2002 Legislative Report for Period Ending February 8

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: February 8

SB 86 Learning Gateway Program Records: Creates a public records exemption for the individual records of children enrolled in Learning Gateway programs. Stipulates that such records include assessment data, health data, records of teacher observations, and identifying data, including the child’s name, address, and social security number. No House companion. Sen. Ken Pruitt (R-Port St. Lucie)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: A minor, technical amendment is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Rules.

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. Crime Prevention Committee: Reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. Council for Smarter Government.

HB 273 OGSR/Ethics Commission Meetings & Records: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 112.324, F.S., providing an exemption for records relating to complaints filed with the Commission on Ethics and preliminary investigations conducted by the Commission until the complaint is dismissed as legally insufficient, until the alleged violator requests in writing that the records be made public, or until a finding of probable cause. Also exempts proceedings conducted by the Commission pursuant to a complaint or preliminary investigation. Identical to SB 352. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 109/1 (Rep. Annie Betancourt voting no). Now in S. Messages.

HB 275 OGSR/Deepwater Ports: Reenacts, without change, 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

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 277 OGSR/Practitioner Profiles: Reenacts, with minor technical changes, s. 456.046, F.S., providing an exemption for patient names and identifying information obtained by the Department of Health for the purpose of creating practitioner profiles, stipulating that other data received by DOH is exempt until the profile is made public. Similar to SB 250. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 279 Health Care Practitioners: Amends the definition of “license” and “licensee” under s. 456.011, F.S., to include provisional licenses and provisional licensees. Also deletes public record and meeting exemptions in ss. 490.00515 and 491.0047 for information relating to impaired health care practitioners who hold provisional licenses or are provisional licensees. Note, however, that the information retains its exempt status due to the definitional change. Identical to SB 252. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 281 OGSR/Risk-Based Capital Information: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 624.40851, F.S., providing an exemption for risk-based capital reports, plans, and working plans made by, furnished to, or filed with the Department of Insurance, and proceedings and hearings related to such reports or plans. Virtually identical to SB 238. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 283 OGSR/Managed Care Ombudsman Committee Records & Meetings: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 641.67, F.S., providing an exemption for patient records and identifying information held by statewide and district managed care ombudsman, and s. 641.68, F.S., exempting portions of committee meetings where such information is discussed. Identical to SB 254. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 285 OGSR/Victim & Witness Information: Reenacts, with minor technical changes, s. 914.27, F.S., providing an exemption for information held by any state or local law enforcement agency, state attorney, the statewide prosecutor, the Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee, or FDLE which discloses the identity or location of a victim or witness who has been identified or certified for protection or relocation. Section 914.27 also exempts the identity or location information of victim or witness family members, relocations sites, techniques, and procedures and permanent relocation information. Identical to SB 394. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HB 287 OGSR/Florida Violent Crime Council: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 943.031(7), F.S., providing an exemption for portions of meetings of the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council at which active criminal investigative or active criminal intelligence information is discussed. Tape recordings, minutes, and notes generated during the closed portions of such meetings are exempt until the criminal investigation or criminal intelligence information ceases to be active. Identical to SB 396. H. State Administration

  • House: Passed the House, 114/0. Now in S. Messages.

HJR 327 Public Records & Meetings Exemptions: Proposes an amendment to Article I, section 24, of the Florida Constitution, stipulating that any exemption by the Legislature to the public’s constitutional right of access must be passed by a two-thirds vote of each house. No Senate companion. Rep. John Carassas (R-Largo)

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

SB 352 OGSR/Ethics Commission Meetings & Records: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 112.324, F.S., providing an exemption for records relating to complaints filed with the Commission on Ethics and preliminary investigations conducted by the Commission until the complaint is dismissed as legally insufficient, until the alleged violator requests in writing that the records be made public, or until a finding of probable cause. Also exempts proceedings conducted by the Commission pursuant to a complaint or preliminary investigation. Identical to HB 273. S. Ethics & Elections

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

CS/SB 378 Public Utility Records: Creates a public records exemption for information held by a public utility company that would identify a customer of such utility, including name; social security number; tax identification number; address; telephone number; bank account, debit, charge or credit card numbers; and driver identification number. Similar to CS/HB 445. Sen. Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: An amendment conforming the constitutionally-required statement of public necessity to the actual exemption is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Rules.

CS/SB 392 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. Identical to HB 95 and SB 404. Sen. Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: Combined with SB 404; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Comprehensive Planning.

CS/SB 404 Public Libraries and Obscenity: Identical to HB 95 and SB 392. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: Combined with SB 392; tabled. See CS/SB 392.

HB 431 Identifying Information/Guardian Ad Litem: Creates a public record exemption for the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and photographs of current or former staff and certified volunteers of the child guardian ad litem programs. Also exempts similar information for spouses, and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such persons. Similar to SB 1112. Rep. Ken Sorenson (R-Key Largo)

  • House: Passed the House (117/0). Now in S. Messages.

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. State Administration: A lengthy “strike all” amendment making minor, technical and clarifying changes is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. Council for Smarter Government.

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. Identical to HB 699. Sen. Locke Burt (R-Ormond Beach)

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

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

  • H. State Administration Committee: A “strike all” amendment narrowing the exemption to prohibit disclosure of personal identifying information about teachers (deleting the exemption for such information about “other instructional personnel”) is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in H. Council for Smarter Government.

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. State Administration Committee: Reported favorably. Now in H. Council for Healthy Communities.

SB 1112 Identifying Information/Guardian Ad Litem: Creates a public record exemption for the home addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, and photographs of current or former staff and certified volunteers of child guardian ad litem programs. Also exempts similar information for spouses, and the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by the children of such persons. Identical to HB 431. Sen. Rudy Garcia (R-Miami)

  • S. Children & Families: An amendment clarifying the scope of the exemption is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

SJR 1284 Public Records & Meetings Exemptions: Proposes an amendment to Article I, section 24, of the Florida Constitution, stipulating that any exemption by the Legislature to the public’s constitutional right of access must be passed by a two-thirds vote of each house. Similar to HJR 327. Sen. Jack Latvala (R-Palm Harbor)

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

NEW BILLS FILED

HB 1445 Learning Gateway Program Records: Creates a public records exemption for the individual records of children enrolled in Learning Gateway programs. Stipulates that such records include assessment data, health data, records of teacher observations, and identifying data, including the child’s name, address, and social security number. Identical to SB 86. Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Port St.Lucie)

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

HB 1487 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. Stipulates that the exemption is retroactive, regardless of whether the audit was begun before the effective date of the exemption. Similar to SB 1406. Rep. Stacy Ritter (D-Coral Springs)

🙁 PUBLIC OVERSIGHT? FORGET IT!!!! ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THE EXEMPTION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE BUSINESS INTERESTS OF THE TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICE PROVIDER AND THE SECURITY OF THE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK. HOW?????

HB 1495 and HB 1663 Investigative Incident Report: HB 1495 defines “investigative incident report” as a “nonjudicial record maintained by a criminal justice agency which documents criminal investigative activity, including, but not limited to, the facts and circumstances relating to alleged or suspected criminal activity, and for which there is a final decision by the criminal justice agency that an arrest will not be made and criminal charges will not be filed . . .”. Authorizes a court to seal such reports if the subject of a report complies with certain, specified conditions. HB 1663 creates a public record exemption for investigative incident reports sealed by a court, stipulating that the report is available only to the person who is the subject of the report, the subject’s attorney, criminal justice agencies, or licensing or employment entities. Stipulates that unauthorized release of the exempt report is a second degree misdemeanor. Identical to SB 1152 and SB 1154. Rep. Ronald Greenstein (D-Coconut Creek)

🙁 UNDER CURRENT LAW, AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT IS EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE SO LONG AS THE INVESTIGATION IS “ACTIVE”; ONCE THE INVESTIGATION IS COMPLETE OR NO LONGER ACTIVE, THE REPORT BECOMES A PUBLIC RECORD. BECAUSE OF THE WOEFULLY INADEQUATE STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY (THE LEGISLATURE FINDS THAT THE EXEMPTION IS A PUBLIC NECESSITY….DUH), IT’S VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO RESPOND TO THE NEED FOR THIS EXEMPTION. BUT WE DO KNOW THAT IF THIS PROPOSED EXEMPTION WERE TO BECOME LAW, IT WOULD BE INCREDIBLY EASY TO COVER-UP CRIMINAL ACTIVITY. IT’S A BAD BILL AND BAD PUBLIC POLICY.

HB 1505 Video Lottery Games: Creates a public record exemption for certain, specified information obtained by the Department of the Lottery in connection with the establishment and operation of video games, including: trade secrets; security measures, systems, or procedures; security reports; information concerning bids or other contractual data; employee personnel information unrelated to compensation, duties, qualifications, or responsibilities; and information obtained by the Division of Security pursuant to its investigations which is otherwise confidential. Also exempts the street addresses and telephone numbers of video lottery game winners unless such people consent to release of the information. Allows disclosure of all exempt information to specified government entities. No Senate companion. Rep. Ronald Greenstein (D-Coconut Creek)

🙁 WHILE IT MAKES SENSE TO CLOSE ACCESS TO SOME OF THE INFORMATION INCLUDED IN THIS EXEMPTION, THE BILL, AS DRAFTED, IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD. IN ADDITION, IT WOULD PRECLUDE ANY OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC OVERSIGHT IN THE DEPARTMENT’S BIDDING PROCESS!

HB 1509 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. Identical to SB 1494. Rep. Joyce Cusack (D-DeLand)

? HB 1509 SEEMS SUFFICIENTLY NARROW, ALLOWING ACCESS TO THE REPORT 10 DAYS AFTER PROBABLE CAUSE IS FOUND (ALTHOUGH WE HAVE TO ASK: WHAT HAPPENS IF NO PROBABLE CAUSE IS FOUND?), BUT WHEN WE LOOK AT THE STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, IT APPEARS AS IF THE INTENT IS TO CLOSE ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION FOREVER AND EVER. IF THAT’S TRUE, THEN THIS BILL IS AS BAD AS THE EXEMPTION FOR ADVERSE INCIDENT REPORTS FILED BY PHYSICIANS.

HB 1547 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. Also exempts plans developed under the Hazard Analyses Critical Control Point system, and records that are exempt under federal law. Similar to SB 2036. Rep. Dwight Stansel (R-Live Oak)

🙁 ACCORDING TO THE REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, INFORMATION RELATING TO INVESTIGATIONS OF FOOD-BORNE ILLNESS IS “VITAL” IN PROTECTING THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF THE PUBLIC AND THAT IF THE INFORMATION WAS PUBLICLY AVAILABLE, IT COULD BE USED FOR PURPOSES ENDANGERING THE PUBLIC’S HEALTH. HUH? SOME INFORMATION IN THE INVESTIGATIVE REPORT COULD BE USED, WE SUPPOSE, FOR A NEFARIOUS PURPOSE, BUT TO CLOSE ALL INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORTS IS NOT ONLY UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD, IT IS BAD PUBLIC POLICY.

HB 1639 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 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. Allows release of such information in statistical format. Also allows release of the names of qualified business, the amount of refunds awarded, and the amount of refunds claimed. Similar to SB 2240. Rep. Don Davis (R-Jacksonville Beach)

🙁 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 1. WE HAVE SOME CONCERN WITH THE EXEMPTION FOR DATA REGARDING THE 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.

HB 1661 School Advisory Councils/Bylaws: Requires all school advisory councils to adopt bylaws establishing procedures for: requiring a quorum (a majority of the membership) to be present before a vote can be taken; requiring at least 3-days written notice to members of the council of anything coming up for a vote; scheduling meetings when parents, students, teachers, business persons and members of the community can attend; replacing members with two unexcused absences; and recording minutes of all meetings. Similar to SB 2172. Rep. Charlie Justice (D-St. Petersburg)

🙂 YEAH!! THIS BILL SHOULD GO A LONG WAY IN SOLVING PROBLEMS WE CONTINUE TO HAVE WITH SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCILS ALL OVER THE STATE.

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

EASY ACCESS TO SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS HAS LEAD TO AN INCREASE IN IDENTITY THEFT AND OTHER PROBLEMS, AND WE’RE HOPEFUL THAT THIS EXEMPTION WILL RELIEVE THE GROWING PRESSURE TO CLOSE ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS CONTAINING SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS (SUCH AS UTILITY RECORDS AND DRIVER HISTORY RECORDS). HB 1675 RECOGNIZES THE WIDESPREAD USE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS AS A UNIQUE PERSONAL IDENTIFIER, AND ALLOWS ACCESS BY THOSE COMMERCIAL ENTITIES, INCLUDING THE MEDIA, NEEDING ACCESS FOR VARIOUS BUSINESS PURPOSES.

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

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

SB 2068 Records/Firearm Purchases: Stipulates hat the public record exemption for records of firearm purchases created by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not apply to pawnbroker transaction forms recording transaction involving firearms. No House companion. Sen. Buddy Dyer (D-Orlando)

THE EFFECT—AND PURPOSE—OF THIS BILL IS NOT CLEAR, AS PAWNBROKER TRANSACTION RECORDS DELIVERED TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES ARE EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE UNDER S. 539.003, F.S.

SB 2172 School Advisory Councils/Bylaws: Similar to HB 1661. Sen. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Brooksville)

SB 2240 Qualified Defense Tax Refund Program: Similar to HB 1639. Sen. Burt Saunders (R-Naples)

SB 2258 Home Addresses/Property Records: Amends s. 119.07(3)(i), F.S., providing an exemption for the home addresses of various government employees and allowing those employees to request that their home addresses be exempt in all public records, to stipulate that the exemption does not apply to recorded deeds for real property. No House companion. Sen. Bill Posey (R-Rockledge)

THIS HAS BEEN A COMPLAINT OF PROPERTY APPRAISERS AROUND THE STATE, BUT IT’S NOT CLEAR WHETHER POSEY’S BILL EFFECTS BOTH THE ADDRESS AND THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION IN PROPERTY RECORDS, OR JUST THE LEGAL DESCRIPTION.

—-*—-

We’ve hit a new record there are currently 120 (!) bills on our legislative tracking list, even more than there were last year. Each year, we put together a priority list, highlighting the best and worst bills under consideration. This list can change week by week, depending on how bills are amended, new bills filed, etc. If you have any questions, or would like more information about a particular bill, call Barbara Petersen at 800/337 3518 or, in Tallahassee, 222 3518.

SUPPORT

  1. SB 140 and HB 1123, Criminal Use of Public Record Information
    Sen. Locke Burt (R Ormond Beach); Rep. Roger Wishner (D Plantation)
  2. HJR 327 and SJR 1284, New Exemptions/Votes
    Rep. John Carassas (R Largo); Sen. Jack Latvala (R Palm Harbor)
  3. HB 1661 and SB 2172, School Advisory Councils/By Laws
    Rep. Charlie Justice (D St. Petersburg); Sen. Ginny Brown Waite (R Brooksville)

OPPOSE

  1. HB 241 and SB 340, Crime Scene Photos
    Rep. Dick Kravitz (R Orange Park); Sen. Rod Smith (D Gainesville)
  2. SB 378 and HB 445, Public Utility Records
    Sen. Stephen Wise (R Jacksonville); Rep. Mike Hogan (R Jacksonville)
  3. HB 731 and SB 970, Aerial Applicators
    Rep. Richard Machek (D Delray Beach); Sen. Durrell Peaden (R Crestview)
  4. HB 875 and SB 1600, Physicians/Adverse Incident Reports
    Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R Palm Harbor); Sen. Charlie Clary (R Destin)
  5. HB 1311 and SB 1526, Driver History Records
    Rep. Lindsay Harrington (R Punta Gorda); Sen. Jim Sebesta (R St. Petersburg)

Leave a Reply

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

%d bloggers like this: