The second week of the 2017 Legislative Session has seen several bills of interest moving forward in the legislative process. You may wish to review the daily issues of the FSBA Session Spotlight for more details but, for a quick and comprehensive review of this week’s activities, please be sure to watch the FSBA Legislative Weekly Video Update: Week 2. This video features FSBA Executive Director Andrea Messina discussing several of the key bills that were considered this week, including bills that address public school recess, religious expression, student assessments, and local government accountability. Ms. Messina also issued a reminder that the FSBA Day in the Legislature is scheduled for March 29-30 – please note that online registration for this important meeting will close on Monday, March 20, 2017.
There were no committee meetings scheduled for today so there is no report on Today’s Happenings. However, we have provided a link below to the schedule and information for meetings and bills of interest that will be under consideration on Monday.
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Please note that the meetings listed below may be viewed via live webcast or archived videos on the Florida Channel. Also, for real-time updates on these meetings and other legislative activities, please click HERE to access our Twitter feed.
The House K-12 Quality Subcommittee will meet (12:00-3:00 pm; 102 HOB) to consider the following items:
HB 525 – High School Graduation Requirements by Silvers
The bill expands current law by permitting a student to use credit earned upon completion of a DOE-registered apprenticeship or pre-apprenticeship program to satisfy certain credit requirements relating to courses in fine or performing arts, speech and debate, practical arts, and electives. The bill directs the State Board of Education to approve and identify in the Course Code Directory the apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs from which a student may use earned credit to satisfy such course credit requirements.
HB 549 – Student Assessments by Fine
The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to publish on the department’s website any assessment administered or adopted during the previous school year, including, but not limited to, any statewide standardized assessment, end-of-course assessment, alternative assessment, or national or international assessment.
The Constitution Revision Commission will hold its initial meeting (2:00-4:00 pm; Senate Chamber). Members will take the Oath of Office, review the Rules under which the Commission will operate, receive ethics training. [NOTE: For information about the Commission, please visit our Legal News page and click on the link titled “Constitution Revision Commission”.]
The House Civil Justice & Claims Subcommittee will meet (3:30-6:30 pm; 404 HOB) to consider the following item and others:
HB 163 – Public Records by Burgess
The bill provides that a court must assess and award the reasonable costs of enforcement in public records cases, including reasonable attorney fees, against the responsible agency only if it determines that the agency unlawfully refused to permit the public record to be inspected or copied and the complainant provided written notice identifying the public record request to the agency’s custodian of public records at least 5 days before filing the civil action, with some exceptions. A court may not assess and award any reasonable costs of enforcement, including reasonable attorney fees, against the agency if the court determines that the request to inspect or copy the public record was made for an improper purpose. If the court determines the request was made for an improper purpose, it is allowed to award reasonable costs and attorney fees to the agency.
The House Oversight, Transparency, & Administration Subcommittee will meet (3:30-6:30 pm; 17 HOB) to consider the following items and others:
HB 1163 – Agency Rulemaking by Spano
The bill requires an agency to prepare a Statement of Estimated Regulatory Costs (SERC) before the adoption, amendment, or repeal of any rule other than an emergency rule. The bill requires the Department of State to maintain a website open to the public upon which SERCs are to be published and agencies are required to provide all SERCs, and any subsequent revisions, for publication on the website.
HB 1289 – Local Financial Emergencies by Raulerson
The bill expands the entities that have oversight over local governmental entities, charter schools, charter technical career centers, and district school boards for financial emergencies to provide that these local governmental entities are subject to review and oversight by the Senate, the House of Representatives, and the Legislative Auditing Committee. Upon notification of such an emergency, the Governor, in cooperation with the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Legislative Auditing Committee must contact the local governmental entity or the Commissioner of Education to determine what actions have been taken by the local governmental entity or district school board to resolve or prevent the condition and determine whether the local governmental entity or district school board needs state assistance. The bill also revises the financial emergency boards to specify who can appoint members and to establish member qualifications. The bill revises the duties of the board and authorizes the board to assume operational and institutional control over a local governmental entity’s or district school board’s functions under certain circumstances.
HB 6031 – Elections by Geller
The bill repeals provisions relating to write-in candidate residency requirements.
The House Postsecondary Education Subcommittee will meet (3:30-6:30 pm; 306 HOB) to consider the following items and others:
HB 3 – Higher Education by Avila
Cites act as “Florida Excellence in Higher Education Act of 2017”; revises requirements for performance-based metrics used to award Florida College System institutions with performance-based incentives; revises Distinguished Florida College System Institution Program excellence standards requirements; requires Florida Community College System institution to execute at least one “2+2” Targeted Pathway articulation agreement by specified time.
HB 845 – Direct Support Organization / Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship by Mariano
The bill extends the repeal date of direct-support organization for Florida Prepaid Tuition Scholarship Program.
HB 1139 – Minority Teacher Education Scholars by Davis
The bill revises the eligibility requirements for the scholarship program by removing a requirement that students enrolled in an approved teacher education program must be in their junior year to be eligible for the award, and requires that the student may not have earned more than 18 credit hours of upper-division education courses. The bill also allows students to use the scholarship to pursue a graduate degree with a major in education.
The House PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee will meet (3:30-6:30 pm; 102 HOB) to consider the following items and others:
HB 591 – Maximum Class Size by Massullo
The bill revises the calculation of school district’s class size categorical allocation reduction to the school average when maximum class size requirements are not met. The bill also provides an exemption from reduction of the school district’s class size categorical allocation for specified fiscal years if certain conditions are met.
HB 781 – Designation of School Grades by Porter
The bill revises requirements for certain schools to receive a school grade designation of K-3 feeder pattern school and provides that a majority of the students must be scheduled to be assigned to certain school to be designated as a feeder pattern school.
HB 827 – Teacher Bonuses by Porter
The bill deletes provisions relating to caps imposed on amounts of bonuses awarded to teachers based on student performance on certain course examinations.