2003 Legislative Review: Pre-Session Report

Foundation Members: The following is a list of the bills, grouped by general category, we will be tracking throughout the 2003 Legislative Session. As usual, we have selected those bills with open government and first amendment implications we think will be of interest to our members. After the summary of each open government bill, you will find a short analysis of the bill, including an easily recognizable indication of whether the bill is good or bad. Under this reporting system, 🙂 is Good and 🙁 is Bad. Those bills that are neither good nor bad will not be marked. During session, we will report any activity on these bills, as well as any new legislation that may be filed, on a weekly basis. Bills are listed in numerical order. When the text of the bill and its companion are identical, only the first bill listed is analyzed. We suggest you keep this pre-session report, as the weekly reports will not contain a complete description of all the bills.

Open Government Sunset Review (OGSR): Under the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, all exemptions to the Sunshine Law and Public Records Law must be reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature five years after the date of enactment, or the exemption will automatically “sunset”. The 2003 Legislature will be reviewing all exemptions created in 1998. Those bills will be included in our legislative reports and are designated “OGSR”.

PUBLIC RECORDS and OPEN MEETINGS

HB 3 Citizen’s Right to Honest Government: In pertinent part, HB 3 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. No Senate companion. Rep. Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach)

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 11 Exemption/Paternity Registry: Creates a public records exemption for all information (the name and last known address of the mother of the child; the name of the child and the location and date of birth; the man’s name, address, and driver’s license number; and a statement in which the man claims to be the father of the child) contained in the paternity registry. Allows disclosure of certificates attesting to the results of a search of the paternity registry under certain conditions. No Senate companion. Rep. Mark Mahon (R-Jacksonville)

  • House: Withdrawn prior to introduction.

HB 69 Pawnbroker Records/Firearm Purchases: Stipulates that the exemption for firearm transaction records maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) does not apply to pawnbroker records. No Senate companion. Rep. Nan Rich (D-Sunrise)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 76 Exemption/Pharmaceutical Adverse Incident Reports: Creates a public record exemption for information contained in notification of a pharmaceutical adverse incident that identifies a patient, pharmacist, pharmacy, office, or entity by name, location, or other identifier provided to the Department of Health until 10 days after a finding of probable cause. No House companion. Sen. Skip Campbell (D-Tamarac)

  • S. Health, Aging & Long-Term Care Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight.

🙁 THIS BILL IS IDENTICAL TO LEGISLATION FILED THE LAST YEAR, AND ALTHOUGH SB 76 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?), ITS INTENT IS TO CLOSE ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION FOREVER. IT 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, SB 76 VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTIONAL STANDARD FOR THE CREATION OF NEW EXEMPTIONS.

SB 122 Child Abuse Records: Amends the exemption for child abuse records to allow access by staff of child advocacy centers who are actively involved in providing services to the child. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

  • S. Children & Families Committee: Reported favorably with one minor amendment; now in S. Governmental Oversight.

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

HB 123 Exemption/Cell Phone Numbers, Pager Numbers, E-Mail Addresses: Creates a public record exemption for cellular telephone numbers, pager numbers, e-mail addresses, ID numbers and access codes, as well as all associated billing records, for active or former law enforcement personnel, including correctional and probation officers, and specified personnel of the Department of Children & Family Services, Department of Health, Department of Revenue, and local governments. No Senate companion. Rep. Charlie Dean (R-Inverness)

🙁 THE STATED JUSTIFICATION FOR THIS EXEMPTION IS THAT A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER CAN BE IDENTIFIED BY THIS INFORMATION. HOW? IT IS COMMON PRACTICE, WE’RE TOLD, FOR A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER TO PRINT SUCH INFORMATION ON THE OFFICER’S BUSINESS CARD. IF SO, WHAT’S THE POINT OF THIS EXEMPTION? AND ISN’T THE IDENTITY OF MOST LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS OBVIOUS? (THE CONSTITUTIONALLY REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY DOES NOT ADDRESS THE OTHER GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES INCLUDED WITHIN THE EXEMPTION.) IN ADDITION, PROHIBITING ACCESS TO A BILLING RECORD PRECLUDES ANY OPPORTUNITY FOR PUBLIC OVERSIGHT AND IS AN UNWARRANTED EXPANSION OF CURRENT LAW.

SB 126 Exemption/Victims of Sexual Offenses: Creates a public record exemption for any photograph, videotape, digital image, electronic image, recorded image, or other visual image of any part of the body of a victim of a sexual offense. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

🙁 THIS SEEMS A BIT OVER THE TOP, DON’T YOU THINK? ACCORDING TO THE STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THE EXEMPTION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT THE VICTIM AND THE VICTIM’S FAMILY FROM THE EMOTIONAL INJURY CAUSED IF SUCH MATERIAL WAS COPIED OR PUBLICIZED. BUT THE IDENTITY OF SUCH VICTIMS IS EXEMPT FROM PUBLIC DISCLOSURE, SO HOW WOULD COPYING A PHOTO OF THE VICTIM’S FOOT, FOR EXAMPLE, CAUSE EMOTIONAL DISTRESS? IF PASSED, THIS EXEMPTION, WHICH MAKES THE MATERIAL EXEMPT AND CONFIDENTIAL, WILL CAUSE THE SAME PROBLEMS FOR LAW ENFORCEMENT AS DOES THE AUTOPSY PHOTO EXEMPTION.

SB 142 Expunction of Criminal History Records: Prohibits the expunction of criminal history records concerning defendants found guilty of, or who pled guilty or nolo contendere to, the offense of voyeurism, regardless of whether adjudication was withheld. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

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. Identical to HB 251. Sen. Evelyn Lynn (R-Ormond Beach)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

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)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 238 Exemption/Commission on Ethics: Expands the exemption in s. 112.324, F.S., for public records and meetings relating to ethics complaints to also include (1) all proceedings relating to the complaints and (2) the Commission’s determination. Stipulates that the proceedings and determination become public when the complaint is dismissed or probable cause is found. Allows commission staff to share investigative information with criminal investigative agencies. No House companion. Sen. Burt Saunders (R-Naples)

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

HB 251 Library Records: Identical to SB 192. Rep. Pat Patterson (R-DeLand)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 252 OGSR/Trade Secrets, Clean Air Act: Reenacts, with minor changes, s. 252.943, F.S., stipulating that when the Accidental Release Prevention Program under the federal Clean Air Act allows “a stationary source” to exclude trade secret information from its Risk Management Plan, the owner or operator must provide such information to the State Hazardous Materials Emergency Response Commission upon request, and provides that such information, when held by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), is exempt from public disclosure. Also exempts trade secret information held by DCA in the process of conducting an inspection, audit, or investigation pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act, until a determination has been made by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency that such information in no longer entitled to trade secret protection. No House companion. S. Committee on Comprehensive Planning

  • S. Comprehensive Planning Committee: Reported favorably with one minor amendment.
  • S. Natural Resources Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight Committee.

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

SB 254 OGSR/Municipal Employee Assistance Program Records: Reenacts the exemption in s. 166.0444, F.S., for all records and communications concerning a municipal 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. No House companion. S. Committee on Comprehensive Planning

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

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

SB 256 OGSR/County Employee Assistance Program Records: Reenacts the exemption in s. 125.585, F.S., for all records and communications concerning a county 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. No House companion. S. Committee on Comprehensive Planning

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

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

SB 274 OGSR/Hospital Adverse Incidents Notification: Amends the exemption for notification of adverse incidents made to the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) under s. 395.0198, F.S., to exempt: (1) information that identifies the hospital involved in the incident; (2) the identity of the person reporting the incident on behalf of the hospital; (3) the identity of the patient; (4) the identity of the health care practitioner(s) involved; (5) the name of or the contact number for the medical examiner; (6) any description of the circumstances of the incident; and (7) actions taken to implement an investigation. No House companion. S. Committee on Health, Aging, and Long-Term Care

🙁 THIS BILL SIMPLY REENACTS A TERRIBLE PUBLIC RECORD EXEMPTION–IT WAS BAD FIVE YEARS AGO AND IT’S JUST AS BAD TODAY.

SB 280 OGSR/Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association: Reenacts, with minor changes, the exemptions under s. 627.311, F.S., for the Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association (JUA). Specifically, exempts JUA underwriting files; claims files, until termination of all litigation and settlement of all claims; records obtained or generated by an internal auditor; attorney-client communications; proprietary information; association employee medical information; records concerning employee participation in substance abuse programs; information relating to certain negotiations; and minutes of closed meetings until a time specified. Also exempts portions of meetings during which confidential underwriting files or confidential open claims files are discussed, but stipulates that closed portions of meetings must be recorded by a court reporter, and that the transcript of the closed portion of the meeting becomes public after settlement of the claim. No House companion. S. Banking & Insurance Committee

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

SB 282 OGSR/Identifying Information of Injured or Ill Employees: Repeals s. 440.185(11), F.S., the exemption for information identifying an ill or injured employee contained in reports received by the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the Department of Insurance. No House companion. S. Banking & Insurance Committee

🙂 ACCORDING TO THE SENATE STAFF ANALYSIS, THIS EXEMPTION IS UNNECESSARY. KUDOS TO THE SENATE BANKING & INSURANCE COMMITTEE FOR ITS REPEAL.

SB 284 OGSR/Workers’ Compensation Records: Reenacts, with minor changes, the exemption under s. 440.108, F.S., for investigatory records of the Department of Insurance (DOI) relating to workers’ compensation records, stipulating that such records are exempt until the investigation is complete or ceases to be active, unless the records would jeopardize the integrity of another active investigation; reveal a trade secret; reveal business or personal financial information; reveal personal identifying information of a confidential source; defame or cause unwarranted damage to the good name or reputation of an individual; or reveal investigative techniques or procedures. Also allows DOI to provide the exempt information to any law enforcement or administrative agency for use in the performance of its official duties. No House companion. S. Banking & Insurance Committee

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

SB 288 OGSR/State Employee Assistance Program Records: Slightly narrows 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, exempting only personal identifying information contained in such records. No House companion. S. Governmental Oversight Committee

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

SB 290 OGSR/Housing Assistance Records: Narrows the exemption under s. 119.07(3)(bb), F.S., for medical history records, bank account numbers, credit card numbers, telephone numbers, and information related to health or property insurance furnished by an individual to any government housing assistance program, to include only medical history records and information related to health or property insurance provided to the Department of Community Affairs, the Florida Housing Finance Corporation, a city, or a local housing finance agency by an applicant for or participant in a housing assistance program. No House companion. S. Governmental Oversight Committee

  • S. Comprehensive Planning Committee: Reported favorably (7/1). Now in S. Banking & Insurance Committee.

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

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 in furtherance of their governmental duties. No House companion. S. Committee on Health, Aging & Long-Term Care

  • S. Health, Aging & Long-Term Care Committee: Amended to stipulate that disclosure of the exempt information may be made to other governmental entities for purposes directly connected with the administration of the Kidcare Program; reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Children & Families Committee.

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

SB 304 Exemption/Public Utility Records: Creates a public record exemption for personal identifying information held by a public water, wastewater, natural gas, electric, cable television, or telecommunications utility. Defines “personal identifying information” as a customer’s name; social security number; taxpayer identification number; address; telephone number; bank account number; debit, charge, and credit card numbers; and driver identification numbers. Stipulates that the exemption applies retroactively. Identical to HB 451. Sen. Nancy Argenziano (R-Crystal River)

🙁 ACCORDING TO THE CONSTITUTIONALLY-REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THIS BILL IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT PUBLIC UTILITY CUSTOMERS FROM IDENTITY THEFT. HUH? HOW DOES EXEMPTING USAGE RECORDS PROTECT US FROM IDENTITY THIEVES? A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER (WHICH ARE ALREADY EXEMPT, BY THE WAY) MAYBE, BUT USAGE RECORDS? GIVE US A BREAK! AND WHEN HAVE COMMERCIAL ENTITIES BEEN SUBJECT TO IDENTITY THEFT? SB 304 IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD AND CONSTITUTES BAD PUBLIC POLICY. THE REAL POINT OF THE LEGISLATION IS TO PROTECT PUBLIC UTILITIES FROM UNWANTED COMPETITION. AND WE THOUGHT MARKET COMPETITION WAS A GOOD THING!

SB 306 OGSR/AHCA Provider & Subscriber Assistance Panel Records & Meetings: Makes minor, technical changes to the exemption in s. 408.7056, F.S., for subscriber identifying information contained in records prepared or reviewed by a provider and subscriber assistance panel of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Also exempts meetings of the panel if the provider or subscriber whose grievance is to be heard requests a closed meeting and AHCA or the Department of Insurance determines that sensitive personal information, trade secret information, or information related to internal risk management programs may be revealed at the meeting. Allows for release of the exempt information if so requested by the subscriber. No House companion. S. Committee on Health, Aging, & Long-Term Care

  • S. Health, Aging & Long-Term Care Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Governmental Oversight Committee

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

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.) No Senate companion. Rep. Kevin Ambler (R-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. CONFUSED? WE ARE, TOO.

SB 440 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

THIS IS WHAT IS CALLED A “SHELL” BILL. TECHNICALLY, A REQUEST FOR BILL DRAFTS MUST BE FILED BY A CERTAIN DATE; IN ORDER TO MEET THE DEADLINE, LEGISLATORS WILL FILE “SHELL” BILLS WITH THE INTENTION OF AMENDING THE “SHELL” AT A LATER DATE. BECAUSE ARTICLE I, SECTION 24, FLA. CON., REQUIRES THAT ALL SUNSHINE EXEMPTIONS BE IN SINGLE SUBJECT BILLS, EACH SESSION WE SEE A FAIR NUMBER OF SHELL BILLS FILED. WE’RE INCLUDING THEM IN THIS REPORT SO THAT YOU’LL BE AWARE IF AND WHEN THEY ARE AMENDED. WE’LL KEEP OUR EYES ON THESE, AND WILL REPORT ANY CHANGES.

SB 442 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 444 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 446 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 448 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 450 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

HB 451 Exemption/Public Utility Records: Identical to SB 304. Rep. Mike Hogan (R-Jacksonville)

SB 452 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 454 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 456 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 458 Public Records Exemption: Expresses the intent of the legislature to create an exemption to the Public Records Law. No House companion. Sen. Steve Wise (R-Jacksonville)

SHELL BILL

SB 462 OGSR/Rabies Vaccination Certificates: Reenacts, without change, the exemption under s. 828.30(5), F.S., for information identifying the owner of the animal vaccinated in a rabies vaccination certificate provided to animal control authorities, authorizing access to all information in a rabies vaccination certificate by the physician of, or by any person who has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to rabies. Also allows access by federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, other animal control authorities, and emergency medical response, disease control, or other governmental health agencies, but prohibits public release of the information. Stipulates that a person with an animal tag number may receive the vaccination certificate information, and that any person who makes a written request may view or copy any individual rabies vaccination certificate, one certificate at a time. Also stipulates that a copy of any database may be obtained, but that the owner’s name, street address, phone number, and animal tag number must be deleted. No House companion. S. Agriculture Committee

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

🙁 THIS BILL SIMPLY REENACTS A TERRIBLE PUBLIC RECORD EXEMPTION–IT WAS BAD FIVE YEARS AGO AND IT’S JUST AS BAD TODAY.

SB 532 Campaign Finance Disclosure Reports: Requires any organization raising money for the purpose of making an independent expenditure in a political campaign to file a campaign finance disclosure report with the Secretary of State, disclosing the full name, address, and occupation of each person making one or more contributions to or for the organization, together with the amount and date of such contributions. No House companion. Sen. Dave Aronberg (D-Ft. Myers)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1026 OGSR/Video-Taped Statements of Minors: Amends s. 119.07(3)(s)2.a. F.S., providing a public records exemption for information identifying minors who are the victims of certain, specified sexual crimes in their video-taped statements to clarify that law enforcement agencies are the custodians of such videotaped statements. Also authorizes disclosure of the exempt information to other government agencies if necessary to the performance of the receiving agency’s duties and responsibilities. No House companion. S. Criminal Justice Committee

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

SB 1028 OGSR/Identity of Executioner: Repeals the exemption in s. 922.106, F.S., for information that would identify the person administering the lethal injection. Also amends
s. 945.10, clarifying that information identifying an executioner, or any person prescribing, preparing, compounding, dispensing, or administering a lethal injection is exempt from public disclosure. No House companion. S. Criminal Justice Committee

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

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. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1072 Criminal Use of Personal ID Information: Amends s. 817.568, F.S., revising the elements of the offense involving the criminal use of personal identifying information to provide that committing such offense is a second-degree felony if the amount of the benefit, value of services, or amount of injury or fraud perpetrated is more than $5,000, rather than the current threshold of $75,000 . No House companion. Sen. Victor Crist (R-Tampa)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1074 Sexual Predators/Public Notification: Amends the community and public notification requirement under s. 775.21(7), F.S., of the Florida Sexual Predators Act, (1) providing five levels of dangerousness; and (2) stipulating that law enforcement use those criteria in classifying a sexual predator in public notifications. No House companion. Sen. Victor Crist (R-Tampa)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1082 Expunged or Sealed Public Records: Expands the list of offenses that cannot be expunged or sealed from criminal history records to include sexual predator; sexual offender; and career offender. No House companion. Sen. Rod Smith (D-Gainesville)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1182 Security System Plans: Makes minor, technical amendments to the exemption in s. 119.071, F.S., for security system plans. No House companion. Sen. Paula Dockery (R-Lakeland)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

SB 1212 Bankruptcy/Personal Customer Information: Prohibits the sale or disclosure of personal customer information by a person who files for bankruptcy. No House companion. Sen. Dave Aronberg (D-Ft. Myers)

DOES NOT CREATE AN EXEMPTION

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. No House companion. Sen. Nancy Argenziano (R-Crystal River)

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

SB 1362 Exemption/Building Plans & Blue Prints: Amends the exemption for building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, and diagrams depicting the internal layout and structural elements of government owned or operated buildings in s. 119.07(3)(ee), F.S., to stipulate that the exemption applies to any such record held by a government agency, thus expanding the exemption to include the building plans, blueprints, etc. of buildings owned or operated by private entities as well, if those documents are in the hands of government. Allows access upon a showing of good cause. No House companion. Sen. Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton)

🙁 ALTHOUGH WE WEREN’T TERRIBLY BOTHERED BY THIS EXEMPTION WHEN FIRST CREATED LAST YEAR, THIS EXPANSION SEEMS UNWARRANTED. ACCORDING TO THE STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY, THE EXEMPTION IS NECESSARY TO PROTECT US FROM ACTS OF TERRORISM BUT CERTAINLY NOT ALL PUBLIC AND PRIVATE BUILDINGS AND FACILITIES ARE AT RISK, ARE THEY? THIS BILL IS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY OVERBROAD. AND THE REQUIRED STATEMENT OF PUBLIC NECESSITY IS WOEFULLY INADEQUATE, AS IT DOES NOT ADDRESS THE EXPANSION OF THE EXEMPTION. ACTUALLY, IT SEEMS AS IF THE STATEMENT WAS MERELY LIFTED FROM LAST YEAR’S LEGISLATION.

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The first day of session is Tuesday, March 4, and the comparatively few number of bills filed to date is making us just a little nervous. We’re told there’s a huge backlog in bill drafting, so we might expect a flood of new bills in the next week to ten days. There are a total of 47 bills on our tracking list – 39 Senate bills and only 8 House bills. Of the total bills filed, there are 7 new exemptions proposed (and 4 of those are 🙁 ); 14 OGSR bills, some of which make minor expansions of existing exemptions; and an alarming 10(!) shell bills, the silent stinkers.
As always, we’ll keep you posted.

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