1999 Legislative Report for Period Ending March 19

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: March 19

HB 43 Exemption for Motor Vehicle Records: Creates a Public Records Law exemption for all personally identifying information in motor vehicle records, amending the current provision in § 119.07(3)(bb), F.S., which requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to delete personal information in motor vehicle records only upon the written request of the subject of the record. Allows for access to the exempt information by private investigators, direct marketers, tow truck operators, rental car companies, insurance companies, law enforcement officers, employers, etc. Identical to SB 2110. Rep. Lindsay Harrington (R-Punta Gorda)

  • H. Transportation: Amended to: allow access to the exempt information by the media; stipulate that social security numbers will not be released; and repeal the provision allowing for the sale of driver’s licence photographs; reported favorably with three amendments.

SB 286 Criminal Use of Personal Identifying Information: Creates two new criminal offenses, stipulating that: (1) any person who fraudulently uses personal identification information without first obtaining the individual’s consent commits “fraudulent use of personal identification information,” a third degree felony; and (2) prohibts the wanton and malicious use of personal identification infomration, making such use a first degree misdemeanor. Similar to HB CS/HB 49. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

  • S. Criminal Justice: Amended to stipulate that any person who, without authorization, willfully possesses, uses, or attempts to use personal identification information for the purpose of harassment, commits “harassment by use of personal identification information,” a first degree misdemeanor, and to provide for restitution; reported favorably as a Committee Substitute.

HB 357 Public Hospitals/Written Strategic Plans Exemption: Creates an exemption for a hospital’s written strategic plans and for the meetings of a hospital’s board of directors at which such plans are discussed. Defines the term “written strategic plan” to include: initiate or acquire a new health service; expand an existing health service; acquire additional facilities; expand existing facilities; change the use of an existing or newly acquired facility; acquire, merge, or consolidate with another facility or provider; enter into a shared service arrangement; enter into or terminate a joint venture or transaction; or any combination of the above. Stipulates that “written strategic plan” does not include records describing existing operations, defined as the hiring of employees, the purchase of equipment, the placement of advertisements, and entering into contracts with physicians to perform medical services. Prohibits approval of a binding agreement to sell, lease, merge, or consolidate at a closed meeting. Similar to SB 1012. Rep. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey)

  • House: Amended to conform to SB 1012, (1) stipulating that a strategic plan, the disclosure of which could be used by a competitor to frustrate, circumvent, or exploit the purpose of the plan before it is implemented and which is not otherwise known or discoverable, is exempt from public access; and (2) stipulating that if the governing board closes a meeting to discuss a written strategic plan, then the board must hold a public meeting prior to placing the strategic plan into operation. Does not change the definition of “strategic plan”. Passed the House as amended, 111/2.

HB 511 Exemption for 911 Wireless Communication: Creates a number of exemptions to Florida’s Public Records Law: (1) exempts any information that may identify a person reporting an emergency or requesting emergency services through the use of wireless emergency 911 services while such information is in the custody of the public agency, public safety agency, or answering point receiving the initial emergency call; (2) the names and billing address of wireless service subscribers; and (3) trade secrets of wireless emergency 911 service providers. Similar to SB 180. Rep. Willie Logan (D-Opa locka)

  • H. Utilities & Communications: Minor amendment adopted; reported favorably with one amendment.

HB 839 Exemption for Entertainment Industry Records: Creates an exemption from the Public Records Law for certain information held by the Office of the Film Commissioner. Specifically, the bill stipulates that, upon written request by an entertainment industry private corporation, partnership, or person seeking to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in Florida, regarding the identity, trade secrets, or plans, intentions, or interests of the private corporation, partnership, or person is exempt from public disclosure unless the party seeking confidentiality releases such information or until the party retains a new or additional business location in Florida. Identical to SB 1766 and SB 2378; similar to SB 1928. H. Tourism Committee

  • H. Business Development & International Trade: Reported favorably.

HB 879 Health Information Privacy: Requires insurance carriers to limit disclosure of health information if an individual clearly states in writing that disclosure of such information could jeopardize the individual’s safety. Also requires insurance carriers to disclose health information pursuant to a subpoena or court order issued after a court’s determination that the public interest in disclosure outweighs the individual’s privacy interest and that the information is not otherwise reasonably available. Similar to SB 1828. Rep. Janegale Boyd (D-Monticello)

  • H. Insurance: One minor amendment adopted; reported favorably with one amendment.

HB 1015 Sale of Driver’s Photos: Repeals the provision enacted last year allowing for the sale of driver’s license photographs. Identical to SB 1898; similar to SB 1998. Rep. Tom Feeney

  • H. Transportation: Amended to add a provision creating the Task Force on Privacy and Technology for the purpose of studying and making recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on: (1) privacy issues under the constitution, the Public Records Law, and the impact of advances in information technology; (2) technology fraud; (3) balancing the constitutional right of access with the need to protect privacy; and (4) the sale of public records to private individuals and companies; reported favorably with one amendment.

HB 1081 Exemption for Health Care Employees: Creates a public records exemption for the home address, telephone number, social security number, and photograph of active or former employees of any health care facility or rural hospital and their spouses and children. Similar to SB 1498. Rep. J. Dudley Goodlette (R-Naples)

  • H. Health Care Licensing & Regulation: Amended to limit the exemption to current employees of any licensed health care facility; reported favorably.

HB 1461 Lottery Department Exemption: Creates public records exemptions for the following information obtained by the Lottery Department: (1) trade secrets; (2) security measures, systems, or procedures; (3) security reports; (4) bids or other contractual data; (5) employee personnel information unrelated to compensation, duties, qualifications, or responsibilities; (6) investigative information obtained by the Division of Security; and (7) the street address and telephone number of video lottery game winners. Similar to SB 2178. Rep. Dave Bitner (R-Port Charlotte)

  • H. Regulated Industries: One minor amendment adopted; reported favorably with one amendment.

NEW BILLS FILED

COMMERCIAL AND BUSINESS RECORDS

SB 2350 Exemption for Eminent Domain Records: Creates a public records exemption for business records provided by the owner of a business to a governmental condemning authority as part of an offer of damages. Similar to SB 68. Sen. Lisa Carlton (R-Osprey)

THIS LEGISLATION, CREATING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS.

SB 2378 Exemption for Entertainment Industry Records: Creates an exemption from the Public Records Law for certain information held by the Office of the Film Commissioner. Specifically, the bill stipulates that, upon written request by an entertainment industry private corporation, partnership, or person seeking to locate, relocate, or expand any of its business activities in Florida, regarding the identity, trade secrets, or plans, intentions, or interests of the private corporation, partnership, or person is exempt from public disclosure unless the party seeking confidentiality releases such information or until the party retains a new or additional business location in Florida. Identical to HB 839 and SB 1766; similar to SB 1928. Sen. Ron Silver (D-North Miami)

🙁 THE BILL STATES THIS LEGISLATION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT WHAT COULD BE “DELICATE” CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS COMMON TO THE PRE-PRODUCTION STAGE OF AN ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY BUSINESS VENTURE WHICH OCCUR PRIOR TO RETAINING A BUSINESS LOCATION IN THE STATE. SIMILAR TO OTHER EXEMPTIONS FOR BUSINESSES SEEKING TO RELOCATE TO FLORIDA, THIS BILL IS OVERBROAD AS DRAFTED, BUT IS LIMITED IN DURATION.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE and LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION

HB 1879 State Child Abuse Death Review Committee: Creates three exemptions: (1) all reports and records of the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or local committee relating solely to child fatalities and which discuss specific persons or incidents; (2) any information that would identify the deceased’s surviving siblings, family members, or others living in the home in records created by the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or local committee; and (3) portions of meetings or proceedings of the Committee or local committee relating to child fatalities, during which specific persons or incidents are discussed. Also stipulates that any exempt information obtained by the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or local committee retains its exempt status, as does exempt information obtained by a hospital or health care practitioner obtained from the State Child Abuse Death Review Committee or local committee. Further stipulates that any violation of the exemption is a first degree misdemeanor. Similar to SB 928. Rep. Sandra Murman (R-Tampa)

THIS LEGISLATION, CREATING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS.

HEALTH CARE INFORMATION and HOSPITAL RECORDS

HB 1843 Adverse Incidents/Medical and Osteopathic Physicians: Creates a public records exemption for adverse incident reports filed with the Department of Health by a medical or osteopathic physician. (“Adverse incident” is defined as incidents resulting in one of the following: death of a patient; brain or spinal damage; performance of a surgical procedure on the wrong patient; performance of a wrong-site surgical procedure; performance of a wrong surgical procedure; and performance of a medically unnecessary procedure.) No Senate companion. H. Health Care Licensing & Regulation Committee

🙁 THE CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY PROVIDES THAT THE PURPOSE OF THIS LEGISLATION IS TO PROTECT INFORMATION ABOUT THE IDENTITY OF PATIENTS CONTAINED IN NOTICES OF ADVERSE INCIDENTS. THE LEGISLATION EXEMPTS ALL INFORMATION IN THE NOTICE, AN EXEMPTION FAR BROADER THAN THE STATED PURPOSE, VIOLATING THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT THAT EXEMPTIONS BE NO BROADER THAN THE STATED PURPOSE. WE MUST ALSO QUESTION WHETHER IT IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY TO KEEP THIS INFORMATION FROM THE PUBLIC.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

SB 2488 Sale of Driver’s Photos: Repeals the provision enacted last year allowing the sale of driver’s license photographs. Similar to HB 1015 and SB 1998; identical to SB 1898. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

THIS LEGISLATION UNDOES WHAT THE LEGISLATURE DID LAST YEAR—ALLOW FOR THE SALE OF DRIVER’S LICENSE PHOTOS FOR USE BY A COMPANY DEVELOPING ANTI-CHECK FRAUD TECHNOLOGY. INTERESTINGLY, DRIVER’S PHOTOS ARE EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE. THE BILL DOES NOT EFFECT THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS.

SOCIAL SERVICES

SB 2470 Cash Assistance Programs/Records & Meetings: Creates an exemption for any meeting held by the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Labor and Employment Security, the Department of Health, the Department of Revenue, the WAGES Program State Board of Directors, or service providers under contract to any of the above, at which information is discussed which identifies individuals. Stipulates that the exemption is required by federal law. Also creates a public records exemption for identifying information in records acquired by the above listed agencies and service providers. Provides for release of the exempt information under certain, specified circumstances. Similar to HB 1575. Sen. George Kirkpatrick (R-Gainesville)

THIS LEGISLATION, CREATING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, APPEARS TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS.

STUDENT RECORDS

SB 2486 Student Disciplinary Records: Allows a postsecondary educational agency or institution to disclose disciplinary records containing information that identifies a student who has committed a violent crime that is in violation of institutional policy and is a violation of law or a specific institutional policy, if the records are directly related to such misconduct. No House companion. Sen. Ron Klein (D-Delray Beach)

🙂 THIS BILL NOT ONLY BROADENS THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, IT IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY.

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If you’d like more information about any of these bills, or any other public access legislation, please call Barbara Petersen at (800) 337-3518, or (850) 222-3518.

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