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2009 Florida Legislative Summary

TALLAHASSEE – The following is a summary of the nine Public Records and Open Meetings Law exemptions enacted in 2009.   However, two exemptions—one for telecommunication company records and one for information about donors to public buildings—were vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist. 

HB 7093 Telecommunications and Broadband Companies: Creates a public records exemption for proprietary confidential business information obtained from telecommunications companies and broadband companies by the Department of Management Services, including plans, billing and payment records, trade secrets or other information that is intended to be confidential and is not otherwise publicly available in the format held by the department.Any Information related to maps, facility locations, broadband services and speed is not proprietary.

HB 7119 Education Records: Creates a public records exemption for K-12 education records held by an agency, public school, center, institution, or other entity that is part of state’s education system.  It also expands an exemption for records of students in public postsecondary educational institutions including education records and applicant records.

HB 7125 Military Base Closures: Creates a public records exemption for portions of records held by the Florida Council on Military Base and Mission Support on U.S. Department of Defense Base Realignment and Closure Activities related to 1) strengths and weaknesses of military installations or missions; 2) selection criteria for realignment and closure of military bases and missions; 3) Florida’s strategy to retain military bases during federal base realignment and closure procedures; 4) agreements or proposals to relocate or realign military units of missions. Also creates a public meetings exemption for council meetings at which exempt information is presented or discussed. 

SB 166 Donors to Public Buildings: Creates a public records exemption for the name, address and telephone number of donors or prospective donors to publicly owned buildings or facilities if the donor desires to remain anonymous.

SB 2158 Florida Insurance Guaranty Association: Creates a public records exemption for records held by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association: 1) claims files until the end of litigation, settlement and final closing of all claims related to the incident; 2) medical records and information relating to the medical condition or status of a claimant; and 3) records privileged by attorney-client communications.

CS/HB 135 Insured Dependents: Creates a public records exemption for the personal identifying information of insured dependents of current and former agency employees insured by an agency group insurance plan. .

CS/HB 631 Estate Inventories and Accountings: Creates a public records exemption for estate or elective estate inventories and accountings filed in an estate proceeding.  The records may be disclosed in specific circumstances including under court order upon showing good cause.

CS/HB 895 School Testing Investigations: Creates a public records exemption for the identity of an educational institution, the personal identifying information of all personnel and records of misconduct obtained or reported in connection with investigating testing impropriety by the Department of Education. The records are exempt until the investigation concludes or becomes inactive.

CS/SB 440 Controlled Substances Database: Creates a public records exemption for information and records reported to the Department of Health via the electronic prescription drug monitoring program. The exempted identifying information of patients, health care providers, pharmacists and employees of practitioners includes the name, address, telephone number, insurance plan number, social security number, provider number, Drug Enforcement Administration number, and other unique identifiers.

Source: First Amendment Foundation, http://www.flsenate.gov and http://www.myfloridahouse.gov