Today’s schedule appears fairly light, but several bills of interest will be considered, including bills relating to public records, facilities, growth management, and government accountability. In addition, the House will be in Session this afternoon to conduct 2nd Reading on the House and Senate versions of bills that address the medical use of marijuana. These bills have implications for both students and school personnel. Today’s schedule is posted in the file below and was updated throughout the day with the outcome on these bills after each meeting concluded.
Also, as a quick preview of the main bill of interest that will be coming up tomorrow (Thursday), the House Education Committee will be considering a Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) relating to school choice. You may access the text of the PCB HERE and/or the House Staff Analysis of the PCB HERE.
- Clicking on the Committee/Subcommittee names linked below provides access to membership, meeting packets, and other committee information
- Clicking on the PCBs linked below provides access the actual text of the proposed bill
- Clicking on the bill numbers linked below, you can access the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information
In the House Children, Families, and Seniors Subcommittee:
HB 601 – Public Records/Reporting Child Abuse by Roth – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE (CS)
As amended, the bill prohibits the release of any identifying information (rather than just the name) of any person reporting child abuse, abandonment, or neglect except under certain circumstances.
In the House PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee:
Subcommittee members briefly discussed potential Budget Conforming Bill issues, including discussion of new and existing scholarship programs, the District Cost Differential, flexible use of categorical funds, and the Best & Brightest Teachers and Principals Program. (Please keep in mind that, while the budget and the budget implementing bill are in effect for only one year, conforming bills remain in effect permanently unless repealed or amended.)
In the House Oversight, Transparency & Public Management Subcommittee:
HB 101 – Public Construction by Andrade – PASSED
The bill reduces the portion of an agreed upon contract price that may be retained until the work is substantially complete. For contracts more than $200,000, the bill reduces the maximum amount that may be retained from 10% to 5% before half of the work is complete, from 5% to 2.5% after half of the work is complete, and from 5% to 2.5% of a payment from a contractor to a subcontractor after half of the work is complete.
HB 281 – Public Records/Voters and Voter Registration by Stevenson – PASSED
The bill expands the public record exemption for voter information to make all information concerning 16 and 17 year olds who preregister to vote confidential and exempt from public record requirements; once those preregistered voters attain the age of 18, their information will become available like any other voter registrant or voter.
HB 407 – Pubic Records by R. Rodrigues – PASSED
The bill prohibits an agency that receives a public record request to inspect or copy a record from responding to such request by filing a civil action against the individual or entity making the request.
In the Senate Rules Committee:
SB 248 – Public Records/Personnel Employed by a Law Enforcement by Hooper – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
The bill amends several public records exemptions for home addresses and various other information identifying specified agency personnel and their families. In particular, the bill defines the term “home addresses” to include various location information, including the physical address, the mailing address, the street address, the parcel identification number, the plot identification number, the legal description of the property, GPS coordinates, and other descriptive property information that may reveal the location of the residence. The bill also creates a new public records exemption for active or former civilian personnel employed by a law enforcement agency and the spouses and children of such personnel.
SB 7014 – Government Accountability by GOA – PASSED
The bill amends various statutes to enhance government accountability and auditing processes based on recommendations noted in recent reports by the Auditor General. Of particular interest to school boards, the bill:
- Authorizes the Governor or Commissioner of Education, or designee, to notify the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee if an entity fails to comply with certain auditing and financial reporting requirements;
- Provides definitions for the terms “abuse,” “fraud,” and “waste;”
- Requires each agency, the judicial branch, the Justice Administrative Commission, state attorneys, public defenders, criminal conflict and civil regional counsel, capital collateral regional counsel, the Guardian Ad Litem program, local governmental entities, charter schools, school districts, Florida College System institutions, and state universities to establish and maintain internal controls designed to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse;
- Specifies that the definition of fraud, waste and abuse apply to s. 1001.42, F.S., relating to the powers and duties of school boards; and
- Revises the membership, and restrictions thereof, for an auditor selection committee of a county, municipality, special district, district school board, charter school, or charter technical career center.
In the House Session, members considered the House and Senate versions of bills relating to the medical use of marijuana, HB 7015 and
SB 182. These bills were put through the legislative process of 2nd and 3rd Reading and final passage by the Legislature. In brief, the House took up their version of the bill — HB 7015 – read it a 2nd time, substituted it for the Senate version — SB 182 (which had already passed the Senate) – and the House version was laid on the table. The House then took up SB 182, read it a 2nd time, read it a 3rd time, passed the bill, and ordered it to be enrolled. The bill will now be presented to the Governor for his signature or veto. Although the medical use of marijuana has significant implications for both students and school personnel, this particular bill did not address most of those concerns. However, Senator Montford has filed a bill – SB 384 – that has a more direct impact on the public school issues.