New state laws take effect tomorrow

St. Augustine readers of Historic City News should know that more than two dozen laws were passed this year in the Florida legislature — from medical malpractice reform to new penalties for bestiality and sexting by minors; all of which will take effect this weekend.

There are 29 bills signed into law by Governor Rick Scott with effective dates on October 1st, eight of which are public records exemptions subject to the Open Government Sunset Review.

Bills That Go Into Effect Saturday, October 1, 2011
Sorted by Bill Number
HB 0003 Relating to Assault or Battery of Law Enforcement Officer Nehr
Assault or Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer: Requires FDLE to issue blue alert if law enforcement officer has been killed, suffered serious bodily injury, or been assaulted & suspect has fled scene, or if law enforcement officer is missing while in line of duty; requires that blue alert be disseminated on emergency alert system through specified means; provides that emergency traffic information may take precedence over blue alert information. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0045 Relating to Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition Gaetz (M)
Regulation of Firearms and Ammunition: Clarifies & reorganizes provisions that preempt to state entire field of regulation of firearms; prohibits knowing & willful violation of Legislature’s occupation of whole field of regulation of firearms & ammunition by enactment or causation of enforcement of any local ordinance or administrative rule or regulation; provides additional intent of section; eliminates provisions authorizing counties to adopt ordinance requiring waiting period between purchase & delivery of handgun; provides injunctive relief from enforcement of invalid ordinance, regulation, or rule; provides civil penalty for knowing & willful violation of prohibitions; provides that public funds may not be used to defend or reimburse unlawful conduct of person charged with knowing & willful violation of act; provides for termination of employment or contract or removal from office of person acting in official capacity who knowingly & willfully violates any provision of act; provides for declaratory & injunctive relief for specified persons or organizations; provides for specified damages & interest; provides exceptions to prohibitions of section. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0075 Relating to Offense of Sexting Abruzzo
Offense of Sexting:Provides that minor commits offense of sexting if he or she knowingly uses computer, or any other device capable of electronic data transmission or distribution, to transmit or distribute to another minor any photograph or video of any person which depicts nudity & is harmful to minors; provides noncriminal & criminal penalties; provides that transmission, distribution, or possession of multiple photographs or videos is single offense if transmission occurs within 24-hour period, etc. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0099 Relating to Commercial Insurance Rates Drake
Commercial Insurance Rates: Exempts additional categories or kinds of insurance & types of commercial lines risks from certain filing requirements; deletes requirement that rate change notice include total premium written for exempt class; removes requirement that specified types of records & information be retained; requires retention of certain actuarial data; requires specified insurers & rating organizations to incur examination expenses; removes requirement that rating organization maintain certain statistics; requires certain actuarial data related to loss cost be retained by rating organization; deletes OIR’s authority to require all necessary information to evaluate rate change; expands exemption from certain applicable rate filing requirements to include all commercial motor vehicle insurance; deletes requirement that commercial motor vehicle insurer’s rate change notice include total premium written; removes requirement that certain records & information be retained; requires actuarial data relating to commercial motor vehicle insurance be retained; removes requirement that rating organization maintain certain statistics; deletes authority for OIR to require all necessary information from commercial motor vehicle insurer to evaluate rate change. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
SB 0224 Relating to Local Government Accountability Dean
Local Government Accountability; Amends provisions relating to the Legislative Auditing Committee to clarify when the Department of Community Affairs may institute procedures for declaring that a special district is inactive. Specifies the level of detail required for each fund in the sheriff’s proposed budget. Authorizes certain municipalities to levy and collect special assessments to fund special security and crime prevention services and facilities, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
HB 0229 Relating to City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Young
City of Tampa, Hillsborough County: Revises General Employees’ Pension Plan for city; revises definitions of terms “Salaries or Wages,” “Employee,” & “Military Service Time”; revises application of term “Actuarial Equivalent”; defines term “Limitation Year”; provides that all employee contributions to pension fund after certain date are mandatory & that city shall pay such contributions to fund on behalf of employee; provides certain beneficiaries option to roll over certain death benefits; provides for refund of employee contributions; revises provision that addresses reemployment of retired employees; revises construction of act; allows DROP members annual election to elect investment option, as determined by board of trustees, to be applied to participant’s account for plan year entering DROP program & for each subsequent plan year; revises benefit limitations; revises requirements for distribution of benefits; provides default distribution when member fails to elect distribution option; revises direct rollover options; revises terms “eligible rollover distribution,” “eligible rollover plan,” & “distributee.” Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0231 Relating to City Pension Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County Young
City Pension Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County: Authorizes City of Tampa to enter into supplemental contract with certain firefighters & police officers to comply with ch. 2009-97, Laws of Florida; revises manner in which elective trustees are elected; increases maximum length of time prior to term commencement in which to conduct trustee elections; allows board to retain services of more than one nationally recognized professional investment counselor; increases investment cap on foreign securities; provides that investment cap on foreign securities is measured on market value basis & may not be revised, amended, increased, or repealed except as provided by general law; allows retired members to elect to receive reduced retirement benefit in order to provide surviving spouse benefit under certain circumstances; allows members to purchase up to an additional 5 years of credited service based upon prior service as full-time certified firefighter or certified police officer or for military service in U.S. Armed Forces subject to certain conditions; allows DROP participants upon entering DROP & annually thereafter to elect option for accruing annual interest at low-risk variable rate selected annually by board in lieu of rate reflecting fund’s net investment performance as determined by board; prohibits members from selecting certain pension contract changes & rejecting others; confirms in part City of Tampa Firefighters & Police Officers Pension Contract; provides severability. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0279 Relating to Certification of Child Welfare Personnel Davis
Training and Certification of Child Welfare Personnel: Provides required criteria for approval of credentialing entities that develop & administer certification programs for persons who provide child welfare services; revises use of Child Welfare Training Trust Fund within DCFS; requires persons who provide child welfare services to be certified by third-party credentialing entity; allows entities to add to or augment preservice curriculum & allows entities to contract for training; provides for recognition for currently certified persons; authorizes approval of third-party credentialing entities. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0339 Relating to Possession of Stolen Credit or Debit Cards Perman
Possession of Stolen Credit or Debit Cards: Prohibits possession of stolen credit or debit card in specified circumstances; provides that retailer or retail employee who possesses, receives, or returns stolen credit or debit card without knowledge that card is stolen or in order to investigate card’s theft or unlawful use does not commit violation. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
SB 0344 Relating to Animal Cruelty Rich
Animal Cruelty; Provides definitions. Prohibits specified activities with an animal. Prohibits specified related activities. Provides penalties. Provides that the act does not apply to certain husbandry, conformation judging, and veterinary practices. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
HB 0347 Relating to Vehicle Crashes Involving Death Trujillo
Vehicle Crashes Involving Death: Cites act as “Ashley Nicole Valdes Act”; requires defendant who was arrested for leaving scene of crash involving death to be held in custody until brought before judge for admittance to bail in certain circumstances. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 0479 Relating to Medical Malpractice Horner
Medical Malpractice: Requires DOH to issue expert witness certificates to certain physicians & dentists licensed outside of state; provides application & certification requirements & exemptions for physicians & dentists issued certifications from certain licensure & fee requirements; provides additional grounds for disciplinary actions; requires Board of Medicine & Board of Osteopathic Medicine to adopt certain patient forms specifying cataract surgery risks; provides for execution & admissibility of patient forms in civil & administrative proceedings; creates rebuttable presumption of disclosure; deletes requirement that medical malpractice insurance contracts contain certain information; provides that certain insurance information is not admissible as evidence in certain actions; requires that certain expert witnesses meet certain licensure or certification requirements; excludes health care provider’s failure to comply with or breach of federal requirements from evidence in certain cases; requires claimant for medical malpractice to execute authorization form; allows prospective medical malpractice defendant to interview claimant’s treating health care provider without presence of claimant or claimant’s legal representative; requires 10 days’ notice before such interviews; authorizes defendant to take unsworn statements of claimant’s health care provider; requires that presuit notice for medical negligence claims be accompanied by authorization for release of protected health information; authorizes health care facility to use scientific diagnostic disease methodologies that use information regarding specific diseases in health care facilities & that are adopted by facility’s medical review committee; requires dismissal of claim if such authorization is not completed in good faith; provides immunity for volunteer team physicians. Effective Date: October 1, 2011, and applies to causes of action accruing on or after that date.
SB 0512 Relating to Vessels Negron
Vessels; Revises penalty provisions for the violation of navigation rules. Provides that a violation resulting in serious bodily injury or death is a second-degree misdemeanor. Provides that a violation that does not constitute reckless operation of a vessel is a noncriminal violation. Provides an additional exemption from the requirement that certain persons possess a boating safety identification card while operating a motor vessel of a specified horsepower. Provides for increased penalties for certain noncriminal violations of navigation rules, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
HB 0667 Relating to Pub. Rec./Local Government Inspector General Clemens
Pub. Rec./Local Government Inspector General: Expands exemption from public records requirements to include certain records relating to investigations in custody of inspector general of local government; provides for future review & repeal of exemption; provides statement of public necessity. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
SB 0670 Relating to Powers of Attorney Joyner
Powers of Attorney; Provides for a durable power of attorney. Specifies the qualifications for an agent. Provides requirements for the execution of a power of attorney. Provides for the validity of powers of attorney created by a certain date or in another jurisdiction. Provides for the validity of a military power of attorney. Provides for the validity of a photocopy or electronic copy of a power of attorney. Provides for the meaning and effectiveness of a power of attorney, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
SB 0844 Relating to Violations/Probation/Community Control/Widman Act Benacquisto
Violations/Probation/Community Control/Widman Act; Creates the “Officer Andrew Widman Act.” Authorizes a judge, after making a certain finding, to issue a warrant for the arrest of a probationer or offender who has violated the terms of probation or community control. Authorizes the court to commit or release the probationer or offender under certain circumstances. Authorizing the court, in determining whether to require or set the amount of bail, to consider the likelihood that the person will be imprisoned for the violation of probation or community control, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
SB 1196 Relating to Construction Liens Bogdanoff
Construction Liens; Specifies that a lessor’s interest in property is not subject to a construction lien for improvements made by a lessee if certain documents containing specific information and meeting certain criteria are recorded in the official records of the county before the recording of a notice of commencement. Authorizes certain contractors and lienors to demand that a lessor serve verified copies of a lease prohibiting liability for improvements made by a lessee, etc. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
HB 1247 Relating to Parental Notice of Abortion Stargel
Parental Notice of Abortion: Revises definition of term “constructive notice”; revises notice requirements relating to termination of pregnancy of minor; provides exceptions to notice requirements; revises procedure for judicial waiver of notice; provides for minor to petition for hearing within specified time; provides that in hearing relating to waiving requirement for parental notice, court consider certain additional factors, including whether minor’s decision to terminate her pregnancy was due to undue influence; provides procedure for appeal if judicial waiver of notice is not granted; requires that court order contain factual findings & legal conclusions; requires Supreme Court reports to Governor & Legislature to include additional information; provides for severability. Effective Date: October 1, 2011, or upon the adoption of rules and forms pursuant to s. 390.01114(5), Florida Statutes, by the Supreme Court for purposes of the amendment of s. 390.01114, Florida Statutes, by this act, whichever occurs earlier.
HB 1473 Relating to Pub. Rec./Florida Health Choices Program Corcoran
Pub. Rec./Florida Health Choices Program: Creates exemption from public records requirements for personal, identifying information of enrollee or participant in Florida Health Choices Program; creates exemption from public records requirements for proprietary confidential business information of vendor; creates exemption from public records requirements for client & customer lists of program buyer’s representative; provides exceptions; authorizes enrollee’s legal guardian to obtain confirmation of certain information about enrollee’s health plan; provides for retroactive application; provides penalty for unlawful disclosure of confidential & exempt information; provides for future legislative review & repeal of exemption under Open Government Sunset Review Act; provides statement of necessity. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
SB 1884 Relating to Consumer Protection Gaetz (D)
Consumer Protection; Prohibits certain third-party sellers from engaging in certain transactions over the Internet with consumers engaged in transactions with certain merchants except under certain circumstances. Requires certain disclosures to consumers. Requires a consumer’s express informed consent for charges. Authorizes consumers to cancel goods and services and avoid charges. Provides that violations are unfair or deceptive trade practices. Provides penalties and remedies for violations. EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2011
HB 7075 Relating to OGSR/DJJ Employees and Family Members Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/DJJ Employees and Family Members: Removes scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act of exemption from public records requirements for identification & location information of certain current & former employees of DJJ & their family members; revises job classifications specified in exemption to reflect those classifications used by DJJ. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7077 Relating to OGSR/Biometric Identification Information Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Biometric Identification Information: Removes scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act of exemption from public records requirements for biometric identification information held by agency. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7081 Relating to OGSR/Statewide Public Guardianship Office Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Statewide Public Guardianship Office: Removes scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act of exemption from public records requirements for information that identifies certain donors or prospective donors to direct-support organization for Statewide Public Guardianship Office; removes superfluous & duplicative language. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7083 Relating to OGSR/Interference with Custody Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Interference with Custody: Removes scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act of public records exemption for information submitted to sheriff or state attorney for purpose of obtaining immunity from prosecution for offense of interference with custody. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7085 Relating to OGSR/Court Monitors in Guardianship Proceedings Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Court Monitors in Guardianship Proceedings: Removes scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act of exemption from public records requirements for court records relating to court monitors in guardianship proceedings; consolidates provisions; provides that orders appointing nonemergency court monitors are exempt rather than confidential & exempt; provides that only court orders finding no probable cause are confidential & exempt. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7159 Relating to OGSR/Commission on Ethics Audits & Investigations Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Commission on Ethics Audits & Investigations: Removes from scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act exemption from public records & public meetings requirements for certain audits & investigations conducted by Commission on Ethics; reorganizes exemptions & makes editorial changes. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7161 Relating to OGSR/Concealed Weapons or Firearms Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/Concealed Weapons or Firearms: Removes from scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act an exemption from public records requirements for personal identifying information of an applicant for or recipient of a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm. Effective Date: October 1, 2011
HB 7225 Relating to OGSR/SBA Alternative Investments Government Operations Subcommittee
OGSR/SBA Alternative Investments: Removes from scheduled repeal under Open Government Sunset Review Act an exemption from public records requirements for SBA; specifies information that does not constitute proprietary confidential business information held by SBA; requires SBA to maintain written list of records covered under verified, written declaration. Effective Date: October 1, 2011

 

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