February 27, 2019
The Honorable Scott Plakon
Chair, H. Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee
Florida House of Representatives
402 South Monroe Street, Room 209 HOB
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300
Re: HB 7033 OGSR/Family Trust Companies
Dear Representative Plakon:
We are writing to express our concerns regarding HB 7033, reenacting public record exemptions for information relating to family trusts held by the Office of Financial Regulation under the Open Government Sunset Review Act. We believe this exemption s overbroad and antithetical to the public interest. For these reasons, we respectfully suggest this be substantially narrowed or allowed to sunset.
Section 662.18, F.S., which HB 7033 reenacts without modification, exempts all critical information about family trusts, allowing public access to only the most basic information such as the name of the trust and its registered agent. This exemption was first created in 2014 and the enacting legislation, SB 1320, failed to assert a solid justification for the exemption, merely stating that no public interest is served in allowing access to family trust records. We disagree with this claim, as public oversight of OFR and its regulation of family trusts is critical to our ability to hold OFR accountable. The right of access is the public interest here and an exemption denying the people of this right must be no broader than necessary to accomplish its stated purpose
For these reasons we respectfully oppose HB 7033 as drafted. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Barbara A. Petersen, President
Cc: The Honorable Blaise Ingoglia, Chair, House State Affairs Committee