Bill Text: FL S0248 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Public Meetings and Records/Conditional Medical Release Program

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2021-01-25 - On Committee agenda-- Criminal Justice, 02/03/21, 9:00 am, 110 Senate Building [S0248 Detail]

Download: Florida-2021-S0248-Introduced.html
       Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 248
       By Senator Brandes
       24-00289A-21                                           2021248__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public meetings and records;
    3         amending s. 945.0911, F.S.; exempting from public
    4         meetings requirements that portion of a panel review
    5         hearing at which the exempt or confidential
    6         information of specified inmates being considered for
    7         the conditional medical release program is discussed;
    8         exempting from public records requirements certain
    9         records used by the review panel to make a
   10         determination of the appropriateness of conditional
   11         medical release and the recordings and transcripts of
   12         closed panel review hearings; providing for
   13         legislative review and repeal of the exemptions;
   14         providing a statement of public necessity; providing a
   15         contingent effective date.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   19         Section 1. Present subsections (9) through (11) of section
   20  945.0911, Florida Statutes, as created by SB 232 or similar
   21  legislation, 2021 Regular Session, are redesignated as
   22  subsections (10) through (12), respectively, and a new
   23  subsection (9) is added to that section, to read:
   24         945.0911 Conditional medical release.—
   26         (a)That portion of a panel review hearing conducted in
   27  accordance with this section during which the panel will discuss
   28  information that is exempt from public inspection and copying
   29  requirements under state law or confidential under federal law,
   30  such as protected health information covered by the Health
   31  Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, is exempt from s.
   32  286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State Constitution. If the
   33  panel must discuss exempt or confidential information during the
   34  course of its meeting, the following requirements must be met:
   35         1.The panel must announce at the public meeting that, in
   36  connection with the performance of the panel’s duties, exempt or
   37  confidential information must be discussed;
   38         2.The panel must declare the specific reasons that it is
   39  necessary to close the meeting, or a portion thereof, in a
   40  document that is a public record and filed with the official
   41  records of the program; and
   42         3.The entire closed hearing must be recorded. The
   43  recording must include the times of commencement and termination
   44  of the closed hearing or portion thereof, all discussion and
   45  proceedings, and the names of the persons present.
   46         (b)1.That portion of the records the panel uses to
   47  determine the appropriateness of conditional medical release
   48  which includes any exempt or confidential information is
   49  confidential and exempt from disclosure under s. 119.07(1) and
   50  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution.
   51         2.Any audio or video recording or transcript of, and any
   52  minutes and notes generated during, a closed hearing of the
   53  panel or closed portion of a hearing of the panel are
   54  confidential and exempt from disclosure under s. 119.07(1) and
   55  s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. Such audio or video
   56  recording, transcript, minutes, and notes must be retained
   57  pursuant to the requirements of s. 119.021.
   58         (c)Only members of the panel, staff supporting the panel’s
   59  functions, the inmate for whom the panel has convened, and
   60  licensed medical personnel called by the panel to provide
   61  testimony regarding exempt or confidential information must be
   62  allowed to attend the closed portions of panel hearings. The
   63  panel shall ensure that any closure of its meetings as
   64  authorized by this section is limited so that the policy of the
   65  state in favor of public meetings is maintained.
   66         (d)This subsection is subject to the Open Government
   67  Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
   68  repealed on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from
   69  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   70         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   71  necessity that the hearings or portions of hearings during which
   72  exempt or confidential information is discussed by the review
   73  panel considering an inmate’s conditional medical release be
   74  made exempt from s. 286.011, Florida Statutes, and s. 24(b),
   75  Article I of the State Constitution. The Legislature finds that
   76  the rights of an inmate afforded under other state or federal
   77  laws that deem certain personal information confidential, such
   78  as protected health information covered by the Health Insurance
   79  Portability and Accountability Act, should be upheld and that
   80  the inmate’s exempt or confidential information should not be
   81  disclosed to the public during such hearings. The Legislature
   82  also finds that it is a public necessity that the recordings and
   83  transcripts of a panel review hearing and the records used by
   84  the panel to make its determination be made confidential and
   85  exempt from disclosure under s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and
   86  s. 24(a), Article I of the State Constitution. The inmate’s
   87  exempt or confidential information, if publicly available, could
   88  be used to invade his or her personal privacy. Making these
   89  reports and discussions of such information confidential and
   90  exempt from disclosure will protect information of a sensitive
   91  personal nature, the release of which could cause unwarranted
   92  damage to the privacy rights of the inmate. The Legislature
   93  therefore finds that it is a public necessity that such
   94  information be made confidential and exempt.
   95         Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   96  SB 232 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
   97  is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension
   98  thereof and becomes a law.