2012 Legislative Report for Period Ending February 10
● Current action
CS Committee Substitute
P Passed both Chambers
W Withdrawn from further consideration
SB 832 OGSR/Donors – Historic St. Augustine: Section 267.1736(9), F.S., makes confidential and exempt information that would identify a donor or prospective donor to the direct support organization for Historic St. Augustine, housed at the University of Florida, if the donor or prospective donor desires to remain anonymous. SB 832 reenacts the exemption without modification. Reenacts s. 267.01736(9), F.S. Companion to HB 7017. S. Higher Education Committee
● Reported favorably by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee; now on S. Calendar.
L HB 7115 OGSR/Economic Development Records: Section 288.075, F.S., includes public record exemptions for economic development program records and economic incentive program records. This is a complicated exemption and we’ve broken it down to make it easier to understand the two separate economic development programs protected under the exemption:
1. Economic Development Program Records: Economic development programs are offered by state and local economic development agencies to private companies interested in moving to Florida or expanding current business operations in the state. The exemption for economic development program records is broad and protects a wide variety of information obtained by an economic development agency from private companies or corporations interested in locating, relocating, or expanding their business operations in Florida. However, the exemption applies only if the company or corporation provides a written request for confidentiality. Here are the exemptions in s. 288.075(2), F.S., which apply to economic development program records:
a) A private corporation’s plan to locate, relocate, or expand business operations is exempt for up to 24 months after an economic development agency receives a request for confidentiality.
b) Trade secrets held by an economic development agency are confidential and exempt and are not subject to public disclosure.
c) Proprietary confidential business information held by an economic development agency, including business plans, internal auditing controls and reports, reports of external auditors for privately-held companies, etc., is confidential and exempt and is not subject to public disclosure except under court order.
d) Identification, account and registration numbers, such as a federal employer identification number, an unemployment compensation number, or a Florida sales tax registration number, held by an economic development agency are confidential and exempt and are not subject to public disclosure.
Economic development program records are exempt for 12 months after the request for confidentiality is received or until the information is otherwise disclosed, and the period of confidentiality can be extended for an additional 12 months upon request.
2. Economic Incentive Program Records: A tax incentive program allows tax refunds or credits to qualified businesses in return for their pledge to create a certain number of jobs in Florida. The economic incentive program records exemption, s. 288.075(6), F.S., is also very broad, and protects the following information for the duration of the incentive agreement or until an incentive agreement is terminated:
a) Anticipated wages for the project jobs that the business plans to create;
b) The average wage actually paid by the business for those jobs created by the project which is held as evidence that the company complied with the program requirements; and
c) The amount of various taxes paid by the qualified business.
The exemption allows an economic development agency to release the names of qualified business, the total number of jobs each business expects to create; the total number of jobs actually created; and the amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or incentives awarded to and claimed by each business.
HB 7115 amends s. 288.075(2)(a) to stipulate that the private company or corporation must provide a written request for confidentiality before an economic incentive agreement is signed and then states that the information will remain exempt for 12 months; the period of confidentiality can be extended for an additional 12 months at the request of the person or corporation who originally requested confidentiality. However, if a final project order for a signed economic development agreement is issued, then the information is section for 180 days after the final project order is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or until the information is otherwise disclose, whichever occurs first.
The bill also amends s. 288.075(6) by deleting the exemption for the (1) the anticipated wages for the project jobs the business plans to create, and (2) the average wage actually paid by the business for those jobs created by the project. HB 7115 stipulates that the following information is subject to public disclosure 180 days after a final project order for an economic incentive agreement is issued, until a date specified in the final project order, or until the information is otherwise disclose, whichever occurs first: (1) the name of the qualified business; (2) the total number of jobs the business committee to create or retain; (3) the total number of jobs actually created or retained by the business; (4) the amount of tax refunds, tax credits, or incentives awarded to and claimed by the business; and (5) the anticipated total annual wages of employees the business committed to hire or retain. Amends s. 288.075, F.S. Companion to SB 1206. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
CS/HB 645 Exemption/Title Insurance Information: Creates a public record exemption for proprietary business information provided to the Department of Financial Services. Defines “proprietary business information” as information that (1) is owned or controlled by the title insurance agency; (2) is intended to be and is treated by the agency as private in that disclosure would cause harm to its business operations; and (3) has not been publicly disclosed. This 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. Creates section 626.84195, F.S. Companion to SB 1406. Rep. George Moraitis, Jr. (R-Fort Lauderdale)
● Reported favorably by the H. Economic Affairs Committee. Now on the H. Calendar.
→ CS/SB 1406 Exemption/Title Insurance Information: Companion to HB 645. Sen. Thad Altman (R-Melbourne)
● The S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee adopted an amendment making changes to the constitutionally-required statement of public necessity; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in the S. Budget Committee.
SB 2082 OGSR/Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association: Section 627.3121, F.S., exempts various records held by the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, including (1) underwriting files; (2) claims files under termination of all litigation and settlement of all claims arising out of the same incident; (3) audit reports until the audit is completed; (4) proprietary information; (5) medical information relating to the medical condition of an individual; (6) information relating to negotiations for financing, etc., until the conclusion of the negotiations; (7) reports of fraud until investigation of such fraud is complete or no longer active; (8) payroll information received from the Department of Revenue; and (9) attorney-client work product. Also exempt are portions of meetings at which exempt records or information is discussed as well as transcripts and minutes of the closed meetings. SB 2082 reenacts s. 627.3121, F.S., without modification. Reenacts s. 627.3121, F.S. Companion to HB 7105. S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee
● Reported favorably by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee; now in S. Banking & Insurance.
→ HB 7105 OGSR/Worker’s Compensation Joint Underwriting Association: Companion to SB 2082. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
HB 7107 OGSR/Consumer Complaints -- Florida Insurance Code: Section 624.23, F.S., makes confidential and exempt personal financial and health information held by the Department of Financial Services relating to a consumer complaint or inquiry filed under the Florida Insurance Code or Workers’ Compensation Employee Assistance and Ombudsman Office. This statute makes confidential and exempt personal financial and health information held by the Department of Financial Services relating to a consumer complaint or inquiry filed under the Florida Insurance Code. HB 7107 reenacts the exemption minor technical changes. Reenacts s. 624.23, F.S. Companion to SB 1230. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
SB 830 OGSR/Physician Workforce Surveys Physician workforce surveys are required for physicians and osteopathic physicians who are renewing their professional licenses. Sections 458.3193 and 459.0083, F.S., make confidential and exempt all personal identifying information contained in those surveys. SB 830 reenacts the exemptions with only minor technical changes. Reenacts and amends ss. 458.3193 and 459.0083, F.S. Companion to HB 7035. S. Health Regulation Committee
● A strike-all amendment by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee making minimal changes is adopted; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on S. Calendar.
SB 584 Exemption/Dental Workforce Surveys: Creates a public record exemption for all personal identifying information provided by dentists and dental hygienists in dental workforce surveys. Companion to HB 811. Sen. Garrett Richter (R-Naples)
● Passed the Senate unanimously. Now in H. Messages.
SB 2080 OGSR/Lifeline Assistance Plan: Section 364.107, F.S., exempts personal identifying information of participants in a telecommunications carrier’s Lifeline Assistance Plan held by the Public Service Commission. SB 2080 reenacts the exemption with only minor, technical amendments. Reenacts s. 364.107, F.S. Companion to HB 7109. S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee
● Reported favorably by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee. Scheduled for consideration by the S. Communications, Energy, & Public Utilities Committee on Monday, Feb. 13 at 10:00 AM in room 110 SOB.
→ HB 7109 OGSR/Lifeline Assistance Plan: Companion to SB 2080. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
HB 7111 OGSR/Unclaimed Property Reports: Section 717.117(8) exempts social security numbers and property identifiers contained in unclaimed property reports held by the Department of Financial Services. Attorneys and certified public accounts registered with the department as well as licensed private investigators can get access to the exempt social security numbers for the sole purpose of locating owners of abandoned or unclaimed property.HB 7111 amends the exemption by deleting the language allowing access by attorneys, public accountants, and private investigators which means that social security numbers and property identifiers contained in unclaimed property reports are exempt from public disclosure and cannot be released. Amends s. 717.117(8), F.S. Companion to SB 1208. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
J HB 7013 OGSR/Census Bureau Address Information: Section 119.071(1)(g), F.S., exempts United States Census Bureau address information, including maps showing structure location points, agency records verifying addresses, and agency records identifying address errors or omissions, held by an agency pursuant to the Local Update of Census Addresses Program under Federal law. HB 7013 repeals the exemption. Repeals s. 119.071(1)(g), F.S. Companion to SB 2078. H. Governmental Operations Subcommittee
● Passed unanimously by the House. Now in S. Messages.
SB 844 OGSR/Sunshine State One-Call: Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., is as a not-for-profit corporation, and state law requires that anyone who furnishes or transports materials or services by means of an underground facility must be a member of the corporation and must use and participate in the free-access notification system. The purpose of the system is to receive notification of planned excavation or demolition activities and to notify member operators so they may mark underground facilities to avoid damage to those underground facilities. Section 556.113, F.S., makes exempt “proprietary confidential business information” held by Sunshine State One-Call of Florida, Inc., for the purpose of describing the extent and root cause of damage to an underground facility or using the member ticket management software system.SB 844 reenacts the exemption without modification. Reenacts s. 556.113, F.S. S. Communications, Energy & Public Utilities Committee
● A strike-all amendment by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability changing the effective date from July 1, 2012 to October 1, is adopted. Reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on S. Calendar.
HB 7103 OGSR/Florida Opportunity Fund: This exemption protects: (1) proprietary confidential business information (defined in the exemption) concerning alternative investments (also defined), for 10 years after the termination of the investment; (2) the identity of investors or potential investors in projects reviewed by the fund who wish to remain anonymous; and (3) materials that relate to methods of manufacture or production, potential trade secrets, or patentable material that is received or discovered during research by universities which is held by the Florida Opportunity Fund or the Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research. There is also an exemption for portions of meetings of the boards of the Fund or Institute during which exempt information is presented or discussed. However, the closed portions of such meetings must be recorded and transcribed, and the transcribed minutes are subject to disclosure under some specified conditions. HB 7103 reenacts the exemption with some changes, most notably shortening the period of protection from 10 years to 7. The bill also creates near identical exemptions for the Institute for Commercialization of Public Research. Reenacts s. 288.9626, F.S., and creates s. 288.9627. Companion to SB 798. H. Government Operations Subcommittee
L SB 1584 Exemption/Payment Instrument Transactions Database: There is legislation filed (SB 1586) that would require licensed check cashing services to provide the Office of Financial Regulation certain information relating to any check cashed for more than $1,000. Such information includes the transaction date, payor name, and payee name, amount of the payment, amount of the currency provided, the type of check cashed and where it was cashed. SB 1584 creates a public record exemption for the information provided to OFR by the licensed check cashing services. Creates s. 560.312, F.S. Companion to HB 1279.Sen. John Thrasher (R-Jacksonville)
● Reported favorably by the S. Banking & Insurance Committee. Now in S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability.
SB 1650 Exemption/Department of Citrus Research Reports: There is legislation filed (HB 1237) that would require the Department of Citrus to conduct research related to citrus disease and crop efficiency. SB 1650 creates a public record exemption for non-published reports or data related to such research. Amends s. 601.10(8), F.S. Companion to HB 1239. Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla)
● A minor technical amendment is adopted by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now on S. Calendar.
CS/SB 1856 Exemption/Biomedical Research: Creates an exemption for portions of peer review panels of the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program and the William G. “Bill” Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program during which applications for biomedical research grants are discussed. CS/SB 1856 also creates public record exemptions for (1) records generated during the closed portions of the peer review meetings and (2) research grant applications provided to such panels, stipulating that the exempt information can be disclosed up the written consent of the individual to whom the information pertains or upon court order. Companion to HB 657. Sen. Luis R. Garcia, Jr. (R-Miami)
● Reported favorably by the S. Governmental Oversight & Accountability Committee. Placed on the S. Special Order Calendar for Monday, Feb. 13.
J CS/HB 937 Publication/Legal Notice: Most importantly, requires newspapers publishing legal notices to also place such notices on a statewide website that is free and publicly available. Companion to SB 292. Rep. Ritch Workman (R-Melbourne)
● Two minor amendments are adopted by the H. Economic Affairs Committee; reported favorably as a committee substitute. Now in H. Judiciary Committee.