Bill Text: FL S1128 | 2019 | Regular Session | Comm Sub

Bill Title: Emotional Support Animals

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2019-05-03 - Died on Calendar [S1128 Detail]

Download: Florida-2019-S1128-Comm_Sub.html
       Florida Senate - 2019                             CS for SB 1128
       By the Committee on Rules; and Senator Diaz
       595-04135-19                                          20191128c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to emotional support animals; amending
    3         s. 413.08, F.S.; revising and providing definitions;
    4         providing that an individual with a disability who has
    5         an emotional support animal or obtains an emotional
    6         support animal is entitled to full and equal access to
    7         all housing accommodations; providing an exception;
    8         prohibiting a housing accommodation from requiring
    9         such individual to pay extra compensation for such
   10         animal; authorizing a housing accommodation to request
   11         certain written documentation under certain
   12         circumstances; authorizing the Department of Health to
   13         adopt rules; specifying that an individual with a
   14         disability is liable for certain damage done by her or
   15         his emotional support animal; prohibiting the
   16         falsification of written documentation or other
   17         misrepresentation regarding the use of an emotional
   18         support animal; providing penalties; providing an
   19         effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Present paragraphs (a) through (d) of subsection
   24  (1) of section 413.08, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   25  paragraphs (b) through (e), respectively, present paragraph (d)
   26  of subsection (1) and paragraph (b) of subsection (6) are
   27  amended, a new paragraph (a) is added to subsection (1), and
   28  subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:
   29         413.08 Rights and responsibilities of an individual with a
   30  disability; use of a service animal or an emotional support
   31  animal; prohibited discrimination in public employment, public
   32  accommodations, and housing accommodations; penalties.—
   33         (1) As used in this section and s. 413.081, the term:
   34         (a)“Emotional support animal” means an animal that does
   35  not require training to do specific work or perform special
   36  tasks for an individual with a disability but, by virtue of its
   37  presence, provides support to alleviate one or more identified
   38  symptoms or effects of an individual’s disability.
   39         (e)(d) “Service animal” means an animal that is trained to
   40  do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability,
   41  including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or
   42  other mental disability. The work done or tasks performed must
   43  be directly related to the individual’s disability and may
   44  include, but are not limited to, guiding an individual who is
   45  visually impaired or blind, alerting an individual who is deaf
   46  or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with
   47  mobility or balance, alerting and protecting an individual who
   48  is having a seizure, retrieving objects, alerting an individual
   49  to the presence of allergens, providing physical support and
   50  assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a
   51  mobility disability, helping an individual with a psychiatric or
   52  neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive
   53  or destructive behaviors, reminding an individual with mental
   54  illness to take prescribed medications, calming an individual
   55  with posttraumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack, or
   56  doing other specific work or performing other special tasks. A
   57  service animal is not a pet. For purposes of subsections (2),
   58  (3), and (4), the term “service animal” is limited to a dog or
   59  miniature horse. The crime-deterrent effect of an animal’s
   60  presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being,
   61  comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for
   62  purposes of this definition.
   63         (6) An individual with a disability is entitled to rent,
   64  lease, or purchase, as other members of the general public, any
   65  housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or other
   66  compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and
   67  limitations established by law and applicable alike to all
   68  persons.
   69         (b)1. An individual with a disability who has a service
   70  animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and
   71  equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this
   72  section, and such individual a person may not be required to pay
   73  extra compensation for such animal. This subparagraph does not
   74  apply to an emotional support animal.
   75         2.a.An individual with a disability who has an emotional
   76  support animal or who obtains an emotional support animal is
   77  entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations
   78  provided for in this section, unless the specific animal poses a
   79  direct threat to the safety or health of others or poses a
   80  direct threat of physical damage to the property of others which
   81  cannot be reduced or eliminated by another reasonable
   82  accommodation, and such individual may not be required to pay
   83  extra compensation for such animal. If an individual’s
   84  disability or disability-related need is not readily apparent to
   85  a housing accommodation, the housing accommodation may request
   86  written documentation prepared by a health care practitioner, as
   87  defined in s. 456.001, which verifies that the individual has a
   88  disability or a disability-related need and has been under the
   89  practitioner’s care or treatment for such disability or need,
   90  and the animal provides support to alleviate one or more
   91  identified symptoms or effects of the individual’s disability or
   92  disability-related need.
   93         b.The written documentation, as specified in sub
   94  subparagraph a., must be prepared in a format prescribed by the
   95  Department of Health in rule and may not be prepared by a health
   96  care practitioner whose exclusive service to the individual with
   97  a disability is preparation of the written documentation in
   98  exchange for a fee. The Department of Health may adopt rules to
   99  administer this sub-subparagraph.
  100         c.This subparagraph does not apply to a service animal.
  101         3.An individual with a disability However, such a person
  102  is liable for any damage done to the premises or to another
  103  person on the premises by her or his service the animal or
  104  emotional support animal. A housing accommodation may request
  105  proof of compliance with vaccination requirements.
  106         (10)A person who falsifies written documentation, as
  107  specified in sub-subparagraph (6)(b)2.a., for an emotional
  108  support animal or otherwise knowingly and willfully
  109  misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or
  110  written notice, as using an emotional support animal and being
  111  qualified to use an emotional support animal commits a
  112  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  113  775.082 or s. 775.083, and must perform 30 hours of community
  114  service for an organization that serves individuals with
  115  disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the
  116  discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than 6
  117  months.
  118         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.