In the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee:
HB 99 – Juvenile Civil Citations by Clarke-Reed – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Requires that law enforcement officer, upon making contact with juvenile who admits having committed misdemeanor, issue civil citation in certain circumstances.
HB 493 – Concealed Weapon / Evacuations by Fitzenhagen – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Provides exemption from criminal penalties for carrying concealed weapon or concealed firearm when evacuating pursuant to mandatory evacuation order during declared state of emergency. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill — SB 290 by Brandes – was considered today in the Senate Community Affairs Committee (see below).]
In the Senate Education Appropriations Subcommittee:
SB 7028 – Educational Opportunities for Veterans by Military & Veterans Affairs — PASSED
Revising criteria for eligibility for out-of-state fee waivers at state universities, Florida College System institutions, and specified career centers; removing a provision regarding the applicability of waivers to required credit hours for a student’s degree or certificate program, etc.
SB 642 – Individuals with Disabilities by Benacquisto – PASSED
Creating the “Florida Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act”; requiring the Florida Prepaid College Board to establish a direct-support organization known as “Florida ABLE, Inc.”; authorizing the organization to use certain services, property, and facilities of the Florida Prepaid College Board; providing that specified moneys, assets, and income of a qualified ABLE program, including the Florida ABLE program, are not subject to attachment, levy, garnishment, or certain legal process in favor of certain creditors or claimants, etc. [NOTE: The linked bill that creates the ABLE Program Trust Fund —SB 644 – also passed. In addition, the House companions to this series of linked bills was considered later on Wednesday in the House Children, Families, & Seniors Subcommittee (see below).]
SB 152 – Disability Awareness by Ring — PASSED
Requiring, rather than authorizing, each district school board to provide disability history and awareness instruction in all K-12 public schools beginning in a specified school year; requiring each public school to establish a disability history and awareness advisory council, etc.
SB 7030 – Postsecondary Education/Students With Disabilities by Higher Education — PASSED
Creating the “Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program Act”; establishing eligibility requirements for enrollment in the Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program; establishing the Florida Center for Students with Unique Abilities; establishing a Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program Scholarship for certain qualified students, etc.
SB 602 – Students With Disabilities by Gaetz – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Revising the Florida Personal Learning Scholarship Accounts (PLSA) Program; revising scholarship application deadlines and guidelines; requiring authorized program funds to support the student’s educational needs; providing future repeal of provisions pertaining to an implementation schedule of notification and eligibility timelines; authorizing a prepaid college plan to be purchased, accounted for, used, and terminated under certain circumstances, etc. [NOTE: Amendments adopted today include provisions to allow 3-4 year olds to be eligible for this program and to allow program funds to be used for training on the use of digital devices.]
In addition to consideration of the bills above, the Subcommittee received a status report from Education Commissioner Pam Stewart on the issues that have arisen during the first administration of the FSA. Commission Stewart stated that the primary cause for the difficulties centers around a software issue on the login server. Commissioner Stewart stated that AIR – the testing company — has taken full responsibility for the issues and has dedicated all available resources to fixing the problem. Commissioner Stewart reported that there were fewer problems reported on Tuesday, but that some issues still persisted today. Commissioner Stewart also provided an update on the state Digital Classroom Budget Requirements.
In the Senate General Government Appropriations Subcommittee:
SB 258 – Property and Casualty Insurance by Brandes – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Requiring the Office of Insurance Regulation to use certain models or methods, or a straight average of model results or output ranges, to estimate hurricane losses when determining whether the rates in a rate filing are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory; increasing the length of time during which an insurer is not required to adhere to certain models found by the Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology to be accurate or reliable in determining probable maximum loss levels with respect to certain rate filings, etc.
SB 7024 – State Board of Administration by Governmental Oversight — PASSED
Establishing conditions for the transfer of any residual balance in the Fund B Surplus Funds Trust Fund upon self-liquidation; requiring that additional income received after distribution of the residual balance be deposited in the Local Government Surplus Funds Trust Fund; repealing provisions relating to restrictions on investments in institutions doing business in or with Northern Ireland; etc.
In the House Children, Families & Seniors Subcommittee:
HB 935 – Individuals with Disabilities / Florida ABLE Program by R. Rodrigues — PASSED
Creates “Florida Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act”; requires Florida Prepaid College Board to establish direct-support organization known as “Florida ABLE, Inc.”; authorizes organization to use certain services, property, & facilities of Florida Prepaid College Board; provides that specified moneys, assets, & income of qualified ABLE program, including Florida ABLE program, are not subject to attachment, levy, garnishment, or certain legal process in favor of certain creditors or claimants. [NOTE: The Subcommittee will also passed two linked bills by Representative Rodrigues — HB 937 which establishes the ABLE Trust Fund and HB 939 which creates a public records exemption for certain information relating to the ABLE Program.]
In the House Civil Justice Subcommittee:
HB 365 – Skateboarding, Skating, or Bicycling by Gonzalez — PASSED
Removes requirement that governmental entity that provides designated area for skateboarding, inline skating, or freestyle bicycling post rules indicating written consent of parent or legal guardian of child under certain age is required to participates; provides for application of specified provisions that limit liability of governmental entity. [NOTE: The Senate companion bill — SB 408 by Simmons – was considered later on Wednesday in the Senate Community Affairs Committee (see below).]
HB 583 – Single-Sex Public Facilities by Artiles — PASSED
Requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designated; prohibits knowingly & willfully entering single-sex public facility designated for or restricted to persons of other biological sex; provides exemptions; provides private cause of action against violators; provides for preemption.
HB 625 – Florida Civil Rights Act by B. Cortes — PASSED
Prohibits discrimination on basis of pregnancy in specified establishments; prohibits employment discrimination on basis of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions; prohibits discrimination on basis of pregnancy by labor organizations, joint labor-management committees, employment agencies, or in licensing.
In the Senate Community Affairs Committee:
SB 136 – FRS / Public Officers & Employees by Hays – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Specifying eligibility of a monthly death benefit payment to the surviving spouse, child, or joint annuitant of a law enforcement officer, correctional officer, correctional probation officer, or firefighter employed by a state agency; providing an annual appropriation; specifying applicability; authorizing political subdivisions to offer a monthly death benefit, etc.
SB 778 – Local Government Construction Preferences by Hays — PASSED
Prohibiting local ordinances and regulations from restricting a certified contractor’s competition for award of a contract for construction services based upon certain conditions; requiring a state college, school district, or other political subdivision to make specified disclosures in competitive solicitation documents, etc.
SB 154 – Hazardous Walking Conditions by Hays — PASSED
Revising criteria that determine a hazardous walking condition for public school students; requiring a district school board to correct hazardous walking conditions and provide transportation to students who would be subjected to hazardous walking conditions; requiring state or local governmental entities with jurisdiction over a road with a hazardous walking condition to correct the condition within a reasonable period of time, etc.
SB 408 – Skateboarding, Skating, or Bicycling by Simmons — PASSED
Paintball, or Freestyle or Mountain and Off-roading Bicycling; Deleting the requirement that a governmental entity that provides a designated area for skateboarding, inline skating, or freestyle bicycling obtain the written consent of the parent or legal guardian of a child under a certain age before allowing the child to participate in these activities in such area; requiring the governmental entity to post a rule indicating that consent forms are required for children under a certain age before participation in paintball or mountain and off-road bicycling, etc.
SB 290 – Concealed Weapon / Evacuations by Brandes — PASSED
Providing an exemption from criminal penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or a concealed firearm when evacuating pursuant to a mandatory evacuation order during a declared state of emergency, etc.
In the Senate Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee:
SB 590 – All American Flag Act by Altman — PASSED
Citing this act as the “All-American Flag Act”; requiring a United States flag or a state flag that is purchased on or after a specified date by the state, a county, or a municipality for public use to be made in the United States, etc.
SB 7038 – Employer Contributions / Retiree Benefits by Governmental Oversight – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL
Revising the employer contribution rates for the retiree health insurance subsidy; revising the required employer retirement contribution rates for members of each membership class and subclass of the Florida Retirement System, etc.
In the House Government Operations Subcommittee:
HB 163 – Public Records/Contractors by Beshears – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Defines term “acting on behalf of public agency”; revises definition of term “contractor”; requires that public agency contract for services include statement providing name & telephone number of public agency’s custodian of records; prescribes form of statement; revises contractual provisions in public agency contract for services regarding contractor’s compliance with public records laws; specifies circumstances under which court may assess & award reasonable costs of enforcement against public agency or contractor.
HB 527 – Public Works Projects by Van Zant — PASSED
Prohibits state & political subdivisions that contract for construction, maintenance, repair, or improvement of public works from imposing certain conditions on certain contractors, subcontractors, or material suppliers or carriers; provides exception; prohibits state & political subdivisions from restricting qualified bidders from submitting bids, being awarded any bid or contract, or performing work on public works project.
HB 549 – Associations of Government Officials by M. Diaz – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Requires a membership association that receives a specified percentage of its budget from public funds to file a report with the Legislature; requires that such report provide specified information; prohibiting a membership association from expending public funds on litigation against the state. [NOTE: The Subcommittee took up and passed a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) and the summary above reflects the provisions of the PCS. FSBA has significant concerns about the intent of this bill which appear to conflict with home rule authority of local governments.]
In the House K-12 Subcommittee:
HB 143 – American Founders’ Month by Bileca — PASSED
Designates September as “American Founders’ Month”; authorizes Governor to annually designate month; requires district school boards to celebrate American Founders by observing American Founders’ Month; provides that instruction may be integrated into existing school curriculum.
HB 291 – Involuntary Examinations of Minors by Harrell — PASSED
Provides requirements for notification of involuntary examination of minors by public schools, charter schools, & receiving facilities.
HB 477 – Background Screening by Sprowls — PASSED
Revises requirement relating to background screening of instructional personnel in virtual instruction programs; provides additional offenses that determine ineligibility for educator certification or employment; revises requirements for submission, retention, search, and reporting of fingerprints of educational personnel and contractual personnel; provides for FDLE participation in national retained print arrest notification program.
KTS2 – Standard Student Attire by K-12 – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL; FILED AS HB 7043
Creates the “Students Attired for Education (SAFE) Act” and enumerates the benefits of a standard student attire policy; encourages district school boards to enact a policy requiring standard student attire in at least kindergarten through eighth grade; provides immunity from civil liability based upon adoption of such a policy; provides additional funds to school boards that enact a standard student attire policy. [NOTE: The bill allocates a total of $10,000 to provide up to $10 per student in K-8 in qualifying districts.]
KTS3 – School Administration by K-12 – SUBMITTED AS A COMMITTEE BILL
Updates and streamlines provisions relating to compulsory attendance and enforcement for both public and private schools; revises requirements related to early warning systems (EWS) for middle schools; revises incident and bullying reporting requirements; provides for professional development on suicide prevention; promotes transparency and strengthens ethical requirements for local school officials; etc. [NOTE: This bill comes as the result of testimony from school district officials and contains many laudable and practical provisions, but there are a few provisions that may be of concern in certain districts.]
HB 357 – Principal Autonomy Pilot Program by M. Diaz – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Establishes the Principal Autonomy Pilot Program Initiative; authorizes school district participation in the program; establishing requirements for submission and approval of principal autonomy proposals; providing statutory and rule exemptions for participating school districts; requiring the principal of each participating school to complete specified professional development; providing that the initial term of the program is 3 years; requiring annual reporting by participating school districts; requiring the Commissioner of Education to report on program effectiveness; requiring the State Board of Education to adopt rules; etc. [NOTE: The Subcommittee took up and passed a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) for the original bill. The summary above reflects the provisions of the PCS.]
In the Senate Education PreK-12 Committee:
SB 346 – School Bus Stop Safety by Simmons — PASSED
Citing this act as the “Gabby’s Law for School Bus Stop Safety”; revising penalties for failure to stop a vehicle upon approaching a school bus that displays a stop signal; providing for criminal penalties under certain circumstances; amending provisions relating to application of specified provisions, disposition of penalty amounts received, and trauma payments, etc.
SB 616 – Education Accountability by Legg – AMENDED AND PASSED AS A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Reduces the number of statutorily-required assessments by eliminating the current requirement that a school district administer a local assessment for each course that is not assessed by a statewide, standardized assessment; limits the amount of time for test administration to no more than 5% of total school hours per student, per year, but provides exemptions; requires school districts to make student performance results on district-required local assessment available to the student’s teachers and parents within 30 days of test administration; eliminates certain mandatory tests such as the Grade 11 FSA for English Language Arts and the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (PERT); requires the State Board of Education to adopt in rule a notification form that districts must use to inform parents about 3rd grade retention and mid-year promotion and high school graduation requirements and available options; retains the ability for teachers and school administrators to receive performance pay adjustments if they meet specified conditions; revises teacher performance evaluations by requiring the student performance component to be at least 33%, the instructional practice component to constitute at least 33%, and the professional and job responsibilities component constitute no more than 33%; requires that the instructional practice component of a teacher’s performance evaluation have multiple observations by administrative personnel; authorizes a new requirement that the professional and job responsibilities component of a teacher’s performance evaluation to utilize peer reviews; provides that, for schools and school districts that experience technical implementation issues during the 2014-2015 school year assessment, a one-time option to use the 2014-2015 school year test results for diagnostic and baseline purposes only. [NOTE: The Committee took up and passed a Proposed Committee Substitute (PCS) – the summary above reflects the PCS.]
SB 688 – Opening and Closing of Public Schools by Montford – AMENDED AND PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
Revising a requirement for the uniform opening date of public schools to allow an opening date of up to 21 days before Labor Day; providing that academically high-performing school districts must comply with provisions relating to the uniform opening date of public schools, etc. [NOTE: FSBA strongly supports this, and similar, bills that would allow districts more flexibility regarding the school calendar in order to foster and promote student achievement.]
SB 818 – Maximum Class Size by Garcia — PASSED
Requiring the calculation of a school district’s class size categorical allocation reduction at the school average when maximum class size requirements are not met; revising the calculation, etc. [NOTE: FSBA supports this bill.]
COMING UP TOMORROW
[REMINDER: Most meetings may be viewed via live webcast on the Florida Channel athttp://thefloridachannel.org]
The House Education Committee will meet (8:00-10:00 am) to conduct a workshop on Draft Legislationrelating to Education Accountability. The Committee will also hear a presentation on the Testing Investigation Conducted by Commissioner Stewart
The House Local & Federal Affairs Committee will meet (8:00-10:00 am) to consider the following item and others:
HB 489 – Value Adjustment Board Proceedings by Sullivan
Requires clerk of VAB to have available & distribute specified forms; authorizes owner of multiple items of tangible personal property to file joint petition with VAB; requires property appraiser to include property record card in evidence list for VAB hearing.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will meet (1:00-3:00 pm) to conduct a workshop on Charter Schools.