TALLAHASSEE  –  The following is a summary of bills pertaining to public records and open meetings introduced during the 2012 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

2012 Florida Legislative Summary

TALLAHASSEE – The following is a summary of bills pertaining to public records and open meetings introduced during the 2012 legislative session.

The following eight bills create new exemptions to the state Public Records and Open Meetings Laws.

SB 374 Exemption/Donors – Historic Capitol Museum: Creates a public records exemption for information identifying a donor or prospective donor to the Legislative Research Center and Museum at the Historic Capitol if the donor or prospective donor wants to remain anonymous.  Sen. Nancy Detert (R-Venice).  Signed by Gov. Scott March 23.


SB 570 Exemption/Donors – Performing Arts Centers: Creates a Public Records Law exemption for information identifying a donor or prospective donor to publicly owned performing arts centers if the donor or prospective donor wants to remain anonymous.  Sen. Jeremy Ring (R-Margate).  Signed by Gov. Scott March 23.


CS/HB 629 Exemption/Telephone Numbers and Dates of Birth: Expands the current public records exemption to exempt telephone numbers and dates of birth of government employees and their families.  Clarifies the exemption for law enforcement officers to include active or former “sworn or civilian” law enforcement personnel, and expands the exemption for judges and justices to include current or former justices and judges.  Rep. Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater).  Signed by Gov. Scott April 24.


CS/HB 645 Exemption/Title Insurance Information: Creates a public record exemption for proprietary business information provided to the Department of Financial Service. This information can include: business plans; internal auditing controls and reports of internal auditors; reports of external auditors; trade secrets; and financial information, including revenue data, loss expense data, gross receipts, taxes paid, capital investment, customer identification, and employee wages.  Rep. George Moraitis, Jr. (R-Fort Lauderdale).  Signed by Gov. Scott May 4.

CS/HB 1089 Exemption/Home Addresses – DBPR & Tax Collectors: Creates a public records exemption for the home addresses, telephone numbers, and photographs of current and former investigators and inspectors of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the children and spouses of such investigators and inspectors.  Also creates a public records exemption for the home addresses and telephone numbers of county tax collectors and the children and spouses of such collectors.  Rep. Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach).  Signed by Gov. Scott May 4.


CS/HB 1193 Exemption/Victims of Violence: Creates an exemption from the Public Records Law for personally identifying and location information of victims of domestic, dating, sexual or repeat violence provided to the clerks of court and law enforcement in order for the victims to receive automatic notification when a restraining order requested by the victim has been served. Requires the victims to request protection of their personal information in writing.  Rep. Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville).  Signed by Gov. Scott April 27.


HB 1239 Exemption/Department of Citrus Research Reports: Creates a public record exemption for non-published reports or data conducted by the Department of Citrus related to research on citrus disease and crop efficiency conducted.  Rep. Ben Albritton (R-Bartow); Rep. Steve Crusafelli (R-Merritt Island).  Signed by Gov. Scott April 27.

CS/SB 1856 Exemption/Biomedical Research: Creates an exemption for portions of peer review panels of the James nd Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the William G. “Bill” Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program.  Also creates an exemption for records related to biomedical research grant applications and for research grant applications reviewed by the peer review panel.  Sen. Anitere Flores (R-Miami).  Signed by Gov. Scott March 23.

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