Senate: Amended to stipulate that only that information identifying the victim is exempt; passed the Senate as amended, 33-0. In House Messages.

SB 746 Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association: Creates public records exemptions for certain, specified files and reports of the Florida Automobile JUA. Also creates an exemption for portions of meetings during which confidential underwriting files or confidential open claims files are discussed, but stipulates that closed portions of meetings must be recorded by a court reporter, and that the transcript of the closed portion of the meeting becomes public after settlement of the claim. Similar to CS/HB 1887. Sen. Charles Williams (D-Live Oak)

  • S. Banking & Insurance Committee: Reported favorably.

SB 1134 Rabies Vaccination Certificates: Creates a public records exemption for the name, address, and telephone number of animal owners contained in rabies vaccination certificates. Allows for disclosure only at the animal control authority, only in paper forms, only one certificate at a time, and only if the requester makes the request using the name or address of the animal owner. Similar to HB 1139. Sen. Charlie Bronson (R-Indian Harbour Beach)

  • S. Agriculture Committee: Reported favorably.

p CS/HB 3053 Exemption for Lethal Injection Records: Creates a public records exemption for information that would identify the person administering the lethal injection. Similar to SB 198 and SB 1248. Rep. Tracy Stafford (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

  • House: Minor amendment adopted; passed the House, 104-6.
  • Senate: Substituted for SB 198; passed the Senate, 36-0. ENROLLED

CS/HB 3311 AHCA/Exemption for Notification of Adverse Incidents: Creates an exemption for information contained in notifications of adverse incidents reported to AHCA. Also stipulates that such information is not discoverable or admissible in civil or administrative actions. Nearly identical to SB 316. H. Health Care Standards & Regulatory Reform; Rep. Burt Saunders (R-Naples)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Minor amendment adopted; reported favorably as a CS.

HB 3585 Private Corporations/Public Hospital Lease: Stipulates that a private corporation leasing a public hospital or other public health care facility is not a “person acting on behalf of” the public hospital or other public health care facility for the purposes of constitutional guarantee of access to the records and meetings of government agencies and any private agency doing business on behalf of a government agency (Art. I, s. 24, Fla. Con.). Identical to SB 1044. Rep. Durell Peaden (R-Crestview)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Amended to conform with Art. I, s. 24, Fla. Con., adding a statement of public necessity. Reported favorably as a CS.

HB 3605 Public Hospital Meetings & Records: Defines the term “written strategic plans” (for the purposes of current exemptions in § 395.3035, F.S.) to include plans to: initiate, acquire, or expand new or existing health services or facilities; change all or part of the use of an existing facility or a newly acquired facility; acquire, merge, or consolidate with another health care facility or provider; enter into a shared service arrangement with another health care provider; enter into certain permitted transactions; and/or market the services of the hospital. Also creates an exemption for those portions of a board meeting at which written strategic plans are modified or approved by the hospital governing board. Identical to SB 1170. Rep. Michael Fasano (R-New Port Richey)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Two amendments adopted—(1) allows closure of meetings not only when written strategic plans are discussed, but also when such plans are “reported on, modified, or approved”’ (2) changes the language from “the term ‘strategic plan’ means any plan to” to “the term ‘strategic plan’ means any record which describes actions or activities to”, thus broadening the exemption. Reported favorably as a CS.

NEW BILLS FILED

CRIMINAL JUSTICE and LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION

SB 1776 Public Notification/Sexual Predators: Stipulates that within 48 hours of receiving notice of the temporary or permanent residence of a sexual predator in the community, the sheriff or chief of police must notify all day care centers, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools within the proximity of the sexual predator’s residence. Identical to HB 3737. Sen. Betty Holzendorf (D-Jacksonville)

ALTHOUGH THIS LEGISLATION DOES NOT HAVE ANY EFFECT ON THE PUBLIC’S CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF ACCESS, IT MAY BE OF SOME INTEREST TO FOUNDATION MEMBERS.

ENHANCING PUBLIC ACCESS

HB 4109 County Clerks Public Records Access Act: Stipulates that the clerks of court of each county must provide Internet access no later than December 31, 1999, without additional charge or obligation to the public, to the following public records and information: deeds, mortgages, tax liens, and real property transactions; minute of county commission meetings and agendas of future meetings; marriage licenses and orders of dissolution of any marriage; all final judgments; information to assist domestic violence victims; information assisting in obtaining child support and alimony; jury service information; and a listing of all felony criminal sentences imposed in the preceding year. Identical to SB 1604. Rep. Victor Crist (R-Temple Terrace)

🙂 YEAH! THIS IS A VERY GOOD BILL, AND WE’RE PLEASED TO SEE THE HOUSE COMPANION TO SB 1604. THIS LEGISLATION, WHICH MAY FACE OPPOSITION FROM THE CLERK’S ASSOCIATION, DESERVES OUR LOUD AND ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT.

HEALTH CARE INFORMATION and HOSPITAL RECORDS

HB 4123 Nursing Home Employees: Creates a public records exemption for criminal records, juvenile records, or abuse registry information obtained by the Agency for Health Care Administration in connection with background screening of nursing home employees. No Senate companion. H. Committee on Elder Affairs; Rep. Bob Brooks (R-Winter Park)

THERE ARE LOTS OF SIMILAR EXEMPTIONS FOR VARIOUS TYPES OF EMPLOYEES, AND ALTHOUGH WE’RE NOT CRAZY ABOUT THIS LEGISLATION, IT’S DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE TO STOP THIS TYPE OF EXEMPTION.

INSURANCE INFORMATION

HB 4021 FAIR/Insurance Records & Meetings: Stipulates that the Florida FAIR (Florida Access to Insurance Requirements) Plan Association is subject to the Public Records Law and Open Meetings Law. Creates numerous, limited exemptions for association records, including underwriting files; the identity of policies of the Florida Residential Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association until such policies are removed; claims files, until termination of all claims; records obtained or generated by an internal auditor, until the audit is completed; attorney-client communication; proprietary information licensed to the association; all information relating to the medical condition or status of an association employee not relevant to the employee’s job performance; all records relating to an employee’s participation in an employee assistance program; and information relating to negotiations for financing, reinsurance, depopulation, or contractual services, until the conclusion of the negotiations. Also exempts portions of meetings in which confidential underwriting files or open claims files are discussed, but requires the presence of a court reporter, and stipulates that transcripts of such closed meetings become public record at the conclusion of the litigation or the settlement of claims. Similar to SB 1480. Rep. Fred Lippman (D-Hollywood)

ALTHOUGH THIS LEGISLATION CREATES MANY NEW EXEMPTIONS, THOSE EXEMPTIONS ARE SIMILAR TO THOSE PROPOSED FOR THE AUTOMOBILE JUA, AND ARE NARROWLY DRAWN AS REQUIRED BY FLORIDA’S CONSTITUTION (ART. I, S. 24).

PERSONAL INFORMATION

SB 1738 Exemption for Florida Graduates Program: Creates a public records exemption for the identity of donors to the Florida Graduates Program who desire to remain anonymous. Nearly identical to HB 1945. Sen. Jim Horne (R-Orange Park)

THIS LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAW MEETS THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIRE-MENTS FOR NEW EXEMPTIONS.

SUNSHINE LAW

SB 1894 Executive Branch/Sunshine Law: States that the Legislature intends to revise the laws relating to the executive branch of government holding meetings in the sunshine. No House companion. Sen. Charlie Crist (R-St. Petersburg)

? THIS IS A VERY CURIOUS BILL, AND WE HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO TALK TO ANYONE IN SEN. CRIST’S OFFICE ABOUT ITS PURPOSE. IT SEEMS TO BE A “SHELL” BILL, MEANING THAT IT WILL BE AMENDED TO REVISE § 286.011, F.S., FLORIDA’S SUNSHINE LAW.

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