Today’s agenda includes both House and Senate floor sessions followed by a Senate committee meeting. Of particular interest, during the Senate Session, the Senate will consider its school safety bill (which has now been renamed “Implementation of Legislative Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Public Safety Commission”) – on 2nd Reading. Several amendments have been filed, so it is likely to be a lengthy debate. The Florida Association of District School Superintendents (FADSS) has prepared a comparison of the Senate and House versions of this bill — SB 7030 and HB 7093 – as they stand prior to any of today’s amendments which is available HERE. In addition, the Senate Rules Committee will consider its proposed constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on school board members. For more information on the House and Senate versions of this bill — SJR 274 and HJR 229 – please see our issue brief available HERE. Other bills of interest under consideration today include bills relating to local tax referenda, student health and mental health, elections, and ethics. Today’s schedule is posted below and will be updated to show the outcome on these bills as soon as possible after each meeting concludes.
Please note that all of the meetings listed below may be viewed in real time via live webcast on the Florida Channel or may be viewed later in the Florida Channel Video Library. Also note that clicking on the Committee/Subcommittee names linked below provides access to membership, meeting packets, and other committee information; clicking on the bill numbers linked below provides access the bill summary, analysis, related bills, and other information.
In the Senate Session:
Bills on Special Order Calendar (2nd Reading):
SB 7030 – Implementation of Recommendations/School Safety by Education – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/23/19
(Short summary will be available soon)
SB 1080 – Hazing by Book – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/23/19
The bill amends statutory provisions relating to the crime of hazing occurring on the post-secondary level (Section 1006.63, F.S.), but may have implications on the PreK-12 level (Section 1006.135, F.S.). The bill:
- Amends and reorganizes the definition of hazing on the post-secondary level to include:
- Initiation, admission, or affiliation into or with any organization operating under the sanction of a postsecondary institution; and
- The perpetration or furtherance of a tradition or ritual.
- Creates a third degree felony hazing crime under circumstances where the victim sustains a permanent injury from the hazing.
- Expands the current protection of persons who are members of or applicants to a student organization from hazing to include a person who is a former member of the organization.
- Provides that persons who solicit others to commit the crime of hazing or who plan any act of hazing may be prosecuted as if they actively participated in the hazing event
- Provides that, if the hazing results in a permanent injury to the victim, the crime is a third degree felony.
- Provides that a person who provides aid, before medical assistance, law enforcement, or campus security arrive on the scene or if an individual is the first to call 911 seeking medical attention for a hazing victim, and who otherwise cooperates with and assists first responders may not be prosecuted for the crime of hazing.
SB 7048 – Disclosure of Confidential Records by CFEA – READ 2ND TIME; PLACED ON 3RD READING FOR 4/23/19
The bill requires that when a patient communicates a specific threat against an identifiable individual to a mental health service provider, the provider must release information from the clinical record of the patient sufficient to inform the threatened individual. The provider must also inform law enforcement of the threat. The bill provides immunity from civil or criminal liability to the administrator of a mental health facility, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other treatment providers who disclose information conveyed to them by a patient communicating a threat to a specific, readily identifiable third party.
Bills on 3rd Reading:
SB 318 – Child Abuse, Abandonment, and Neglect by Montford – READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE SENATE
The bill expands the public records exemption protecting the name of a reporter of child abuse, neglect and abandonment to also include other identifying information. Such information would be confidential and exempt, and would only be released to specified persons, officials, and agencies that are involved in the investigation as specified in law. The bill also removes from the authorized access to confidential and exempt records the designee of a licensed residential group home.
[NOTE: The House companion to this bill — HB 601 by Roth – is similar and is on the House Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
In the House Session:
Bills on Special Order Calendar (2nd Reading):
HB 1 – Ethics Reform by Sabatini – READ 2ND TIME; READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill addresses public officer, public employee, and third party conduct regarding solicitation and negotiation of conflicting and potentially conflicting income producing relationships, addresses post-service lobbying restrictions for certain officers, and revises executive branch lobbyist registration requirements in addition to other reforms. The bill:
- Removes restrictions on state employees lobbying the Legislature;
- Prohibits public officers and employees from soliciting an employment or contractual relationship from entities with whom they are prohibited from entering into conflicting employment and contractual relationships;
- Requires public officers and employees to report or disclose particular solicitations and offers of employment or contractual relationships;
- Imposes certain restrictions on statewide elected officers and legislators related to employment or investment advice;
- Restricts certain unelected state officers and employees regarding soliciting and negotiating an employment or contractual relationship with certain employers;
- Authorizes the Commission on Ethics to investigate disclosures of certain prohibited solicitations in the same manner as a complaint; and
- Revises executive branch lobbying registration requirements to mandate electronic registration, clarify provisions, and add the Board of Governors of the State University System and the State Board of Education to the list of entities to which the requirements apply.
[NOTE: The Senate companion to this bill – SB 1702 – is similar and has not passed any of 3 committees of reference.]
HB 7021 – Financial Disclosure by PIE – READ 2ND TIME; AMENDED; READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill modernizes and streamlines the financial disclosure filing process by providing for mandatory electronic filing of financial disclosure. The bill:
- Requires the Florida Commission on Ethics (Commission) to procure and test an electronic financial disclosure filing system by January 1, 2022.
- Requires the electronic financial disclosure filing system to meet specified minimum requirements, including requirements to:
- oAllow disclosures to be completed and submitted online and to be accessible and searchable for the public.
- oIssue a verification or receipt to the filer confirming the Commission has received the disclosure.
- oProvide a method for an attorney or certified public accountant to complete the disclosure on behalf of the filer.
- Provides that filers required to file a full and public disclosure of financial interests (Form 6) will be required to file their forms electronically beginning January 1, 2022, while filers required to file a statement of financial interests (Form 1) will be required to file electronically beginning January 1, 2023.
- Makes changes to provisions of law governing Form 6 and Form 1 financial disclosure filings to facilitate the transition to mandatory electronic filing.
[NOTE: The Senate companion to this bill – SB 7040 – is similar and is on 3rd Reading on 4/23/19 in the Senate.]
HB 7023 – Public Records/Financial Disclosure by PIE – READ 2ND TIME; READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
This bill, which is linked to HB 7021 (above), creates a public records exemption for all secure login credentials held by the Florida Commission on Ethics (Commission) for the purpose of allowing access to the electronic financial disclosure filing system, as well as information entered into the system for the purposes of making the disclosure. Once information entered into the system is submitted to the Commission or filed with a qualifying officer, the information loses its exempt status and will be available to the public.
[NOTE: The Senate companion to this bill – SB 7042 – is identical and is on 3rd Reading on 4/23/19 in the Senate.]
HB 593 – Postsecondary Fee Waivers by Trumbull – READ 2ND TIME; READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
The bill authorizes Florida College System (FCS) institutions that serve counties directly impacted by a hurricane, and who experience an enrollment decrease by more than 10 percent as a result, to waive out-of-state fees for a period of 3 years, beginning 180 days after the date the hurricane first impacted counties served by the institution. FCS students who qualify for the waiver are eligible to receive the waiver for up to 110 percent of the total number of credit hours required for the degree or certificate program in which the student is enrolled. In order to remain eligible for the fee waiver, a student may not dis-enroll from the institution for more than one semester.
[NOTE: The Senate companion to this bill – SB 1164 – is similar and is awaiting hearing in its 3rd and final committee of reference.]
HB 213 – Immunization Registry by Massullo – READ 2ND TIME; READ 3RD TIME; PASSED THE HOUSE
- Requires physicians, physician assistants, and nurses who administer vaccines to children through age 17, or to certain college or university students, to report the vaccinations to the immunization registry.
- Authorizes college or university students to refuse to be included in the immunization registry.
- Requires a parent or college student to submit an opt-out form to the health care practitioner or entity providing the immunization or directly to the Department of Health (DOH).
- Requires DOH to remove any identifying records of a child or college student who has opted out of the immunization registry.
- Authorizes automated data uploads to the immunization registry from existing electronic health record systems.
- Eliminates DOH’s specific rulemaking and replaces it with general authority to adopt rules as needed to administer the communicable disease prevention program.
- Requires school districts and private schools to have a policy that requires each student to have a certification of immunizations on file with the state’s electronic immunization registry but provides that the school must still accept the DOH-approved immunization form if the child’s parent has opted out of the immunization registry.
[NOTE: The Senate companion to this bill – SB 354 – is similar and is on the Senate Calendar on 2nd Reading.]
- Requires service providers to disclose information from a clinical record to the extent necessary to warn any potential victim and to communicate the threat to a law enforcement agency if a patient or client has communicated to the service provider a specific threat to cause serious bodily injury or death to an identified or readily available person, and the service provider makes a judgment that the patient or client has the apparent intent and ability to imminently or immediately carry out such threat.
- Provides that disclosure of confidential communications by a service provider when communicating a threat may not be the basis of any legal action or criminal or civil liability against such person.
- Revises deadlines for submission of documentation regarding involuntary examinations.
- Requires the FDOE to develop a list of approved youth suicide awareness and prevention training materials and suicide screening instruments that may be used for training in youth suicide awareness, suicide prevention, and suicide screening for instructional personnel in elementary school, middle school, and high schools.
- Requires FDOE to keep an updated record of all Suicide Prevention Certified Schools and post the list of these schools on the department’s website.
- Requires each school to post on its own website whether it is a Suicide Prevention Certified School, and each school district to post on its district website a list of the Suicide Prevention Certified Schools in that district.
SB 336 – Local Tax Referenda by Brandes – AMENDED; PASSED WITH A CS
- Requires that a referendum to adopt or amend a local government discretionary sales surtax to be held only at a general election.
- Requires a county, school district, or petition sponsor to provide a copy of the ordinance or resolution to the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Governmental Accountability (OPPAGA) at least 180 days before the referendum.
- Requires OPPAGA to procure a certified public accountant who will conduct the performance audit.
- Provides additional requirements for a petition sponsor of an initiative to adopt a charter county and regional transportation system surtax.
- Provides that failure to comply with the above provisions renders a discretionary sales surtax referendum void.
SB 342 – Public Records/Voters & Voter Registration by Lee – PASSED
The bill makes all information concerning 16- and 17-year-olds who preregister to vote confidential and exempt from public inspection and copying requirements until they reach the age of 18.
SJR 274 – Limitation on Terms of Office / School Board Members by Baxley – TEMPORARILY POSTPONED
This joint resolution proposes an amendment to the Florida Constitution that would make district school board members subject to an 8-year consecutive service term limitation. The provision would operate prospectively beginning with the 2020 general election. The likely earliest date that any currently serving school board member could be “termed-out” would be in November 2028. The joint resolution requires passage by a 3/5ths vote of each chamber in order to be placed on the ballot for the general election in November 2020 (unless the legislature authorizes an earlier special election for that specific purpose), and then must be approved by 60% of voters voting on this proposal.
[NOTE: After public testimony and some committee discussion, the bill was postponed so no further action was taken.]