Bill Text: FL S0440 | 2010 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: Legislative Process [WPSC]

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2010-04-30 - Died in Committee on Ethics and Elections [S0440 Detail]

Download: Florida-2010-S0440-Introduced.html
Florida Senate - 2010                                    SJR 440 
By Senator Gelber 
35-00236C-10                                           2010440__ 
1                       Senate Joint Resolution 
2         A joint resolution proposing amendments to Section 24 
3         of Article I and Sections 4, 7, and 19 of Article III 
4         of the State Constitution to make the legislative 
5         process more open to the public. 
7  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 
9         That the following amendments to Section 24 of Article I 
10  and Sections 4, 7, and 19 of Article III of the State 
11  Constitution are agreed to and shall be submitted to the 
12  electors of this state for approval or rejection at the next 
13  general election or at an earlier special election specifically 
14  authorized by law for that purpose: 
15                              ARTICLE I 
16                        DECLARATION OF RIGHTS 
17         SECTION 24. Access to public records and meetings.— 
18         (a) Every person has the right to inspect or copy any 
19  public record made or received in connection with the official 
20  business of any public body, officer, or employee of the state, 
21  or persons acting on their behalf, except with respect to 
22  records exempted pursuant to this section or specifically made 
23  confidential by this Constitution. This section specifically 
24  includes the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of 
25  government and each agency or department created thereunder; 
26  counties, municipalities, and districts; and each constitutional 
27  officer, board, and commission, or entity created pursuant to 
28  law or this Constitution. 
29         (b) All meetings of any collegial public body of the 
30  executive branch of state government or of any collegial public 
31  body of a county, municipality, school district, or special 
32  district, at which official acts are to be taken or at which 
33  public business of such body is to be transacted or discussed, 
34  shall be open and noticed to the public and meetings of the 
35  legislature shall be open and noticed as provided in Article 
36  III, Section 4(e), except with respect to meetings exempted 
37  pursuant to this section or specifically closed by this 
38  Constitution. 
39         (c) This section shall be self-executing. The legislature, 
40  however, may provide by general law passed by a two-thirds vote 
41  of the membership of each house for the exemption of records 
42  from the requirements of subsection (a) and the exemption of 
43  meetings from the requirements of subsection (b), provided that 
44  such law shall state with specificity the public necessity 
45  justifying the exemption and shall be no broader than necessary 
46  to accomplish the stated purpose of the law. The legislature 
47  shall enact laws governing the enforcement of this section, 
48  including the maintenance, control, destruction, disposal, and 
49  disposition of records made public by this section, except that 
50  each house of the legislature may adopt reasonable rules 
51  governing the enforcement of this section in relation to records 
52  of the legislative branch. Challenges to the reasonableness or 
53  interpretation of a rule may be appealed to the circuit court. 
54  Laws enacted pursuant to this subsection shall contain only 
55  exemptions from the requirements of subsections (a) or (b) and 
56  provisions governing the enforcement of this section, and shall 
57  relate to one subject. 
58         (d) All laws that are in effect on July 1, 1993 that limit 
59  public access to records or meetings shall remain in force, and 
60  such laws apply to records of the legislative and judicial 
61  branches, until they are repealed. Rules of court that are in 
62  effect on the date of adoption of this section that limit access 
63  to records shall remain in effect until they are repealed. 
64                             ARTICLE III 
65                             LEGISLATURE 
66         SECTION 4. Quorum and procedure.— 
67         (a) A majority of the membership of each house shall 
68  constitute a quorum, but a smaller number may adjourn from day 
69  to day and compel the presence of absent members in such manner 
70  and under such penalties as it may prescribe. Each house shall 
71  determine its rules of procedure. 
72         (b) Sessions of each house shall be public; except sessions 
73  of the senate when considering appointment to or removal from 
74  public office may be closed. 
75         (c) Each house shall keep and publish a journal of its 
76  proceedings; and upon the request of five members present, the 
77  vote of each member voting on any question shall be entered on 
78  the journal. In any legislative committee or subcommittee, the 
79  vote of each member voting on the final passage of any 
80  legislation pending before the committee, and upon the request 
81  of any two members of the committee or subcommittee, the vote of 
82  each member on any other question, shall be recorded. 
83         (d) Each house may punish a member for contempt or 
84  disorderly conduct and, by a two-thirds vote of its membership, 
85  may expel a member. 
86         (e) The rules of procedure of each house shall provide that 
87  all legislative committee and subcommittee meetings of each 
88  house, and joint conference committee meetings, shall be open 
89  and noticed to the public. A member of a conference committee 
90  may not discuss issues before the conference committee with 
91  another member of such committee except at a meeting that is 
92  open and noticed to the public. The rules of procedure of each 
93  house shall further provide that all other prearranged 
94  gatherings, between more than two members of the legislature, or 
95  between the governor, the president of the senate, or the 
96  speaker of the house of representatives, the purpose of which is 
97  to agree upon formal legislative action that will be taken at a 
98  subsequent time, or at which formal legislative action is taken, 
99  regarding pending legislation or amendments, shall be reasonably 
100  open to the public. All open meetings shall be subject to order 
101  and decorum. This section shall be implemented and defined by 
102  the rules of each house, and such rules shall control admission 
103  to the floor of each legislative chamber and may, where 
104  reasonably necessary for security purposes or to protect a 
105  witness appearing before a committee, provide for the closure of 
106  committee meetings. Each house shall be the sole judge for the 
107  reasonable interpretation, implementation, and enforcement of 
108  this section. Challenges to the reasonableness or interpretation 
109  of a rule may be appealed to the circuit court. 
110         SECTION 7. Passage of bills.— 
111         (a) Any bill may originate in either house and after 
112  passage in one may be amended in the other. It shall be read in 
113  each house on three separate days, unless this rule is waived by 
114  two-thirds vote; provided the publication of its title in the 
115  journal of a house shall satisfy the requirement for the first 
116  reading in that house. On each reading, it shall be read by 
117  title only, unless one-third of the members present desire it 
118  read in full. On final passage, the vote of each member voting 
119  shall be entered on the journal. Passage of a bill shall require 
120  a majority vote in each house. Each bill and joint resolution 
121  passed in both houses shall be signed by the presiding officers 
122  of the respective houses and by the secretary of the senate and 
123  the clerk of the house of representatives during the session or 
124  as soon as practicable after its adjournment sine die. 
125         (b)During a special session and the last 5 days of a 
126  regular session, an amendment, except a technical amendment, may 
127  not be introduced unless the amendment was adopted by a 
128  committee or authorized for introduction by a three-fourths vote 
129  of the membership of the house in which the amendment is 
130  offered. 
131         SECTION 19. State Budgeting, Planning and Appropriations 
132  Processes.— 
133         (a) ANNUAL BUDGETING. 
134         (1) General law shall prescribe the adoption of annual 
135  state budgetary and planning processes and require that detail 
136  reflecting the annualized costs of the state budget and 
137  reflecting the nonrecurring costs of the budget requests shall 
138  accompany state department and agency legislative budget 
139  requests, the governor’s recommended budget, and appropriation 
140  bills. 
141         (2) Unless approved by a three-fifths vote of the 
142  membership of each house, appropriations made for recurring 
143  purposes from nonrecurring general revenue funds for any fiscal 
144  year shall not exceed three percent of the total general revenue 
145  funds estimated to be available at the time such appropriation 
146  is made. 
147         (3) As prescribed by general law, each state department and 
148  agency shall be required to submit a legislative budget request 
149  that is based upon and that reflects the long-range financial 
150  outlook adopted by the joint legislative budget commission or 
151  that specifically explains any variance from the long-range 
152  financial outlook contained in the request. 
153         (4) For purposes of this section, the terms department and 
154  agency shall include the judicial branch. 
155         (b)APPROPRIATIONS BILLS FORMAT.The general appropriations 
156  bill shall provide to the reader sufficient information for the 
157  average reader to be able to determine: the source of funds; the 
158  use of the funds appropriated, with enough detail to know what 
159  purpose the funds are intended to achieve; and where to find any 
160  underlying references needed to provide sufficient detail. An 
161  appropriations bill must also contain references to any 
162  performance measures or requirements that relate to the use of 
163  such funds. 
164         (b)APPROPRIATION BILLS FORMAT.Separate sections within 
165  the general appropriation bill shall be used for each major 
166  program area of the state budget; major program areas shall 
167  include: education enhancement “lottery” trust fund items; 
168  education (all other funds); human services; criminal justice 
169  and corrections; natural resources, environment, growth 
170  management, and transportation; general government; and judicial 
171  branch. Each major program area shall include an itemization of 
172  expenditures for: state operations; state capital outlay; aid to 
173  local governments and nonprofit organizations operations; aid to 
174  local governments and nonprofit organizations capital outlay; 
175  federal funds and the associated state matching funds; spending 
176  authorizations for operations; and spending authorizations for 
177  capital outlay. Additionally, appropriation bills passed by the 
178  legislature shall include an itemization of specific 
179  appropriations that exceed one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) 
180  in 1992 dollars. For purposes of this subsection, “specific 
181  appropriation,” “itemization,” and “major program area” shall be 
182  defined by law. This itemization threshold shall be adjusted by 
183  general law every four years to reflect the rate of inflation or 
184  deflation as indicated in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban 
185  Consumers, U.S. City Average, All Items, or successor reports as 
186  reported by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of 
187  Labor Statistics or its successor. Substantive bills containing 
188  appropriations shall also be subject to the itemization 
189  requirement mandated under this provision and shall be subject 
190  to the governor’s specific appropriation veto power described in 
191  Article III, Section 8. 
193         (1) No later than September 15 of each year, the joint 
194  legislative budget commission shall issue a long-range financial 
195  outlook setting out recommended fiscal strategies for the state 
196  and its departments and agencies in order to assist the 
197  legislature in making budget decisions. The long-range financial 
198  outlook must include major workload and revenue estimates. In 
199  order to implement this paragraph, the joint legislative budget 
200  commission shall use current official consensus estimates and 
201  may request the development of additional official estimates. 
202         (2) The joint legislative budget commission shall seek 
203  input from the public and from the executive and judicial 
204  branches when developing and recommending the long-range 
205  financial outlook. 
206         (3) The legislature shall prescribe by general law 
207  conditions under which limited adjustments to the budget, as 
208  recommended by the governor or the chief justice of the supreme 
209  court, may be approved without the concurrence of the full 
210  legislature. 
211         (4)A general appropriations bill that is enacted by the 
212  legislature must be the product of a joint conference committee, 
213  except as otherwise provided in this section. 
214         (d) SEVENTY-TWO HOUR PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD. All general 
215  appropriation bills shall be furnished to each member of the 
216  legislature, each member of the cabinet, the governor, and the 
217  chief justice of the supreme court at least seventy-two hours 
218  before final passage by either house of the legislature of the 
219  bill in the form that will be presented to the governor. 
220         (e) FINAL BUDGET REPORT. A final budget report shall be 
221  prepared as prescribed by general law. The final budget report 
222  shall be produced no later than the 120th day after the 
223  beginning of the fiscal year, and copies of the report shall be 
224  furnished to each member of the legislature, the head of each 
225  department and agency of the state, the auditor general, and the 
226  chief justice of the supreme court. 
227         (f) TRUST FUNDS. 
228         (1) No trust fund of the State of Florida or other public 
229  body may be created or re-created by law without a three-fifths 
230  vote of the membership of each house of the legislature in a 
231  separate bill for that purpose only. 
232         (2) State trust funds shall terminate not more than four 
233  years after the effective date of the act authorizing the 
234  initial creation of the trust fund. By law the legislature may 
235  set a shorter time period for which any trust fund is 
236  authorized. 
237         (3) Trust funds required by federal programs or mandates; 
238  trust funds established for bond covenants, indentures, or 
239  resolutions, whose revenues are legally pledged by the state or 
240  public body to meet debt service or other financial requirements 
241  of any debt obligations of the state or any public body; the 
242  state transportation trust fund; the trust fund containing the 
243  net annual proceeds from the Florida Education Lotteries; the 
244  Florida retirement trust fund; trust funds for institutions 
245  under the management of the Board of Governors, where such trust 
246  funds are for auxiliary enterprises and contracts, grants, and 
247  donations, as those terms are defined by general law; trust 
248  funds that serve as clearing funds or accounts for the chief 
249  financial officer or state agencies; trust funds that account 
250  for assets held by the state in a trustee capacity as an agent 
251  or fiduciary for individuals, private organizations, or other 
252  governmental units; and other trust funds authorized by this 
253  Constitution, are not subject to the requirements set forth in 
254  paragraph (2) of this subsection. 
255         (4) All cash balances and income of any trust funds 
256  abolished under this subsection shall be deposited into the 
257  general revenue fund. 
258         (g) BUDGET STABILIZATION FUND. Subject to the provisions of 
259  this subsection, an amount equal to at least 5% of the last 
260  completed fiscal year’s net revenue collections for the general 
261  revenue fund shall be retained in the budget stabilization fund. 
262  The budget stabilization fund’s principal balance shall not 
263  exceed an amount equal to 10% of the last completed fiscal 
264  year’s net revenue collections for the general revenue fund. The 
265  legislature shall provide criteria for withdrawing funds from 
266  the budget stabilization fund in a separate bill for that 
267  purpose only and only for the purpose of covering revenue 
268  shortfalls of the general revenue fund or for the purpose of 
269  providing funding for an emergency, as defined by general law. 
270  General law shall provide for the restoration of this fund. The 
271  budget stabilization fund shall be comprised of funds not 
272  otherwise obligated or committed for any purpose. 
274  AGENCY PLANNING DOCUMENT PROCESSES. General law shall provide 
275  for a long-range state planning document. The governor shall 
276  recommend to the legislature biennially any revisions to the 
277  long-range state planning document, as defined by law. General 
278  law shall require a biennial review and revision of the long 
279  range state planning document and shall require all departments 
280  and agencies of state government to develop planning documents 
281  that identify statewide strategic goals and objectives, 
282  consistent with the long-range state planning document. The 
283  long-range state planning document and department and agency 
284  planning documents shall remain subject to review and revision 
285  by the legislature. The long-range state planning document must 
286  include projections of future needs and resources of the state 
287  which are consistent with the long-range financial outlook. The 
288  department and agency planning documents shall include a 
289  prioritized listing of planned expenditures for review and 
290  possible reduction in the event of revenue shortfalls, as 
291  defined by general law. 
292         (i) GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY TASK FORCE. No later than January 
293  of 2007, and each fourth year thereafter, the president of the 
294  senate, the speaker of the house of representatives, and the 
295  governor shall appoint a government efficiency task force, the 
296  membership of which shall be established by general law. The 
297  task force shall be composed of members of the legislature and 
298  representatives from the private and public sectors who shall 
299  develop recommendations for improving governmental operations 
300  and reducing costs. Staff to assist the task force in performing 
301  its duties shall be assigned by general law, and the task force 
302  may obtain assistance from the private sector. The task force 
303  shall complete its work within one year and shall submit its 
304  recommendations to the joint legislative budget commission, the 
305  governor, and the chief justice of the supreme court. 
306         (j) JOINT LEGISLATIVE BUDGET COMMISSION. There is created 
307  within the legislature the joint legislative budget commission 
308  composed of equal numbers of senate members appointed by the 
309  president of the senate and house members appointed by the 
310  speaker of the house of representatives. Each member shall serve 
311  at the pleasure of the officer who appointed the member. A 
312  vacancy on the commission shall be filled in the same manner as 
313  the original appointment. From November of each odd-numbered 
314  year through October of each even-numbered year, the chairperson 
315  of the joint legislative budget commission shall be appointed by 
316  the president of the senate and the vice chairperson of the 
317  commission shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of 
318  representatives. From November of each even-numbered year 
319  through October of each odd-numbered year, the chairperson of 
320  the joint legislative budget commission shall be appointed by 
321  the speaker of the house of representatives and the vice 
322  chairperson of the commission shall be appointed by the 
323  president of the senate. The joint legislative budget commission 
324  shall be governed by the joint rules of the senate and the house 
325  of representatives, which shall remain in effect until repealed 
326  or amended by concurrent resolution. The commission shall 
327  convene at least quarterly and shall convene at the call of the 
328  president of the senate and the speaker of the house of 
329  representatives. A majority of the commission members of each 
330  house plus one additional member from either house constitutes a 
331  quorum. Action by the commission requires a majority vote of the 
332  commission members present of each house. The commission may 
333  conduct its meetings through teleconferences or similar means. 
334  In addition to the powers and duties specified in this 
335  subsection, the joint legislative budget commission shall 
336  exercise all other powers and perform any other duties not in 
337  conflict with paragraph (c)(3) and as prescribed by general law 
338  or joint rule. 
339         BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the following statement be 
340  placed on the ballot: 
341                      CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT 
342                        ARTICLE I, SECTION 24 
343                 ARTICLE III, SECTIONS 4, 7, and 19 
345  DOLLARS.—The State Constitution generally authorizes the public 
346  to inspect public records. The State Constitution also generally 
347  requires meetings of governmental bodies, including meetings of 
348  state legislative bodies, to be noticed and open to the public. 
349  The State Constitution authorizes the Legislature to adopt rules 
350  relating to public access to legislative documents and meetings. 
351  However, this amendment authorizes a person to challenge the 
352  reasonableness or interpretation of those rules in circuit 
353  court. 
354         The amendment also: 
355         (1) Provides that members of a legislative conference 
356  committee may discuss matters before the conference committee 
357  with other members of the committee only at a meeting that is 
358  noticed and open to the public. 
359         (2) Prohibits the Legislature from considering amendments 
360  to bills, except technical amendments, during special sessions 
361  and the last five days of regular sessions, unless the 
362  amendments were adopted by a committee or authorized for 
363  introduction by a three-fourths vote of the membership of the 
364  house in which the amendments are offered. 
365         (3) Replaces existing requirements for the format of 
366  appropriations bills with requirements to make appropriations 
367  bills more user friendly. Specifically, appropriations bills 
368  must clearly identify the purposes for the use of appropriated 
369  funds and contain references to detailed information and 
370  performance measures relating to the appropriation. 
371         (4) Requires general appropriations acts to be the product 
372  of a joint conference committee. 
373         (5) Clarifies that a two-thirds vote of the membership of 
374  each house is required to enact a new public-records exemption 
375  or public-meeting exemption.