2000 Legislative Report for Period Ending March 24

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: March 24

HB 27 Funding of Legislative Projects: Establishes a formal review process for legislative projects not recommended by the Governor or a state agency (better known as “turkeys”), requiring a public hearing in both the House and the Senate, and that such projects meet certain minimum criteria. Identical to SB 330. Rep. Sharon Merchant (R-Palm Beach Gardens)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Reported favorably.

CS/CS/HB 505 Direct Support Organizations: Prohibits contributions by university and community college direct support organizations to political campaigns or political action committees unrelated to the educational mission of the university or community college. Similar to CS/SB 890. Rep. Annie Betancourt (D-Miami)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: Reported favorably.

SB 836 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. Similar to HB 1617. Sen. Jim Horne (R-Orange Park)

  • Senate: Passed the Senate (39/0); in House Messages.

CS/SB 1002 Blueprints/Educational Facilities: Creates a public records exemption for sensitive parts of blueprints of educational facilities. Also creates a public meetings exemption for those portions of all meetings or proceedings relating solely to the exempt blueprints. Requires the Department of Education or the State Board of Education, and the Board of Regents to prescribe, by rule, the exempt information relating to the blueprints, stipulating that to be confidential, the information must be necessary to the security and integrity of the educational facility. Allows access to certain, specified people, including law enforcement officers, emergency medical service providers, employees of the educational facility, and parent or guardians. No House companion. Sen. Education Committee

  • Senate: An amendment by Sen. Anna Cowin (R-Leesburg) deleting the reference to the Board of Regents requirement is adopted; passed the Senate (39/0) as amended. In House Messages.

HB 1037 Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force: Creates a public records exemption for records obtained or produced by a domestic violence fatality prevention task force statutorily authorized to review fatal and near fatal incidents of domestic violence Also creates a public meetings exemption for the proceedings and meetings of the task force regarding domestic violence fatalities and their prevention. Identical to SB 1126. Rep. Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie)

  • H. Family Law & Children Committee: A “strike everything” amendment offered by Rep. Pruitt (1) deleting the public records exemption; (2) stipulating that confidential records obtained by a domestic violence fatality prevention task force retain their confidential status; and (3) narrowing the public meetings exemption to apply to only those meetings during which the identity of a victim or the children of the victim is discussed, is adopted. Reported favorably as a committee substitute.

SB 1108 Public Corruption Investigation Records: Amends the current exemption for the identity of confidential sources to make such information confidential and exempt. Stipulates that the information may be released only upon an order of the court and a showing of good cause. No House companion. Sen. Jim Sebesta (R.- St. Petersburg)

  • Senate: Passed the Senate (39/0); in House Messages.

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)

  • H. Governmental Operations Committee: A “strike everything” amendment creating a public records exemption for all personally identifying information contained in records relating to an individual’s personal health made or received by the DOH or its service providers and allowing for disclosure of such information only upon written consent of the individual, is adopted. Reported favorably as a committee substitute.

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. Identical to HB 2083. Sen. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Miami)

  • S. Judiciary Committee: Reported favorably.

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)

  • S. Regulated Industries Committee: Amendments offered by Sen. Betty Holzendorf (D-Jacksonville) and Sen. Mandy Dawson (D-Ft. Lauderdale) to (1) include franchised cable companies within the exemption; (2) define “proprietary confidential business information” as “maps, plans, billing and payment records, trade secrets, or other information relating to the provision of or facilities for communications service that is intended to be and is treated by the company as confidential and is not otherwise publicly available”; and (3) specifically exclude schematics indicating the location of facilities from the definition of “proprietary confidential business information”, are adopted. Reported favorably (6/1) as a committee substitute.

SB 2082 Exemption/Abandoned Infants: Creates a public records exemption for the identity of parents who leave a newborn infant with a hospital. Identical to HB 1902. Sen. John Grant (R-Tampa)

  • S. Judiciary Committee: Reported favorably (4/2).

SB 2280 Child Abuse Records/Guardian Ad Litem: Creates a public records exemption for all records held by a guardian ad litem in cases regarding allegations of abuse, neglect, or abandonment of a child. No House companion. Sen. Richard Mitchell (D-Jasper)

  • S. Judiciary Committee: Reported favorably.

NEW BILLS FILED

CRIMINAL JUSTICE and LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION

HB 2003 Pawnshop Transaction Records: Creates a public records exemption for all records relating to secondhand goods acquisitions provided to a local law enforcement agency. No Senate companion. Rep. Elaine Bloom (D-Miami Beach)

THE PROPOSED EXEMPTION FOR INFORMATION RELATING TO SECONDHAND GOODS ACQUISITIONS PROVIDED TO LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES MIRRORS THE CURRENT EXEMPTION FOR PAWNBROKER TRANSACTION RECORDS [§ 539.003(1), F.S.] . THIS BILL IS TIED TO HB 903, REQUIRING LAW ENFORCEMENT TO COLLECT AND MAINTAIN A DATA BASE OF SECONDHAND GOODS TRANSACTIONS. HB 903 HAD A SINGLE SUBJECT PROBLEM, AND REP. BLOOM HAS STRIPPED OUT THE EXEMPTION FROM HB 903 AND FILED NEW LEGISLATION, HB 2003 TO ADDRESS THE CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUES WE RAISED REGARDING HB 903. INTERESTINGLY, SEN. SKIP CAMPBELL HAS WITHDRAWN THE SENATE COMPANION TO HB 903 AND HB 2003.

GENERAL

HB 2075 Information Technology Management: In part, extends the authority of the Task Force on Privacy and Technology, created during the 1999 legislative session (HB 1015) which was to make recommendations to the Legislature regarding privacy, public records, and the use of advanced technologies; technology fraud, including the illegal use of a citizen’s identity and credit; balancing the openness of public records with the need to protect privacy and the identity of individuals; and the sale of public records to private individuals and companies, until February, 2001. Similar to SB 2474. H. Utilities & Communications Committee

SB 2474 Information Technology Management: Similar to HB 2075. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

THIS BILL DOES NOT EFFECT THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, BUT THE TASK FORCE ON PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY BEARS WATCHING. THE FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION IS REPRESENTED ON THE TASK FORCE, AND WILL REPORT ON ANY ACTION TAKEN.

HB 2083 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. Identical to SB 1620. Rep. Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale)

🙁 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 2502 Public Records and Meetings: Expresses the intent of the Legislature to ensure that exemptions from public records and meetings requirements are enacted in compliance with the constitutional right of access, Article I, s. 24, of the Florida Constitution. No House companion. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

🙂 YEAH!!! ARTICLE I, S. 24, OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION, CONTAINS A STANDARD FOR CREATION OF EXEMPTIONS TO THE SUNSHINE LAW AND THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAW AND ALL EXEMPTIONS MUST COMPLY WITH THAT STANDARD. ALTHOUGH IT SEEMS LIKE A NO-BRAINER, IT’S ENCOURAGING THAT OUR SENATE INTENDS TO PASS ONLY THOSE EXEMPTIONS THAT ARE IN COMPLIANCE. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE, HOWEVER, THAT THEIR INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARD IS CONSISTENT WITH OURS.

JUDICIAL RECORDS

SJR 396 Meetings/Judicial Nominating Commissions: Proposes an amendment to Article V, section 11, of the Florida Constitution, to make all meetings of judicial nominating commissions public, unless there is a specific statutory exemption. Similar to HJR 923. Sen. Anna Cowin (R-Leesburg)

HJR 923 Meetings/Judicial Nominating Commissions: Similar to SJR 396, except that HJR 923 simply stipulates that all meetings of such commissions are open to the public. Similar to SJR 396. Rep. Fred Brummer (R-Apopka)

🙂 I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS ONE SLIPPED BY US, BUT IT DID! CURRENTLY, ART. V, S. 11, FLA. CON., SAYS THAT ALL MEETINGS OF THE JUDICIAL NOMINATING COMMISSIONS ARE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC EXCEPT FOR DELIBERATIONS REGARDING NOMINEES. SJR 396 AND HJR 923 WOULD REQUIRE THAT THOSE DELIBERATIONS WOULD BE OPEN AS WELL. IF THIS LEGISLATION PASSES, AND WE HOPE IT DOES, IT WILL BE UP TO THE PUBLIC TO APPROVE THE AMENDMENT IN THE GENERAL ELECTION IN NOVEMBER, 2000.

MEDICAL INFORMATION

HB 2027 Patient-Identifying Information: Creates a public records exemption for any patient-identifying information contained in medical records received by the Department of Insurance (DOI). Identical to SB 2486. Rep. Elaine Bloom (D-Miami Beach)

SB 2486 Patient-Identifying Information: Identical to HB 2027. Sen. Howard Forman (D-Cooper City)

THESE BILLS ARE TIED TO LEGISLATION (HB 2029 AND SB 2496) ESTABLISHING REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DOI TO DETERMINE WHETHER HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES PROVIDE BENEFITS THAT ARE REASONABLE IN RELATION TO PREMIUM RATES. THE EXEMPTION BILLS ARE NARROWLY DRAWN AND MEET THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THE CREATION OF NEW EXEMPTIONS.

PERSONAL INFORMATION

HB 1967 Exemption for Motor Vehicle Records: Creates a public records 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., but limits access to social security numbers and medical and disability information. Allows access upon express written consent of the subject of the record. No Senate companion. Rep. Lindsay Harrington (R-Punta Gorda)

🙁 THE STATED PURPOSE OF THIS LAW IS TO PREVENT INDIVIDUALS FROM OBTAINING PERSONAL INFORMATION FOR MALICIOUS PURPOSES. HOWEVER, HB 1967 CLOSES ACCESS TO ALL MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS, PRESUMING THAT THOSE ACCESSING SUCH RECORDS INTEND TO HARM THE SUBJECTS OF THE RECORDS. IN CLOSING ACCESS TO ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION IN ALL MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS, HB 1967 IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD, VIOLATING THE STANDARD FOR THE CREATION OF NEW EXEMPTIONS FOUND IN ARTICLE I, SECTION 24, OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION. BUT: CONGRESS AMENDED THE FEDERAL DRIVER’S PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT LAST YEAR, REQUIRING ALL STATES TO EXEMPT ALL PERSONAL IDENTIFYING INFORMATION IN DRIVER’S HISTORY RECORDS. THE PROBLEM IS, THE LANGUAGE IN THE AMENDMENT IS NOT CLEAR, AND WE’RE TRYING TO OBTAIN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW THE FEDERAL LAW IS TO BE APPLIED.

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