2000 Legislative Report for Period Ending March 10

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: March 10

CS/HB 505 Donors/Direct Support Organizations: Deletes the current exemption for the identity of donors to a university [§ 240.299(4)] or community college [§ 240.331(6)] direct support organization (DSO). Also prohibits contributions by such direct support organizations to political campaigns or political action committees. Identical to SB 890. Rep. Annie Betancourt (D-Miami)

  • H. Colleges & Universities Committee: A “strike everything” amendment retaining the current exemption for the identity of the donors is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. (CS/HB 505 contains only the prohibition on contributions and does not delete the exemption for the identity of donors to DSOs.)

CS/HB 633 Release of Student Records: Authorizes the release of personally identifiable student records to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles and the Department of Children and Family Services for certain, specified purposes. Also clarifies provisions regarding the release of student directory information, requiring schools to provide written notification prior to the release of the information and to obtain written authorization for such release. Adds definitions of “disclosure” and “personally identifiable information”. CS/HB 633 also amends the provision allowing parents and students to challenge student records through the hearing process, stipulating that the hearing is exempt from the Open Meetings Law upon request of the parent or student. Identical to CS/SB 848. Rep. J.D. Alexander (R-Frostproof)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Reported favorably

CS/SB 890 Donors/Direct Support Organizations: Deletes the current exemption for the identity of donors to a university [§ 240.299(4)] or community college [§ 240.331(6)] direct support organization (DSO). Also prohibits contributions by such direct support organizations to political campaigns or political action committees. Similar to CS/HB 505. Sen. Patsy Ann Kurth (D-Palm Bay)

  • S. Ethics & Elections Committee: A “strike everything” amendment retaining the current exemption for the identity of the donors is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. (Like its companion, CS/HB 505, CS/SB 890 contains only the prohibition on contributions and does not delete the exemption for the identity of donors to DSOs.)

HB 1099 Campaign Treasurer’s Reports: Creates a public records exemption for personal identification numbers and computer security algorithms required to maintain the security of information submitted or received through the electronic filing system for campaign treasurer’s reports as required by HB 1097 (amending § 106.0705, F.S., to require the electronic filing of campaign contribution and expenditure reports if such contributions or expenditures exceed an aggregate of $10,000). Identical to SB 1874. Rep. Mark Flanagan (R-Bradenton)

  • H. Election Reform Committee: Reported favorably.

w SB 1128 Pawnshop Transaction Records: Requires local law enforcement agencies to transfer information regarding pawnshop and secondhand-goods transactions to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) and requires FDLE to create and maintain a database of such transactions. Prohibits FDLE from selling the information without legislative authority and stipulates that the database established by FDLE may be accessed by a law enforcement agency for official investigative purposes only. ALSO creates a public records exemption for all records relating to secondhand goods acquisitions provided to a local law enforcement agency. Identical to HB 903. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

  • Senate: Withdrawn from further consideration

NEW BILLS FILED

COMMERCIAL and BUSINESS INFORMATION

SB 1690 Trade Secrets/Procurement: Creates a public records exemption for trade secrets received by an agency procuring commodities or services if the vendor files the trade secret information with an affidavit of confidentiality and the agency receiving the information is satisfied as to the facial validity of the claim of confidentiality. Allows for administrative or judicial review of the claim of confidentiality. No House companion. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

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

SB 1846 Telecommunications/Proprietary Business Information: Creates a public records exemption for proprietary confidential business information, including maps, records or other information, relating to the provision of telecommunications services, obtained from a telecommunications company by local government for the purpose of regulating the public rights-of-way. No House companion. Sen. Jim Horne (R-Orange Park)

? THIS LEGISLATION SEEMS NARROWLY DRAWN, THUS COMPLYING WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARD, BUT WE’RE GOING TO WITHHOLD JUDGMENT UNTIL WE CAN LEARN MORE. WE’LL LET YOU KNOW WHAT WE FIND OUT.

SB 1872 Certified Capital Companies: Creates a public records exemption for any information relating to an investigation or review of a CAPCO, including consumer complaints, is exempt until the investigation is complete or no longer active, stipulating that: if the investigative or review records are submitted to a law enforcement or administrative agency for further investigation, then the records remain confidential and exempt until completion of the subsequent investigation; and consumer complaints and other information will remain exempt if disclosure would reveal a trade secret, jeopardize the integrity of another active investigation or review, or disclose the identity of an confidential source or investigative techniques or procedures. Also creates exemptions for (1) the home addresses and telephone numbers of Department of Banking and Finance personnel involved in CAPCO investigations or reviews that might endanger their lives or physical safety or that of their families; (2) all information obtained by the Department which is made available on a confidential or restricted basis (this exemption does not apply to information which must be filed with the Department); and (3) the social security numbers of CAPCO customers, complainants, or persons associated with CAPCOs. In addition, authorizes the presiding officer in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding to prevent disclosure of the exempt information and creates a privilege against civil liability to those providing information or evidence to the department. Similar to CS/HB 439. Sen. Don Sullivan (R-St. Petersburg)

🙁 CERTIFIED CAPITAL COMPANIES (CAPCOS) ARE STATUTORILY AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE VENTURE CAPITAL FOR INVESTMENT IN NEW AND EXPANDING FLORIDA BUSINESSES; IN RETURN, THE CAPCOS RECEIVE TAX CREDITS WHICH ARE ALLOCATED TO THEIR PRINCIPALS OVER A PERIOD OF TEN YEARS. THE DEPARTMENT OF BANKING AND FINANCE IS CHARGED WITH ADMINISTERING THE APPLICATION PROCESS FOR THE CAPCO PROGRAM, AND HAS CERTIFIED THREE CAPCOS. THE DEADLINE FOR CERTIFICATION HAS EXPIRED, AND THE DEPARTMENT MUST NOW OVERSEE THE CONTINUED CERTIFICATION OF THE THREE CAPCOS. IT’S NOT CLEAR WHY THESE RECORDS, WHICH HAVE BEEN PUBLIC UP TO THIS POINT, NEED PROTECTION UNDER THIS BROAD EXEMPTION. ALSO, ALTHOUGH THERE ARE ONLY THREE CAPCOS AT THIS POINT, SHOULD THE PROGRAM BE RE-AUTHORIZED, ALL THE RECORDS WOULD BE EXEMPT UNDER THIS BILL. THE EXEMPTION IS, WE BELIEVE, OVERBROAD, AND DOES NOT ALLOW FOR PUBLIC OVERSIGHT OF THE PROGRAM.

SB 2078 Exemption/Economic Development Data: Expresses legislative intent to create a public records exemption for international trade and economic development data. No House companion. Sen. George Kirkpatrick (R-Gainesville)

??? OH, OH. LIKE SB 1850 REPORTED BELOW, THIS IS A “SHELL” BILL WAITING FOR A SUBSTANTIVE AMENDMENT. WE DON’T MUCH LIKE THESE BILLS, AND WILL KEEP A CLOSE WATCH ON IT.

EMPLOYMENT INFORMATION

HB 1477 Home Addresses/Local Government Employees: Creates a public records exemption for the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and photographs of current or former human resource, labor relations, or employee relations employees of any local government agency whose duties include hiring and firing employees, labor contract negotiation, administration, or other personnel-related duties. Also exempts the same information for the spouses and children of such employees. No Senate companion. Rep. Greg Gay (R-Cape Coral)

🙁 THIS BILL ADDS TO THE GROWING LIST OF EXEMPTIONS FOR CERTAIN GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND, BY DEFINITION, COULD INCLUDE NEARLY EVERY LOCAL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE. THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY STATES THAT THE INFORMATION MUST BE EXEMPT BECAUSE SUCH EMPLOYEES COULD BE THREATENED OR HARMED. THIS BILL IS SIMILAR TO LEGISLATION FILED LAST YEAR, SB 1718, WHICH DIED IN COMMITTEE.

ETHICS AND ELECTIONS

SB 1874 Campaign Treasurer’s Reports: Creates a public records exemption for personal identification numbers and computer security algorithms required to maintain the security of information submitted or received through the electronic filing system for campaign treasurer’s reports. Identical to HB 1099. Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R-Miami)

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

GENERAL

SB 1620 Lawyer/Client Privilege: Stipulates that Florida’s Public Records Law and Sunshine Law cannot be construed as waiving the lawyer/client privilege except for communications contained in a public record or made in a public meeting. No House companion. Sen. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami)

🙁 HUH? WE’RE NOT SURE WHAT THIS BILL IS TRYING TO DO OR WHY IT’S BEEN FILED. ALTHOUGH THE BILL DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, IT’S FUTURE APPLICATION AND INTERPRETATION COULD PROVE BOTHERSOME.

SB 1850 Public Records/Intent to Modify Statutes: Declares that it is the intent of the Legislature to enact a law modifying the statutes with respect to public records. No House companion. Sen. George Kirkpatrick (R-Gainesville)

??? OH, OH. WHAT’S UP WITH THIS? MOST LIKELY, THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED A “SHELL BILL”, FILED IN ORDER TO MEET THE DEADLINE FOR FILING NEW LEGISLATION WITH THE INTENT OF COMING BACK LATER IN THE SESSION AND MORE OR LESS FILING IN THE BLANKS—IN THIS CASE, PROBABLY AMENDING THE BILL TO CREATE A NEW EXEMPTION OF SOME SORT, OR TO LIMIT PUBLIC ACCESS IN SOME WAY. WE ALWAYS KEEP A SHARP EYE ON SEN. KIRKPATRICK’S BILLS, AND OUR ATTENTION TO THIS ONE WILL BE EVEN SHARPER THAN NORMAL.

HEALTH CARE and HOSPITAL INFORMATION

HB 1479 Department of Health/Epilepsy Services: Creates a public records exemption for all information and records held by the Department of Health (DOH) that would identify an individual applying for or receiving epilepsy services. Specifies under what condition the exempt information may be released. Similar to SB 2032. Rep. Durrell Peaden (R-Crestview)

SB 2032 Department of Health/Epilepsy Services: Similar to HB 1479. Sen. Charlie Clary (R-Destin)

🙁 THE INTENT OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO PROTECT CLIENTS OF THE EPILEPSY SERVICES PROGRAM FROM, AMONG OTHER THINGS, EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION, AND NOTES THAT EPILEPSY IS RECOGNIZED AS DISABILITY UNDER THE FEDERAL AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT. WE DON’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE INTENT OF THE EXEMPTION, BUT, AS DRAFTED, THE BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD.

HB 1510 Managed Care Dispute Mediation: Stipulates that meetings of the statewide provider and managed care claim dispute mediation panel are open to the public. Creates a public meetings exemption for those portions of panel meetings disclosing sensitive or personal medical treatment or history, trade secret, or information relating to internal risk management programs as determined by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) or the Department of Insurance (DOI). Requires a court reporter to record the closed meeting. No House companion. Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Brooksville)

? THIS LEGISLATION, CREATING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, SEEMS TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS. HOWEVER, THE BILL SHOULD BE AMENDED TO CREATE A TIME CERTAIN FOR RELEASE OF THE COURT REPORTER’S RECORD OF THE CLOSED MEETING.

HB 1591 Negotiations/Health Care Providers and Insurers: Creates a public records exemption for all information and documents obtained by or disclosed to the Attorney General regarding petitions relating to joint negotiations between health care providers and health care insurers. Allows disclosure of such records if the provider contract provisions containing payment rates and fees are deleted. No House companion. Rep. Al Lawson (D-Tallahassee)

🙁 WE ARE ALWAYS JUST A LITTLE SUSPICIOUS OF BILLS THAT CLOSE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE RECORDS, AND HB 1591 DOESN’T DO MUCH TO ALLAY THAT SUSPICION. THIS BILL IS TIED TO SUBSTANTIVE LEGISLATION REGARDING ATTORNEY GENERAL ANTI-TRUST INVESTIGATIONS. THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY IN HB 1591 IMPLIES THAT THIS PROPOSED EXEMPTION IS JUSTIFIED BECAUSE THE SUBJECTS OF ANTI-TRUST INVESTIGATIONS WILL BE LESS LIKELY TO LIE IF THEIR ANSWERS ARE EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE. EXCUSE ME? OUR LEGISLATURE WANTS TO PROVIDE AN INCENTIVE TO TELL THE TRUTH BY CREATING AN EXCEPTION TO OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF ACCESS? LAST I HEARD, PERJURY WAS A CRIME.

SB 1858 Hospital Report Cards: Amends § 395.0197(18), F.S., requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to annually publish hospital report cards summarizing information contained in annual incident reports submitted by the hospitals and disciplinary action reported to AHCA. Stipulates that such report cards must include, among other things, the number of adverse incidents at each hospital and a listing of the types of operations, diagnostic or treatment procedures, or other actions that resulted in the adverse incidents. No House companion. Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Brooksville)

🙂 WE LIKE THIS BILL! CURRENT LAW [§ 395.0197(18)] REQUIRES THAT AHCA MAKE HOSPITAL REPORT CARDS AVAILABLE, BUT SEN. BROWN-WAITE’S BILL WOULD EXPAND THE INFORMATION THAT MUST BE REPORTED TO THE PUBLIC TO INCLUDE THE INFORMATION ON ADVERSE INCIDENTS. THIS IS AS IT SHOULD BE. RECENT FIGURES FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOW THAT 98,000 PEOPLE DIE FROM MEDICAL MISTAKES EACH YEAR IN THIS COUNTRY (THE 8TH LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH), AND CONGRESS IS NOW CONSIDERING LEGISLATION THAT WOULD REQUIRE ALL HOSPITALS TO MAKE INFORMATION ABOUT SUCH INCIDENTS PUBLICLY AVAILABLE. INTERESTINGLY, OUR LEGISLATURE PASSED A LAW IN 1998 THAT EXEMPTS FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE ALL INFORMATION IN HOSPITAL ADVERSE INCIDENT REPORTS, AND THERE ARE BILLS FILED THIS YEAR (HB 829 AND SB 992) THAT WOULD EXEMPT ADVERSE INCIDENTS REPORTED BY DOCTORS.

SB 2082 Exemption/Abandoned Infants: Creates a public records exemption for the identity of parents who leave a newborn infant with a hospital. No House companion. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

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

LOTTERY INFORMATION

SB 1588 Lottery Department/1-900 Telephone Service: Creates a public records exemption for winning lottery numbers and payout information provided to the public through the Department’s 1-900 telephone service, stipulating that such information is confidential and exempt. No House companion. Sen. Jim Horne (R-Orange Park)

? LET’S SEE IF WE’VE GOT THIS STRAIGHT—THE DEPARTMENT AND SEN. HORNE WANT TO EXEMPT INFORMATION PROVIDED THROUGH THE 1-900 SERVICE WHILE STILL PROVIDING THE INFORMATION THROUGH THE 1-900 SERVICE. HUH? THIS LEGISLATION IS TRULY ODD, AND WAS FILED IN DIRECT RESPONSE TO A CLASS-ACTION LAW SUIT FILED IN LEON COUNTY, DELUISE V. DEPARTMENT OF THE LOTTERY SEEKING A REFUND FOR EVERYONE WHO HAS USED THE 1-900 SERVICE SINCE 1995. [SECOND JUDICIAL CIRCUIT COURT, CASE NO. 99-3999] APPARENTLY, THE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES QUITE A BIT OF MONEY FROM THE 1-900 SERVICE, AND IS ANXIOUS TO PROTECT AN IMPORTANT SOURCE OF REVENUE. IF THE WINNING LOTTERY NUMBERS AND PAYOUT INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE FROM A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT SOURCES, AS STATED IN THE BILL, THEN THERE IS NO JUSTIFICATION FOR THE EXEMPTION AS REQUIRED BY ARTICLE I, SECTION 24, OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

SB 1556 Identifying Information/Cash Assistance Programs: Creates a public meetings exemptions for portions of meetings held by certain, specified agencies at which information identifying individuals who have applied for or are receiving temporary cash assistance will be discussed. Also creates a public records exemption for information identifying such individuals. Identical to HB 429. Sen. Charlie Clary (R-Destin)

ACCORDING TO THE STAFF ANALYSIS, THIS EXEMPTION IS REQUIRED UNDER FEDERAL LAW IN ORDER FOR THE STATE TO MAINTAIN ITS ELIGIBILITY FOR FEDERALLY-FUNDED ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. FURTHERMORE, THE EXEMPTION IS NARROWLY DRAWN AND SEEMS TO COMPLY WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS.

SCHOOLS and UNIVERSITIES

HB 1617 Account Information/College Savings Program: Creates a public records exemption for information that identifies the benefactors or designated beneficiaries of college savings program accounts. Authorizes release of the exempt information to community colleges and universities under certain, specified circumstances. Identical to SB 836. Rep. Jerry Melvin (R-Ft. Walton Beach)

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

SECURITY INFORMATION AND PLANS

HB 1621 Seaport Security Plans: Creates a public records exemption for seaport security plans of a county or municipal seaport department or a seaport authority created by the Legislature. Also exempts photographs, maps, blueprints, drawings, and similar material if a seaport department or authority determines that such items contain information that is not generally known and that could jeopardize seaport security. Stipulates that real estate leases, layout plans and related blueprints are not exempt and specifically limits the exemptions to records held by a seaport authority or seaport department that operates a seaport. Similar to SB 1256. H. Transportation Committee

  • H. Financial Services Committee: Reported favorably
    • THIS LEGISLATION, CREATING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR CREATING NEW EXEMPTIONS. HOWEVER, IN LIGHT OF A RECENT INTERPRETATION OF A SIMILAR EXEMPTION FOR AIRPORT SECURITY PLANS, WE HAVE SUGGESTED THAT THE WORD “PLAN” BE DEFINED.

FIRST AMENDMENT ISSUES

SB 1716 Public Libraries and Obscenity: Requires all libraries that provide public access to the Internet to install and maintain computer software that prohibits access to materials containing obscene descriptions, photographs, or depictions on at least half of the library’s public-use computers. Similar to HB 1081. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

SB 1986 Executions/Media Access: Stipulates that provisions enacted during Special Session A regarding the Department of Correction’s authority to adopt policies and procedures relating to executions cannot be construed to permit blocking media access. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

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