2013 Pre-Session Report

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2013 LEGISLATIVE REVIEW: PRE-SESSION REPORT

The following is a list of the bills we will be tracking throughout the 2013 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 an easily recognizable indication of whether the bill is good or bad. Under this reporting system, 🙂 = Good and 🙁 = Bad. Those bills that are neither good nor bad will not be marked. If we’re not sure of a bill, it will be marked with ???. 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. We suggest you keep this pre-session report, as the weekly reports may 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 2013 Legislature will be reviewing all exemptions created in 2008. Those bills will be included in our legislative reports and are designated “OGSR”.

COLLEGES AND UNIVERISTIES

HB 359 Exemption/ University DSOs: Stipulates that board meetings of a university direct support organization (DSO) at which the expenditures of state funds is discussed must be open and noticed to the public. Creates an exemption for meetings or portions of meetings at which the DSO board discusses records that are exempt from public disclosure. Amends s. 1004.28(5), F.S. Rep. Cary Pigman (R-Sebring) ???

HB 637 Exemption/ College and University Search Committees: Creates a public record exemption for applications submitted to an executive search committee by applicants for positions within the Florida College System or a state university. Creates s. 1004.097, F.S. Rep. John Tobia (R-Melbourne) 🙁

COURT RECORDS

SB 556 Clerks of Court/ Records: In pertinent part, requires clerks of court to provide access to court records without charge to certain, specified person involved in the judicial process, including guardians ad litem. Amends s. 119.0714(2)(f), F.S., to stipulate that requests for redaction of exempt home addresses, etc., contained in court records must identify the document type, name, identification number, and page number of the court record that contains the exempt information. Companion to HB 643. Amends ss. 28.345 and 119.0714, F.S. Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Margate)

HB 643 Clerks of Court/ Records: Companion to SB 556. Rep. Ray Polon (R-Sarasota)

SB 610 Exemption/ Settlements on Behalf of Minors: Creates a public record exemption for court records relating to the settlement of a claim relating to guardianship on behalf of a minor or ward. Allows access to such records by a guardian ad litem, the minor if over 14, and the minor’s attorney. Similar to HB 943. Amends s. 744.3701, F.S. Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D-Tampa)

HB 943 Exemption/ Settlements on Behalf of Minors: Similar to SB 610. Amends s. 744.3701, F.S. Rep. Elaine Schwartz (D-Hollywood)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

HB 361 Exemption/ Criminal Justice Commissions: Creates a public record exemption for records of communications between members of a criminal justice commission about matters that are currently being considered by, or that may come before, a commission. Also creates an exemption for those portions of criminal justice commission meetings that discuss matters that are currently before the commission or that may come before the commission. Companion to SB 1042. Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Palm Springs)

  • House Criminal Justice Subcommittee: A strike-all amendment is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. As amended, CS/HB 361 creates an exemption for those portions of a “duly constituted criminal justice commission” meeting during which commissioners discuss active criminal intelligence or investigative information that is currently before the commission or may foreseeably come before the commission. Now in H. Government Operations Subcommittee.

SB 1042 Exemption/ Criminal Justice Commissions: Creates an exemption for portions of a “duly constituted criminal justice commission” meeting during which the commissioners discuses active criminal intelligence or investigative information that is currently before the commission or may foreseeably comb before the commission. Companion to HB 361. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington)

HB 393 Recordings of Police Interrogations: Requires an electronic recording of all statements made during a custodial interrogation relating to a crime. Rep. Kionne McGhee (D-Miami)

SB 542 Exemption/ Human Trafficking Victims: Creates a public records exemption that might reveal the identity of a person who is a victim of human trafficking or a photograph, videotape, or image of any part of the body of the victim of human trafficking. Amends s. 119.071(2)(h). Sen. Oscar Braynon (D-Miami Gardens)

HB 725 Exemption/Child Abuse Death Review Committees: Currently, s. 383.412, F.S., provides an exemption for portions of meetings of child abuse death review committees at which exempt information is discussed, requiring that those closed portions of meetings be recorded. HB 725 deletes the recording requirement. Amends s. 383.412, F.S. Rep. Gayle Harrell (R-Port St. Lucie) 🙁

SB 824 Exemption/Forensic Behavioral Health Evaluations: Creates a public record exemption for forensic behavioral health evaluations of mentally deficient or mentally ill defendants filed with the court. Stipulates that an evaluation may be released if it becomes part of a clinical record. Creates s. 916.1065, F.S. Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah)

SB 1014 Exemption/Participants in Court Drug Treatment Programs: Creates a public record exemption for records of a participant’s activity in a treatment-based drug court program, including the initial screening, substance abuse screenings, behavioral health evaluations, and status reports. Creates s. 397.334, F.S. Sen. Rene Garcia (R-Hialeah)

DONORS

SB 474 OGSR/Donors – Department of Veterans’ Affairs: Reenacts with minor modification the public record exemption for the identity of donors or prospective donors to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs direct support organization. Also exempts those portions of meetings at which the identity of such donors is discussed. Reenacts s. 292.055, F.S. S. Military Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

HB 121 DEO Website: Requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to create a web page dedicated solely to the collection and publication of information regarding the creation of new businesses within the state or the expansion of existing businesses within the state for the purpose of providing (1) a comprehensive overview of conditions conducive to the creation or expansion of business; (2) allow prospective employers to evaluate the state’s business climate; and (3) provide prospective business owners immediate access to specific charges and costs related to conducting business. Companion to SB 670. Rep. Neil Combee (R-Auburndale)

  • H. Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee: A minor amendment is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in H. Local and Federal Affairs Committee.

SB 670 DEO Website: Companion to HB 121. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg)

SB 406 Economic Development Programs Evaluation: In pertinent part, requires the Office of Economic and Demographic Research and the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to develop the Economic Development Program Evaluation and to provide a detailed analysis of economic development programs on a specified schedule beginning January 1, 2014. Companion to HB 641. Sen. Andy Gardiner (R-Orlando)

  • S. Commerce and Tourism Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development.

HB 641 Economic Development Programs Evaluation: Companion to SB 406. Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers)

HB 563 Reporting Requirements Economic Development Programs: Requires the Department of Economic Opportunity to create and maintain a website for the purpose of publishing certain, specified information concerning state investment in economic development programs. Requires the Office of Economic and Demographic Research to establish a methodology for calculations of the state’s return on investment in such programs, and to publish such information. Companion to SB 572. Creates s. 288.076, F.S. Rep. José Rodríguez (D-Miami) 🙂

  • H. Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee: A strike-all amendment making relatively minor changes is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in the H. Transportation and Economic Development Appropriations Subcommittee. 🙂

SB 572 Reporting Requirements Economic Development Programs: Companion to HB 563. Sen. Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) 🙂

ETHICS AND ELECTIONS

SB 2 Ethics –Public Records Training/Complaint Disclosure: In pertinent part, requires mandatory training in open records and open meeting law for “constitutional officers” including the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, the Attorney General, the Chief Financial Officer, the Commissioner of Agriculture, state attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs, tax collectors, property appraisers, supervisors of elections, clerks of the circuit court, county commissioners, district school board members, and superintendents of schools. Also, amends s. 112.324, F.S., preventing the disclosure of an ethics complaint or referral within 30 days of an election unless the complaint or referral is based on personal information or information other than hearsay. Currently, the law prohibits disclosure of such information within 5 days of an election. Creates s. 112.3142, F. S., and amends s. 112.324. S. Ethics and Elections 🙂

  • S. Community Affairs Committee: Reported favorably with two minor amendments. 🙂
  • S. Rules Committee: Various amendments are adopted, including an amendment that makes a minor change to the ethics training section; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on S. Calendar Special Order Calendar for March 5. 🙂

SB 4 Exemption/Ethics – Written Referrals: Creates a public record exemption for written referrals and related records held by the Ethics Commission, the Governor, FDLE, or state attorneys. Also exempts records relating to preliminary investigations of such referrals held by the Commission. Creates an exemption for Commission proceedings at which referrals are discussed or acted upon. Stipulates that the exemptions apply until the complaint is dismissed as legally insufficient, the subject of the referral requests that the records be made public, the Commission determines it will not investigate the referral, or when probable cause is determined. Amends s. 112.324(2), F.S. S. Ethics and Election

  • S. Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee: A strike-all amendment making minor technical changes is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute.
  • Senate Rules Committee: Reported favorably. Now on the Senate Special Order Calendar for March 5.

HB 287 Exemption/Ethics – Investigations: Creates a public record exemption for records relating to a preliminary investigation and determinations regarding referrals made by the Ethics Commission regarding a referral held by the Commission or by a commission established by a county or city. Also creates an exemption for proceedings relating to referrals. Stipulates that the exemptions apply until the complaint is dismissed as legally insufficient, the subject of the referral requests that the records be made public, the commission determines it will not investigate the referral, or when probable cause is determined. Amends s. 112.324(2), F.S. Companion to SB 652. Companion to HB 381 and SB 652. Rep. Charles McBurney (R-Jacksonville)

HB 381 Exemption/Ethics – Investigations: Companion to HB 287 and SB 652. Rep. Michael Clelland (D-Longwood)

SB 652 Exemption/Ethics – Investigations: Companion to HB 287 and HB 381. Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice)

HB 297 Exemption/Ethics – Legal Sufficiency: Expands the public record and open meeting exemptions in s. 112.324(2)(a), F.S., for complaints made to the Ethics Commission or to a commission established by a county or city, to also exempt determinations of legal sufficiency to conduct investigations of an alleged breach of the public trust. Also expands the exemption for commission proceedings under s. 112.324(2)(b) to exempt determinations of an indication of a breach of public trust. Stipulates that the exemptions apply until the complaint or other alleged indication of a breach of the public trust is dismissed as legally insufficient; the subject of the complaint requests that the records be made public; the commission determines it will not investigate the complaint, publicly disseminated information, or referral; or when probable cause is determined. Amends s. 112.324(2), F.S. Rep. Mike Fasano (R-New Port Richey)

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

HB 403 Exemption/ Bidder Financial Statements: Currently, s. 119.071(1)(c), F.S., provides an exemption for financial statements required of a prospective bidder in order to prequalify for bidding, or for responding to a proposal for road and other public works projects. HB 403 amends and expands the exemption to create a public record exemption for all required financial statements submitted when responding to an invitation to bid, submitting a letter of interest, or responding to a request for proposals or an invitation to negotiate pursuant to a public procurement. Amends s. 119.071(1)(c), F.S. Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) 🙁

HB 937 Exemption/False Claims Act: HB 935 creates s. 68.0731, F.S., which grants the Department of Financial Services subpoena power before the department institutes civil proceedings for a violation of the s. 68.082, F.S, Florida’s False Claims Act. HB 937 creates a temporary public record exemption for complaints and information, related to a possible violation of the false insurance claims act statute s. 68.082, F.S., held by the Department of Financial Services’ Department of Legal Affairs during the course of an investigation of possible violation of the false insurance claims act. Exemption expires once the investigation is complete or ceases to be active unless the information is a trade secret, jeopardizes another investigation, or reveals investigative techniques or procedures. Creates s. 68.083(8), F.S. Rep. Dana Young (R-Tampa)

HUMANE SOCIETIES

SB 674 Animal Shelter Records: Requires public or private animal shelters, humane organizations, or animal control agencies to create and maintain records regarding the intake and disposition of animals they take in. Stipulates that such records are subject to disclosure and authorizes a fee of up to $1 per one-sided copy. Amends 823.15(1). Bill Montford (D-Tallahassee) ???

HB 839 Transparency/Animal Shelters: Creates the Transparency in Animal Shelters Act, requiring animal shelters and humane societies that euthanize dogs or cats to compile monthly and annual summaries of the number of animals, by species type (1) on hand at the beginning of each reporting period; (2) surrendered by owners; (3) impounded as strays; (4) confiscated by animal control; (5) transferred to the facility from other shelter or rescue group; (6) dead on arrival; (7) returned to their owner; (8) adopted; (9) transferred to another organization or rescue group; (10) that died or were lost or stolen; and (11) remain in custody at the end of the reporting period. Requires the executive director to sign and verify the accuracy of such reports and stipulates that the verified summaries be posted on the shelter’s or society’s website with 5 days of the first day of each month. Creates s. 823.15, F.S. Companion to SB 872. Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Palm Springs) 🙂

SB 872 Transparency/Animal Shelters: Companion to HB 839. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo (D-Wellington) 🙂

OFFICIAL RECORDS

HB 173 Death Certificates: In pertinent part, creates s. 382.008(7), F.S., stipulating that permanent certificates of death or fetal death must be recorded in the official records books of each county, excluding information that is exempt from public disclosure. Companion to SB 462. Rep. Hazel Rogers (D-Lauderhill)

SB 462 Death Certificates: Companion to HB 173. Sen. Geri Thompson (D-Orlando)

PERSONAL INFORMATION

SB 452 OGSR/Organ and Tissue Registry – Donor Information: Reenacts, without modification, the public record exemption information protecting the identity of organ and tissue donors. Reenacts s. 765.51551, F.S. S. Health Policy Committee

SB 1066 Exemption/Dental Workforce Surveys: Creates a public record exemption for all personal identifying information contained in dental workforce surveys completed by dentists and dental hygienists held by the Department of Health. Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples)

PROPRIETARY INFORMATION

HB 649 Exemption/ Electric Utility – Proprietary Business Information: Creates a public record exemption for proprietary confidential information provided by a private or out-of-state entity to a public electric utility in connection with the utility’s due diligence review of an electric project or a project to improve the delivery, cost, or diversification of fuel or renewable energy resources. Stipulates that such information must be returned to the person or entity providing the information after the due diligence review has been completed and the utility has decided whether to participate in the project. Creates s. 119.0713(4), F.S. Companion to SB 714. Rep. W. Travis Cummings (R-Orange Park) ???

SB 714 Exemption/ Electric Utility – Proprietary Business Information: Companion to HB 649. Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs) ???

HB 745 Exemption/Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act – Trade Secrets: HB 725 creates the Fracturing Chemical Usage Disclosure Act, directing the Division of Resource Management in DEP to establish an online hydraulic fracturing chemical registry. HB 745 creates a public record exemption for trade secrets relating to hydraulic fracturing treatments obtained by the Division of Resource Management (DEP) in connection with the online hydraulic fracturing chemical registry. Stipulates that the person submitting trade secret information must (1) request that it be kept confidential and exempt and (2) inform the division of the basis for claim of trade secret. HB 745 requires DEP to make a determination, subject to notice and an opportunity for a hearing, whether the information is truly a trade secret. Creates s. 377.45, F.S. Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers)

HB 823 Exemption/Insurance Solvency – Proprietary Business Information: Creates a public record exemption for proprietary business information related to insurance solvency held by the Office of Insurance Regulation. Defines “proprietary business information” as information owned or controlled by an insurer which is (1) intended to be and is treated by the insurer as private in that disclosure of the information would cause harm to the insurer’s business operations and has not been disclosed and (2) is not otherwise readily ascertainable or publicly available. Proprietary business information includes trade secrets; information relating to competitive interests; the source, nature, and amount of the consideration used in carrying out a merger or other acquisition; information relating to bids or other contractual data; and internal auditing controls and reports. Allows disclosure under certain, specified conditions. Creates s. 624.4212, F.S. Companion to SB 834. Rep. Clay Ingram (R-Pensacola)

SB 834 Exemption/Insurance Insolvency – Proprietary Business Information: Companion to HB 823. Sen. David Simmons (R-Altamonte Springs)

SB 984 Exemption/Natural Gas Storage – Proprietary Business Information: SB 958 authorizes the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to issue permits for underground natural gas storage facilities. SB 984 creates publ\ic record exemption for information provided by a permit applicant to DEP relating to (1) leasing plans; (2) exploration budgets; (3) proprietary well design or completion plans; (4) geological or engineering studies related to storage reservoir performance; (5) commercial or marketing studies; and (6) other proprietary confidential business information or trade secrets which could provide an economic advantage to competitors. Creates s. 377.24075, F.S. Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples) ???

PUBLIC EMPLOYEES

SB 60/Exemption/DOH – Home Addresses: Creates a public record exemption for the home addresses, telephone numbers, and photographs of current and former Department of Health personnel whose duties include or support the investigation and prosecution of complaints filed against health care practitioners or the inspection of licensed facilities. Also exempts the names, home addresses, telephone numbers, and place of employment of the spouses and children of such personnel, as well as the names and locations of schools and day care facilities attended by their children. Stipulates that the exemption will apply only if the person seeking the protection of the exemption has shown that a reasonable effort to protect such information through other, publicly available sources has been made. Amends s. 119.071(4)(d), F.S. Companion to HB 529. Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla)

  • S. Health Policy: Adopted a-strike all amendment removing the term “support,” but and prosecution of complaints filed against health care practitioners or the inspection of licensed facilities; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

HB 529 Exemption/ DOH – Home Address: Companion to SB 60. Amends s. 119.071(4)(d), F.S. Companion to SB 60. Rep. Doc Renuart (R-Ponte Vedra Beach)

  • H. Health Quality Subcommittee: A strike-all amendment making a minor technical change is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in H. Government Operations Subcommittee.

SB 304 OGSR/Agency Employees – Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Violence: Reenacts, without modification, the public record exemption for personal identifying information contained in records provided by an agency employee that relate to acts of domestic or sexual violence. Reenacts s. 741.313, F.S. S. Criminal Justice Committee

SB 376 Exemption/ Names of Spouses: Creates a public record exemption for the names of the spouses and children of active or former law enforcement personnel. Amends s. 119.071(4)(d)2. Companion to HB 731. Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) 🙁

  • S. Criminal Justice Committee: A strike-all amendment expanding the exemption to include the names of spouses and children of correctional officers, and certain employees of the Department of Children and Families, Department of Health, and the Department of Revenue is adopted. Reported favorably with one amendment. Now in S. Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

HB 731 Exemption/ Names of Spouses: Companion to SB 376. Rep. Dave Kerner (D-Palm Springs) 🙁

PUBLIC RECORD DATA

SB 1004 Inventory of Public Data: Requires agencies to create an inventory of all public record data in its custody and submit the inventory to the Secretary of State by July 1, 2014, and every 6 months thereafter. Stipulates that the inventories include: (1) a description of the data, including a record layout; (2) the format, source, quality, and accuracy of the data; (3) whether the data is currently available to the public without a public records request and, if so, the format and location of the data; (4) a description of the data for which a public records request must be made in order to obtain it; (5) a description of all data that is confidential or exempt and the applicable statutory citations; and (6) an explanation of any data-sharing activities with any other agencies. Requires the Secretary of State to create a website for the posting of all inventories, stipulating that the website must include all inventories; the relationship of the data reported by one agency to that of other agencies; and a comparison of existing data distribution methods. “Agency” is defined to include the Legislature, the judiciary, and all state agencies, and “public data” is defined as “any public record made or received in connection with the official business of an agency, unless otherwise made confidential or exempt pursuant to law.” Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) 🙂

RIGHT TO SPEAK

HB 23 Public Meetings/Right to Speak: Requires boards and commissions to provide members of the public with a reasonable opportunity to speak before a board or commission makes a final decision, subject to reasonable rules of the board or commission to ensure reasonable conduct. The right to speak would not apply to certain situations including an official act related to an emergency situation, a ministerial act, any meeting that is exempt from the open meetings law under s. 286.011, F.S., and quasi-judicial meetings with respect to the rights or interests of a person. Requires the assessment of reasonable attorney fees if a court finds that an agency violated the right to speak, but stipulates that any action taken will not be void as a result of the violation. Creates s. 286.0114, F.S. Companion to SB 50. Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Myers) 🙂

SB 50 Public Meetings/Right to Speak: Companion to HB 23. Sen. Joe Negron (R-Palm City) 🙂

  • S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee: A strike-all amendment adding a definition of “board or commission” is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. As amended, CS/SB 50 defines “board or commission” as a board or commission of any state agency or authority or of a county, municipality, or political subdivision. Requires boards and commissions to provide members of the public with a reasonable opportunity to speak before a board or commission makes a final decision, subject to reasonable rules of the board or commission to ensure reasonable conduct. The right to speak would not apply to certain situations including an official act related to an emergency situation, a ministerial act, any meeting that is exempt from the open meetings law under s. 286.011, F.S., and quasi-judicial meetings with respect to the rights or interests of a person. Requires the assessment of reasonable attorney fees if a court finds that an agency violated the right to speak, but stipulates that any action taken will not be void as a result of the violation.
  • S. Appropriations Committee: Reported favorably. Now in S. Rules Committee.

SCHOOLS

HB 127 Public Meetings/School Boards Meetings: In pertinent part, requires district school boards to hold at least one regular school board meeting after school hours or in the evening. Amends s. 1001.372(1), F.S. Companion to SB 134. Rep. Richard Stark (D-Weston) 🙂

SB 134 Public Meetings/School Boards: Companion to HB 127. Sen. Jeremy Ring (D-Margate) 🙂

  • S. Education Committee: An amendment requiring district school boards to hold at least one regular meeting each quarter during the evening hours is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in S. Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee. 🙂

SB 800 Exemption/School After-Drill Reports: SB 790 requires school districts to conduct emergency lockdown drills at least as often as emergency evacuation drills. SB 800 creates a public record exemption for a school district’s after-drill report and the recommendations from law enforcement officers or fire officials. Companion to HB 991. Creates s. 1006.67, F.S. Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) ???

HB 991 Exemption/School After-Drill Reports: Companion to SB 880. Rep. Ray Rodrigues (R-Fort Meyers)

VOTER INFORMATION

HB 249 Exemption/ Voter Email Address: HB 247 requires that the uniform statewide voter registration application be designed to elicit email addresses from voter registration applicants and registered voters. HB 249 creates a public record exemption for email addresses of voters and voter registration applicants. Amends s. 97.0585(1), F.S. Rep. Bryan Nelson (R-Apopka) 🙁

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If you’d like additional information about any of the bills included in this report or to know the Foundation’s position on a specific bill, please call 800/337-3518.

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