TALLAHASSEE – The following is a summary of bills pertaining to public records and open meetings introduced during the 2011 legislative session. Chief sponsors of the bills are indicated at the end of the summaries. Copies of the legislation in full are available at the Florida Legislature’s website (www.leg.state.fl.us).
SB=Senate Bill; HB=House Bill; CS=Committee Substitute
The following nine bills create news exemptions to the state Public Records and Open meetings Law.
CS/HB 409 Video Voyeurism: Expands the current public record exemption for criminal intelligence and investigative information, creating an exemption for photos, video or images of victims of certain sexual offenses, including video voyeurism. Rep. Keith Perry (R-Ocala). Signed by Gov. Scott May 31.
CS/HB 411 Photographs Depicting Killing of a Person: Creates a new exemption to the Public Records Law for photos, videos, or audio recordings that depict the “killing of a person.” This is defined as “all acts or events that cause or otherwise relate to the death of any human being, including any related acts or events immediately preceding or subsequent to the acts or events that were the proximate cause of death.” Immediate family members of the deceased, as well as official agencies, are permitted access. Others can access the records only by a court order and a showing of good cause. Rep. Rachel Burgin (R-Tampa). Signed by Gov. Scott June 2.
CS/HB 579 Regional Autism Centers: Creates a public record exemption for clients of regional autism centers who receive services at the center or participate. Also exempt are all records related to the clients family. The bill also exempts from the Public Records Law personal identifying information or current or prospective donors to a regional autism center who request anonymity. Rep. Marti Coley (R-Marianna). Signed by Gov. Scott June 24.
HB 597 Emergency Notification System: Creates a new public record exemption for information provided to agency for emergency notification purposes. Exempt information includes names, addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, and other electronic communication addresses. Rep. Dwayne Taylor (D-Daytona Beach). Signed by Gov. Scott May 31.
CS/HB 667 Inspector General Reports: Changes the current exemption for non-final reports of internal auditors for local governments. Creates a new public records exemption for investigative and audit reports of local government inspectors general, providing for disclosure only after the audit or investigation is final. Information received, produced, or gained as the result of a local government inspector general’s investigation is also exempt. Rep. Jeff Clemens (R-Lake Worth). Signed by Gov. Scott May 31.
CS/HB 677 Office of Financial Regulation: Creates public records exemptions for information received by the Office of Financial Regulation from other agencies that is exempt under state or federal law, as well as information received as part of a multi-agency investigation. Rep. Ray Pilon (R-Sarasota). Signed by Gov. Scott May 31.
CS/HB 913 Public Airports – Proprietary Business Information: Creates an exemption to the Public Records Law for “proprietary confidential business information” that is held by or submitted to a public airport. This information includes: business plans, business plans; internal auditing controls and reports; reports of external auditors for privately held companies; trade secrets; client and customer lists; material that could be patented; business transactions; financial information of the proprietor; and financial projections of the proprietor or airport facilities projects. Also creates an exemption for proposals and counterproposals between a public airport and a non-governmental entity relating to the sale, use, development, or lease of airport land or airport facilities, are also exempt. However, these proposals and counterproposals will become public once approved. Rep. Mike Horner (R-Kissimmee). Vetoed by Gov. Scott June 24.
CS/HB 1473 Florida Health Choices Program: Creates public record exemptions for information related to the Florida Health Choices Program, including personal identifying information of enrollees or participants; client and customer lists; and proprietary confidential business information held by Florida Health Choices, Inc. Rep. Richard Corcoran (R-New Port Richey). Signed by Gov. Scott June 21.
CS/SB 1970 OPPAGA: Creates a public record exemption for papers held by the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability that relate to a project or research product. Sen. John Thrasher (R-Jacksonville). Signed by Gov. Scott May 5.