2002 Legislative Report for Period Ending February 15

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: February 15

HB 95 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 CS/SB 392. Rep. Allen Trovillion (R-Winter Park)

  • H. Fiscal Policy Committee: Reported favorably. Now in H. Council for Smarter Government.

HB 131 Public Library Registration & Circulation Records: Revises the public records exemption for public library registration and circulation records to allow access by the parent or guardian of library patrons under the age of 16 for the purpose of collecting fines or overdue materials. Identical to SB 368. Rep. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach)

  • House: Passed the House (115/0). Now in Senate Messages.

HB 147 Citizen’s Right to Honest Government: In pertinent part, HB 147 prohibits the disclosure of active criminal investigative or intelligence information by a “public servant” with the intention of obstructing, impeding, or preventing a criminal investigation or prosecution if the information is not available to the general public and is gained by reason of the public servant’s official position. Also prohibits the disclosure of material information concerning a bid or other aspects of the competitive bidding process when such information is not publicly disclosed, and the concealment, destruction, mutilation, or alteration of any official record or document. Finally, stipulates that a person who provides information regarding suspected criminal violations committed by a public servant shall be considered a confidential informant or confidential source. No Senate companion. Rep. Randy Ball (R-Titusville)

  • H. Council for Smarter Government: A minor, technical amendment is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute.

SB 476 OGSR/Deepwater Ports: Reenacts s. 315.18, F.S., providing a public records exemption for any proposal or counterproposal exchanged between a non-governmental entity and a deepwater port, and for financial records submitted by such entities relating to the sale, use, or lease of land. Identical to SB 476. H. State Administration Similar to HB 275. S. Transportation

  • Senate: A strike all amendment, conforming SB 476 to its House companion, is adopted; SB 476 is tabled and HB 275 is substituted. HB 275 rolled to third reading.

SB 498 Campaign Finance/Candidate Records: Requires any person purchasing a political advertisement naming or depicting a candidate for office during the 60 days before an election to disclose the source of the funds expended, the amount expended, and the recipient of the funds. Stipulates who is responsible for maintaining such information. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

  • S. Ethics & Elections Committee: A proposed committee substitute combines substance of this bill and SB 1124. SB 498 is tabled; see CS/SB 1842.

HB 539 Records Retention: Amends various statutory provisions relating to retention of public records, clarifying retention requirements. Also reorganizes chapter 119, F.S., Florida’s Public Records Law, deleting redundant provisions, grouping together similar topics, and streamlining the chapter and organizing it in a more logical fashion. Similar to SB 274. H. Tourism Committee

  • H. Council for Smarter Government: A minor amendment is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute.

HB 543 Abandoned Property Records: As amended, creates a public record exemption for social security numbers and financial account numbers in reports to the Department of Banking and Finance of abandoned or unclaimed property. Similar to CS/SB 468. Rep. Nancy Detert (R-Venice)

  • House: Passed the House (117/0). In Senate Messages.

CS/SB 638 Health Care Records: Creates a public records exemption for patient identifying information reported to the Department of Legal Affairs under the electronic system for monitoring the prescribing of controlled substances. Allows the Department to release the information under specified conditions. Similar to HB 699. Sen. Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: A strike all amendment making minor, technical changes and conforming the bill to its House companion, is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Rules.

SB 668 Study Commission/Court Records: Creates a Study Commission on Public Records, with members to be appointed by the House Speaker, the Senate President, the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Association of Circuit Court Clerks and Comptroller, and the Florida Bar, for the purpose of developing policy guidelines and recommending changes to court procedures, rules, organizational structure, and laws governing privacy, confidentiality, admissibility of evidence, and public access. Requires the Commission to address certain, specified issues relating to on-line and Internet access to court records containing sensitive information. Places a moratorium on the placement of court records on the Internet. No House companion. S. Judiciary Committee

  • S. Judiciary Committee: A strike all amendment, conforming the bill to its House companion and specifically allowing access to official records by licensed title insurance companies, is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute (7/2; Sens. Campbell and Silver voting no). Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

HB 699 Health Care Records: Creates a public records exemption for all information and records reported to the Department of Legal Affairs under the electronic system for monitoring the prescribing of controlled substances. Allows the Department to release the information under specified conditions. Similar to CS/SB 638. Rep. Larry Crow (R-Dunedin)

  • H. State Administration Committee: A strike all amendment, narrowing the exemption to protect only personal identifying information regarding a patient, is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. Health Regulation.

HB 769 Student Assessment Data: As amended, creates a public records exemption for data disclosing personal identifying information about a teacher and the effects of instruction by such teacher on a student in the possession of the Department of Education or the State Board of Education. Similar to SB 1762. Rep. J.D. Alexander (R-Winter Haven)

  • H. General Education Committee: One technical amendment adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in H. Council for Lifelong Learning.

HB 777 Qualified Defense Tax Refund Program: Creates a public records exemption for certain, specified business information received under tax refund programs for qualified defense contractors, qualified aviation-industry businesses, and qualified target-industry businesses, by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED), Enterprise Florida, or county or municipal governments and their employees. Such exempt information includes: applicant’s federal tax identification number and Florida sales tax registration number; the percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the past 5 taxable years; the amount of sales and use taxes, corporate income taxes, intangible personal property taxes, emergency excise taxes, excise taxes on document, and ad valorem taxes paid during the past 5 fiscal years; trade secret information; and information relating to the wages paid for jobs created when submitted as part of a claim for a tax refund and as evidence of achievement of performance. Stipulates that such information is exempt for the duration of the tax refund agreement or 10 years, whichever is earlier. Similar to HB 1639 and SB 2240. Rep. Bev Kilmer (R-Marianna)

  • H. State Administration Committee: A strike all amendment, narrowing the exemption for information relating to the wages paid for jobs created to exempt anticipated wages for project jobs and the average wage actually paid, is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. Council for Competitive Commerce.

HB 1067 Abandoned Newborns: Expands the exemption in s. 383.51, F.S., for the identity of parents leaving newborn infants at hospitals or fire stations to also include emergency medical services stations. Similar to SB 1222. H. Health Promotion

  • H. Council for Healthy Communities: A minor amendment is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now on House Calendar.

HB 1123 Criminal Use of Public Records: Stipulates that a person who knowingly uses public records or information obtained from public records to further or facilitate the commission of a crime commits, in addition to the underlying offense, a first degree misdemeanor or third degree felony. Identical to SB 140. Rep. Roger Wishner (D-Plantation)

  • H. State Administration Committee: Reported favorably. Now in H. Crime Prevention.

SB 1124 Election Reporting Requirements: Redefines the terms “political committee”, “independent expenditure”, “issue”, and “communications media” for the purpose of campaign contribution reporting requirements. Also revises the requirements for reporting campaign contributions, as well as the penalty provisions for failure to report. No House companion. Sen. Howard Futch (R-Indialantic)

  • S. Ethics & Elections Committee: A proposed committee substitute combines substance of this bill and SB 498. SB 1124 is tabled; see CS/SB 1842.

HB 1313 DCFS/Investigation Records: Makes it a crime for any person to “knowingly falsify, alter, destroy, deface, overwrite, remove, or discard” records of the Department of Children and Family Services relating to investigations of child abuse or abuse of the elderly. Provides penalties. No Senate companion. H. Committee on Child & Family Security

  • H. Crime Prevention Committee: Reported favorably. Now in H. Council for Healthy Communities.

HB 1355 DOI/Workpapers: Creates a public record exemption for workpapers prepared or received by the Department of Insurance (DOI) in the performance of an examination or investigation of insurers. Similar to SB 1478. Rep. David Mealor (R-Lake Mary)

  • H. Insurance Committee: An amendment to (1) also exempt workpapers and information received from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) in connection with investigations or examinations; (2) require NAIC and government entities receiving the exempt information to maintain the exempt status; and (3) stipulate that the exempt information may be used in a criminal, civil, or administrative proceeding as long as the exempt status is maintained, is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. State Administration.

SB 1406 Telecommunications Service Tax Audits: Creates a public record exemption for any information received by a local government in connection with an audit of public service taxes collected by a telecommunications service provider. Requires that the exempt information must be provided to the Department of Revenue (DOR) upon request. Stipulates that the exemption is retroactive, regardless of whether the audit was begun before the effective date of the exemption. Similar to HB 1487. Sen. Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie)

  • S. Regulated Industries Committee: An amendment removing the requirement that the exempt information be provided to the DOR is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

SB 1494 Pharmacists/Adverse Incident Reports: Creates a public record exemption for information contained in a notice of adverse incident which would identify a patient, pharmacist, pharmacy, office, or entity by name, location or other identifiers provided to the Department of Health, until 10 days after probable cause has been found that a violation of law occurred. Similar to HB 1509. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

  • S. Health Committee: A number of technical amendments adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute (7/1; Sen. Wasserman Schultz voting no). Now in S. Health.

SB 1534 Personal Identifying Information/ParaTransit Services: Creates a public records exemption for personal identifying information in records relating to an individual’s health or eligibility for paratransit services under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act that are made or received by local governments or their service providers. Allows for disclosure of the exempt information with the express written consent of the individual, in a medical emergency, or by order of a court upon a showing of good cause. Similar to HB 687. Sen. Jim Sebesta (R-St. Petersburg)

  • S. Transportation Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

SB 1600 Physicians/Adverse Incident Reports: Creates a public records exemption for information contained in notices of adverse incidents filed with the Department of Health (DOH) by physicians (pursuant to s. 458.351, F.S.) and osteopathic physicians. Also stipulates that the information in an adverse incident report may not be made available to the public as part of an investigation or disciplinary proceeding by DOH. “Adverse incident” is defined as an event over which the physician could exercise control resulting in death, brain or spinal damage, performance of a surgical procedure on the wrong patient, or performance of a wrong-site surgical procedure. Similar to HB 875. Sen. Charlie Clary (R-Destin)

  • S. Health Committee: Reported favorably (6/2; Sens. Campbell and Wasserman Schultz voting no). Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

SB 1648 Judiciary: Expresses legislative intent to enact legislation concerning the judiciary. No House companion. S. Judiciary

  • S. Judiciary Committee: A strike all amendment, creating a public record exemption for (1) social security numbers contained in court records; and (2) all oral or written communications or documents, including written documents of the mediator, in a presuit or voluntary mediation proceedings, is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

HB 1673 Social Security Numbers: Creates a public record exemption for social security numbers held by an agency, allowing access by another governmental entity if necessary in performance of its duties and responsibilities. Stipulates that a commercial entity engaged in a commercial activity (defined in s. 14.203, F.S.) may have access for legitimate business purposes if: (1) the entity reasonably identifies itself and the purpose of the request; and (2) makes the request in writing. Provides a penalty for anyone making a false representation in order to obtain a social security number. “Legitimate business purpose” is defined as verification of the accuracy of personal information; use in civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings; use for insurance purposes; and use in research activities. Public disclosure of social security numbers and the bulk sale of such numbers are specifically not included in the definition. Requires each agency to report those requesting access to social security numbers by the end of each year. Finally, prohibits an agency from collecting social security numbers unless authorized by law to do so or unless the collection of such numbers is imperative for the performance of the agency’s governmental duties. Applies retroactively. Similar to SB 1588. H. State Administration

  • H. Council for Smarter Government: An amendment to the definition of “legitimate business purpose” to stipulate that bulk sale of social security numbers to the general public is not allowed, but allowing bulk sale for a legitimate business purpose, is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute.

HB 1675 Bank Account & Charge Card Numbers: Reenacts (and slightly modifies) a public record exemption for bank account numbers and debit, charge, and credit card numbers held by a government agency. A similar exemption sunsetted in October 2001 due to the Legislature’s failure to reenact the exemption during the 2001 session. (See HB 383 & SB 632, 2001 Session) Similar to SB 1230. H. State Administration

  • H. Council for Smarter Government: Reported favorably. Now on House Calendar.

CS/SB 1842 Election Reporting Requirements: As amended, redefines the terms “political committee”, “independent expenditure”, “issue”, and “communications media” (adding the Internet to the list of “communication media”) for the purpose of campaign contribution reporting requirements. Also revises the requirements for reporting campaign contributions, as well as the penalty provisions for failure to report. Requires any person sponsoring or funding an election advertisement to file regular reports of all contributions received and all expenditures made, stipulating that such reports must contain the same information and are subject to the same filing requirements as reports required of candidates under s. 106.07, F.S. Similar to various House bills. S. Ethics & Elections Committee; Sen. Tom Lee (R-Brandon)

  • S. Ethics & Elections Committee: An extensive proposed committee bill combining, and amending, the substance of SB 498 and SB 1124, is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on Senate Calendar.

SB 2036 Food-Borne Illness Investigations: Creates a public record exemption for records, documents, and information concerning an investigation of food-borne illness by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, plans developed under the Hazard Analyses Critical Control Point system, and any other records also exempt under federal law. Similar to HB 1547. Sen. Steven Geller (D-Hallandale Beach)

  • S. Agriculture Committee: A strike all amendment conforming the bill to its House companion is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

NEW BILLS FILED

HB 1679 Study Commission/Court Records: Creates a Study Commission on Public Records, with members to be appointed by the House Speaker, the Senate President, the Governor, the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Association of Circuit Court Clerks and Comptroller, and the Florida Bar, for the purpose of developing policy guidelines and recommending changes to court procedures, rules, organizational structure, and laws governing privacy, confidentiality, admissibility of evidence, and public access. Requires the Commission to address certain, specified issues relating to on-line and Internet access to court records containing sensitive information. Places a moratorium on the posting of public records on the Internet by the clerks Similar to SB 668. H. State Administration

ALTHOUGH THIS BILL DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, THE ACTIVITIES OF THE STUDY COMMISSION MUST BE CLOSELY MONITORED. THE BILL REQUIRES APPOINTMENT OF A REPRESENTATIVE OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT FOUNDATION TO THE COMMISSION, SO WE WILL BE ASSURED, AT LEAST, A VOICE IN THE COMMISSION’S WORK.
• H. Council for Smarter Government:

HB 1767 DOI/Personal Financial and Identifying Information: Creates a public record exemption for bank account numbers; debit, charge and credit card numbers; all personal identifying information contained in financial and patient records; and other individual financial and health information held by the Department of Insurance or its service providers. No Senate companion. Rep. Bob Allen (R-Merritt Island)

WE ARE NOT OPPOSED TO THIS EXEMPTION, BUT MUST QUESTION THE NEED FOR IT, AS IT SIMPLY DUPLICATES OTHER LEGISLATIVE PROPOSALS THAT EXEMPT THE SAME INFORMATION IN ALL PUBLIC RECORDS, NOT JUST THOSE HELD BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE.

HB 1769 Unsolicited Proposals/Transportation Facilities: Creates a public record exemption for unsolicited proposals for public/private transportation facilities received by the Department of Transportation. Identical to SB 2370. Rep. Bill Andrews (R-Delray Beach)

ALTHOUGH WE DON’T OBJECT TO THE INTENT OF THIS LEGISLATION, TO PROTECT THE PROPRIETARY BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THOSE SUBMITTING UNSOLICITED BIDS, WE BELIEVE THAT THOSE PROPOSALS SHOULD BECOME PUBLICLY-AVAILABLE PRIOR TO ACTION BY THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION.

SB 2370 Unsolicited Proposals/Transportation Facilities: Identical to HB 1769. Sen. Bill Posey (R-Rockledge)

SB 2416 Lists of Public Employees: Creates a public record exemption for the home mailing addresses, physical home addresses, and home telephone numbers of public employees in compiled or list form. Authorizes release of such lists to a government agency engaged in official business and to a bargaining agent, but stipulates that such lists may not be provided to the public. Further stipulates that a person may view or copy an individual’s personnel records at the employee’s employing agency, one record at a time, or may obtain information by a separate written request concerning a named employee for which information is desired. No House companion. Sen. Rudy Garcia (R-Hialeah)

🙁 VERY SIMILAR TO A BILL FILED LAST YEAR, SB 2128, WHICH WE ALSO HATED! THE STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY SAYS DISCLOSURE OF A LIST OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEES DOES NOT SERVE “AN OFFICIAL PUBLIC PURPOSE” — SINCE WHEN DO WE DECIDE THE ISSUE OF ACCESS BASED ON WHAT IS, OR IS NOT, AN OFFICIAL PUBLIC PURPOSE? THE LEGISLATURE IS NOT ALLOWED TO CREATE EXEMPTIONS BASED ON WHAT THEY THINK WE NEED TO KNOW BUT STRICTLY ON THE BASIS OF WHAT THEY FIND IT NECESSARY THAT WE NOT KNOW. THIS BILL IS OFFENSIVE TO OUR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF ACCESS!

SB 2430 Qualified Defense Tax Refund Program: Creates a public records exemption for certain, specified business information received under tax refund programs for qualified defense contractors, qualified aviation-industry businesses, and qualified target-industry businesses, by the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED), Enterprise Florida, or county or municipal governments and their employees. Such exempt information includes: applicant’s federal tax identification number and Florida sales tax registration number; the percentage of the applicant’s gross receipts derived from Department of Defense contracts during the past 5 taxable years; the amount of sales and use taxes, corporate income taxes, intangible personal property taxes, emergency excise taxes, excise taxes on document, ad valorem taxes, and aviation fuel taxes paid during the 5 fiscal years immediately preceding the application date; trade secret information; and information relating to the wages paid for jobs created when submitted as part of a claim for a tax refund and as evidence of achievement of performance. Stipulates that such information is exempt for the duration of the tax refund agreement or 10 years, whichever is earlier. Similar to HB 777, HB 1639, and SB 2240. Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R-Miami)

🙁 THIS BILL IS A SLIGHT EXPANSION AND REENACTMENT OF S. 288.1066, F.S., WHICH WAS NOT REENACTED DURING THE 2001 SESSION AND THEREFORE SUNSETTED ON OCTOBER 2. WE HAVE SOME CONCERN WITH THE EXEMPTION FOR INFORMATION RELATING TO WAGES PAID FOR JOBS CREATED UNDER THE TAX REFUND PROGRAM. AS WE UNDERSTAND IT, QUALIFIED APPLICANTS UNDER THESE TAX PROGRAMS RECEIVE A TAX REFUND IN RETURN FOR CREATING NEW JOBS AND INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES. AN EXEMPTION FOR THE INFORMATION USED BY GOVERNMENT TO GAGE THE PERFORMANCE OF QUALIFIED APPLICANT PRECLUDES ANY OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC OVERSIGHT AND IS BAD PUBLIC POLICY.

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