2003 Legislative Report for Period Ending March 14

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W Withdrawn from further consideration

For Period Ending: March 14

SB 192 Library Records: Amends the exemption for library registration and circulation records in s. 257.261, F.S., to allow access to the exempt information by parents or guardians of library patrons under the age of 16 for the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue library materials. Identical to HB 251. Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach)

  • S. Governmental Oversight Committee: A strike all amendment making technical, clarifying changes is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on Senate calendar.

HB 207 Pharmacies/Patient Records: Requires the Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules establishing guidelines for pharmacies to dispose of patient records, stipulating that such rules must be consistent with the duty to preserve the confidentiality of the records. No Senate companion. Rep. David Mealor (R-Lake Mary)

  • H. Subcommittee on Health Standards: Reported favorably. Now in H. Health Care Committee.

HB 251 Library Records: Amends the exemption for library registration and circulation records in s. 257.261, F.S., to allow access to the exempt information by parents or guardians of library patrons under the age of 16 for the purpose of collecting fines or recovering overdue library materials. Identical to SB 192. Rep. Pat Patterson (R-DeLand)

  • H. Subcommittee on Tourism: Reported favorably. Now in H. Commerce Committee.

SB 298 OGSR/Kids Health Program: Expands the exemption in s. 409.821, F.S., for information in an application for determination of eligibility for the Florida Kids Health Program which identifies an applicant, including medical information and family financial information, to exempt information identifying a Florida Kidcare program applicant or enrollee held by the Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Children and Family Services, the Department of Health, or the Florida Health Kids Corporation. Allows disclosure to other governmental entities only if disclosure is necessary for purposes directly connected with the administration of the Kidcare Program. No House companion. S. Committee on Health, Aging & Long-Term Care

  • S. Children & Families Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight Committee.

HB 387 Exemption/H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center: Expands the exemption in s. 1004.43, F.S., for certain records of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center to include materials and information exempted under s. 1004.22 (2), F.S.. (This would include materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research conducted within the state universities.) Similar to SB 2216. Rep. Kevin Ambler (R-Tampa)

  • H. State Administration Committee: An amendment (1) specifically enumerating the exempt information; (2) narrowing the exemption for business transactions to stipulate that only those business transactions resulting from research will be exempt; and (3) creating an exemption for information received that is otherwise exempt pursuant to federal law or that of another state; is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on the House Calendar.

SB 1052 Autopsy Records: Amends the exemption in s. 406.135, F.S., for autopsy records to allow survivors of deceased persons to designate “agents” to view or obtain autopsy records from the medical examiner. Similar to HB 1579. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

  • S. Judiciary Committee: A technical amendment, clarifying that the deceased’s surviving relative with the authority to obtain the exempt autopsy record may designate, in writing, an agent to obtain such record is adopted; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Criminal Justice Committee.

SB 1230 Exemption/Food Safety Investigations: Creates a public record exemption for exempt federal records provided to the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for assistance during a joint food safety or food illness investigation. Stipulates that the exempt information may not be disclosed except under a final determination by the appropriate federal agencies that the records are no longer entitled to protection or pursuant to a court order. Similar to HB 1061. Sen. Nancy Argenziano (R-Crystal River)

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

SB 1446 OGSR/Florida Land Sales Division Investigations: Reenacts, with minor technical changes, the public record exemption in s. 498.047(8), F.S., for information relative to an investigation by the Florida Land Sales Division until 10 day after a notice to show cause has been filed, or until the investigation is complete or ceases to be active. Provides that consumer complaints relative to such investigations remain exempt under certain, specified conditions. Similar to HB 1039. S. Regulated Industries Committee

  • S. Regulated Industries Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight Committee.

SB 1664 Exemption/ParaTransit Services: Creates a public record exemption for all personal identifying information contained in records relating to an individual’s health held by local governments for the purpose of determining eligibility for paratransit services under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Allows for disclosure with the express written consent of the individual, in a medical emergency, or by order of a court upon a showing of good cause. Identical to HB 937. Sen. Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville)

  • S. Comprehensive Planning Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight Committee.

NEW BILLS FILED

HB 847 Citizen’s Right to Honest Government: In pertinent part, HB 847 prohibits a “public servant” from (1) falsifying, concealing, destroying, mutilating, or altering any official record or document; (2) obstructing, delaying, or preventing the communication of information relating to the commission of a felony that directly involves or affects the public agency or public entity served by the public servant; (3) disclosing active criminal investigative or intelligence information 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; and (4) disclosing material information concerning a bid or other aspects of the competitive bidding process when such information is not publicly disclosed. 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. Similar to SB 2030. Rep. Dudley Goodlette (R-Naples)

THIS BILL IS NEARLY IDENTICAL TO LEGISLATION FILED IN 2001 AND 2002 IN RESPONSE TO RECOMMENDATIONS BY THE PUBLIC CORRUPTION TASK FORCE. IT DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION TO EITHER THE PUBLIC RECORDS LAW OR THE SUNSHINE LAW.

HB 1503 DEP Reports/Aquifer Storage & Recovery Wells: Requires the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to report cumulative statistics on the use of Florida’s aquifers for the state’s aquifer storage and recovery wells and other injection control programs. Stipulates that such reports must be published on DEP’s website semiannually and must include: (1) the number of wells permitted, by type; the permit numbers for all permitted wells, the applicant or operator, the date of application, and the date the permit was issued; (3) the injection zone, depth, and permitted flow rate for each well; (4) the location, including county, of each well, and statistics attesting to the verified recovery rate; and (5) the classification of treatment such water received prior to injection, the source and amount of injected water, and the amount of water recovered during each operational cycle. No Senate companion. Rep. Dan Gelber (R-Miami Beach)

🙂 THIS BILL IS GOOD PUBLIC POLICY, OFFERING A MEANINGFUL OPPORTUNITY FOR GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT.

HB 1579 Autopsy Records: Amends the exemption in s. 406.135, F.S., for autopsy records to allow survivors of deceased persons to designate “agents” to view or obtain autopsy records from the medical examiner. Similar to SB 1052. Rep. Yolly Roberson (D-N. Miami)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION.

HB 1591 OGSR/State Employee Assistance Program Records: Reenacts the exemption in s. 110.1091, F.S., for all records and communications concerning a state employee’s participation in an employee substance abuse program, (1) clarifying the current definition of “employee assistance program” as a “counseling, therapy or other professional treatment program provided . . . to assist any . . . employee who has a behavioral disorder, medical disorder, or substance abuse problem, or who has an emotional difficulty that affects the employee’s job performance;” and (2) slightly narrowing the exemption to include only personal identifying information in records relating to participation in such programs. Similar to SB 288. H. State Administration Committee

THIS LEGISLATION, REENACTING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS.

HB 1593 OGSR/Foster Care Licensees: Reenacts and expands the exemption in s. 409.175, F.S., for information on foster care licensees to include applicants, stipulating that if an applicant does not receive a license, the exempt information will become public record five years after the date of application. Clarifies that the following information is exempt unless otherwise ordered by a court: the homes, business, work, childcare, or school addresses and telephone numbers; social security numbers; birth dates; medical records; floor plans; and photographs of the licensed foster parent, the foster parent’s spouse, minor child and other adult household members. Stipulates that such information becomes public record five years after the foster care license is no longer active, but that such information shall remain exempt if the foster parent becomes an adoptive parent. Narrows the exemption in character or neighbor references to include only the name, address, and telephone number of persons providing references. Similar to SB 1444. H. State Administration Committee

THIS LEGISLATION, REENACTING A LIMITED EXEMPTION TO THE PUBLIC’S RIGHT OF ACCESS, COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENTS.

HB 1637 Exemption/Financial Services Department: Expands the exemption under s. 717.117, F.S., for social security numbers and financial account numbers in unclaimed property reports to include unclaimed property account dollar amounts and the number of reported shares of stock. Also creates new exemptions for (1) social security numbers, unclaimed property account dollar amounts, the number of reported shares of stock and financial account numbers contained in legal and claim files, and in investigation or examination records; (2) personal photographic identification held by the FSD. Stipulates that anyone who willfully and knowing provides access to the exempt information has committed a third degree felony, and that if the exempt information is offered in evidence in any administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding the presiding officer has the discretion to prevent its disclosure. Permits the FSD to subscribe to one or more databases for the purpose of verifying the validity of unclaimed property claims, stipulating that the (3) database is exempt from disclosure if required by the vendor. Finally, (4) exempts trade secrets of holders of unclaimed property and persons providing services for auditing or examining holders of unclaimed property. Identical to SB 2440. Rep. Heather Fiorentino (R-New Port Richey)

🙁 THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY IN HB 1637 IS SO WOEFULLY INADEQUATE, IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE PURPOSE OF THE PROPOSED EXEMPTIONS. WE SHOULD POINT OUT THAT SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS AND PERSONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION ARE EXEMPT UNDER CURRENT LAW, SO MUCH OF THIS BILL IS UNNECESSARY. IT WOULD SEEM TO US THAT THE AMOUNT OF MONEY AND STOCK THAT IS UNCLAIMED WOULD BE OF PUBLIC INTEREST AND CONCERN, AND THE EXEMPTION FOR SUCH INFORMATION UNWARRANTED. THE EXEMPTION IS OVERBROAD, AND VIOLATES THE STANDARD FOR CREATION OF EXEMPTIONS UNDER ARTICLE I, SECTION 24, OF THE FLORIDA CONSTITUTION.

HB 1653 Disclosure of Social Security Numbers: Prohibits a private business from requiring disclosure of a person’s social security number except as required by federal law. Identical to SB 2168. Rep. Carey Baker (R-Eustis)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION.

SB 1942 Exemption/Physician Adverse Incident Reports: Creates a public record exemption for information contained in the notification of an adverse incident filed by a doctor with the Department of Health pursuant to s. 458.351, F.S. Stipulates that the exempt information may not be made available to the public as part of the investigatory or prosecution record in a disciplinary proceeding. No House companion. Sen. Durell Peaden (R-Crestview)

🙁 THIS BILL IS NEARLY IDENTICAL TO LEGISLATION FILED OVER THE PAST FOUR OR FIVE YEARS. SB 1942 IS TERRIBLE PUBLIC POLICY—NOT ONLY WOULD THE PUBLIC HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE OF SUCH INCIDENTS, THERE WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY NO OPPORTUNITY FOR GOVERNMENTAL OVERSIGHT AND ACCOUNTABILITY. IN ADDITION, THE BILL VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARD FOR THE CREATION OF EXEMPTIONS.

SB 1972 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption contained in a paternity registry. Similar to HB 983. Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach)

AT LEAST THIS SHELL BILL IS A BIT MORE SPECIFIC. WE’LL KEEP OUR EYES ON THIS ONE, AND WILL REPORT ANY CHANGES.

SB 2030 Citizen’s Right to Honest Government Act: Similar to HB 847. Sen. Jim Sebesta (R-St. Petersburg)

SB 2168 Disclosure of Social Security Numbers: Identical to HB 1653. Sen. Anna Cowin (R-Leesburg)

SB 2216 Exemption/H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center: Expands the exemption in s. 1004.43, F.S., for certain records of the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center to include materials and information exempted under s. 1004.22 (2), F.S.. (This would include materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, potentially patentable material, actual trade secrets, business transactions, or proprietary information received, generated, ascertained, or discovered during the course of research conducted within the state universities.) Similar to CS/HB 387. Sen. Les Miller (D-Tampa)

ACCORDING TO THE PUBLIC NECESSITY STATEMENT, THE H. LEE MOFFITT CANCER CENTER IS COORDINATING RESEARCH EFFORTS WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA DIVISION OF SPONSORED RESEARCH, BUT BECAUSE THE EXEMPTION AFFORDED BY S. 1004.22(2), F.S., APPLIES ONLY TO STATE UNIVERSITIES AND NOT THE CANCER CENTER, THERE IS CONFUSION OVER THE SCOPE OF PROTECTION FOR INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THE STATEMENT REFERS TO THIS LEGISLATION AS A CONFORMING EXEMPTION, BUT IT SEEMS AS THOUGH THE EXEMPTION FOR THE UNIVERSITIES IS BROADER THAN THE CURRENT EXEMPTION FOR THE CANCER CENTER. SB 2216 WILL MOST LIKELY BE AMENDED TO CONFORM TO ITS COMPANION, CS/HB 387 WHICH WAS NARROWED IN COMMITTEE.

SJR 2250 Judicial Nominating Commission Proceedings: Proposes an amendment to Article V, section 11, of the Florida Constitution, to require that deliberations and records of the Judicial Nominating Commission be open to the public. Identical to HJR 1135. Sen. Stephen Wise (R-Jacksonville)

🙂 FINALLY, A BILL THAT ACTUALLY ENHANCES PUBLIC ACCESS! IF APPROVED BY THE VOTERS, THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED BY REP. BRUMMER WOULD PUT AN END TO THE SQUABBLES OVER ACCESS TO THE PROCEEDINGS OF THE JNC, AND WOULD OPEN UP THE PROCESS TO THE PUBLIC.

SB 2396 Exemption/Alternative Investments Program: Creates public record exemptions for information relating to the alternative (high-risk, high return) investments program of the State Board of Administration, including: (1) the names of other investors and their respective commitment amounts; (2) specific investment terms associated with each individual portfolio company investment and portfolio company data; (3) economic terms agreed upon by the board; (4) contracts with partnerships, including all schedules, side letters, and lists of investors with their commitment amounts; (5) monthly, quarterly, and annual partnership reports, including materials and notes from advisory committees and annual meetings; (6) limited-partnership briefing materials, capital call notices, and individual investment memoranda; and (7) due-diligence materials received or prepared by the board. Specifically states that the exemption does not prevent the disclosure of records relating to the identity of the contractual counter-party for the investment; the market value of the investment; the aggregate committed, invested, and distributed capital for the investment; and aggregate investment return data. No House companion. Sen. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey)

🙁 JUST SO WE MAKE SURE WE UNDERSTAND THIS: THE STATE BOARD OF ADMINISTRATION WANTS TO USE OUR MONEY FOR RISKY INVESTMENTS AND THEN PRECLUDE ANY OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC OVERSIGHT! ACCORDING TO THE VERY BRIEF STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THE EXEMPTION IS NECESSARY BECAUSE THE BOARD CAN’T MAKE THESE “ALTERNATIVE” INVESTMENTS IF IT CAN’T KEEP THE INFORMATION SECRET. BUT WE SHOULD BE ASKING OURSELVES AND OUR LEGISLATORS WHETHER THESE HIGH-RISK INVESTMENTS ARE SOUND PUBLIC POLICY, PARTICULARLY IN TODAY’S CLIMATE. LET’S NOT FORGET ENRON, AFTER ALL.

SB 2416 Exemption/Motor Vehicle Registrants: Amends s. 119.07(3)(aa), F.S., which stipulates that personal information in motor vehicle records is exempt from disclosure at the request of the subject of the record (in other words, to “opt-out” of the public record), to create an exemption for personal information identifying motor vehicle registrants. Allows access to the exempt information by certain, specified persons. No House companion. Sen. Jim Sebesta (R-St. Petersburg)

🙁 ACCORDING TO THE BRIEF STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THIS EXEMPTION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT A “MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRANT” – THOSE PEOPLE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO OWN A CAR – FROM CRIMINALS. IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAT THE TRULY SENSITIVE INFORMATION IN A MOTOR VEHICLE RECORD – SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS, PERSONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION – IS EXEMPT UNDER CURRENT LAW, AND SO IT’S NOT AT ALL CLEAR HOW CLOSURE OF A CAR OWNER’S NAME AND ADDRESS WILL PROTECT THAT PERSON FROM CRIME. THE BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND BAD PUBLIC POLICY.

SB 2440 Exemption/Financial Services Department: Identical to HB 1637. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

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