SB 741
Creates new provisions relating to the disclosure pf personal information to public agencies
Sponsor:
LR Number:
3726S.04P
Last Action:
5/11/2022 - Formal Calendar S Bills for Third Reading
Journal Page:
Title:
SS SCS SB 741
Calendar Position:
2
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SB 741 - This act modifies various provisions relating to the involvement of public bodies in the disclosure of information.

PUBLISHING OF COUNTY FINANCIAL STATEMENTS

(Sections 50.815 & 50.820)

This act changes the date counties shall prepare and publish their financial statements from the first Monday in March to June 30th of each year. Additionally, the county treasurer shall not pay the county commission until notice is received from the state auditor that the county's financial statement has been published in a newspaper after the first day of July.

This act also requires second, third, and fourth class counties to produce and publish a county annual financial statement in the same manner as counties of the first classification. The financial statement shall include the name, office, and current gross annual salary of each elected or appointed county official.

The county clerk or other county officer preparing the financial statement shall provide an electronic copy of the data used to create the financial statement without charge to the newspaper requesting the data.

Finally, the newspaper publishing the financial statement shall charge and receive no more than its regular local classified advertising rate as published 30 days before the publication of the financial statement.

These provisions are identical to provisions in the truly agreed to and finally passed SS/SCS/SB 724 (2022), SCS/HB 1541 (2022), SCS/HCS/HB 1606 (2022), and SB 1191 (2022) and substantially similar to provisions in HCS/SB 845 (2022) and HB 381 (2021).

PERSONAL PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT

(Section 105.1500)

This act establishes the Personal Privacy Protection Act prohibiting public agencies, as defined in the act, from disclosing or requiring the disclosure of personal information, as defined in the act. Specifically, public agencies are prohibited from:

· Requiring any individual to provide the public agency with personal information or otherwise compel the release of such personal information;

· Requiring any entity exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to provide the public agency with personal information or otherwise compel the release of personal information;

· Releasing, publicizing, or otherwise publicly disclosing personal information in possession of a public agency; or

· Requesting or requiring a current or prospective contractor or grantee with the public agency to provide the public agency with a list of entities exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code to which it has provided financial or nonfinancial support.

The act contains various exceptions to these prohibitions.

Any person or entity may bring a civil action for appropriate injunctive relief, damages, or both. Damages may be not less than $2,500 to compensate for injury or loss caused by each violation of this act and, for an intentional violation, a sum of money not to exceed three times the sum of damages assessed. A court may additionally award all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorney fees and witness fees, to the complainant in the action if the court determines that the award is appropriate. Furthermore, a person who knowingly violates this act is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor.

This act is identical to the truly agreed to and finally passed SS/HB 2400 (2022) and substantially similar to SCS/HCS/HB 2120 (2022), a provision in HCS/SS#2/SB 761 (2022), a provision in HCS/SS/SCS/SB 931 (2022), a provision in HCS/SS#2/SCS/SB 968 (2022), HCS/HB 1030 (2021), SB 464 (2021), and a provision in HCS/SS/SB 333 (2021).

PARENTS' ACCESS TO PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

(Section 161.841)

This act creates the "Parents' Access to Public School Records Act", which requires school districts that receive any federal or state money to provide to parents specific rights and information relating their child.

Additionally, no school district or public school shall collect any biometric data or other sensitive personal information about a minor child without obtaining written parental consent.

This provision is identical to a provision in the perfected SS#2/SB 761 (2022), substantially similar to a provision in HB 1474 (2022), and similar to HB 2195 (2022) and a provision in the perfected HCS/HB 1858 (2022).

CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS

(Section 407.475)

Under this act, the state shall not impose any additional annual filing or reporting requirements on a charitable organization that are more stringent, restrictive, or expansive than the report already required to be submitted to the Attorney General's office unless such filing or report is specifically required by federal law. This provision shall not apply to labor organizations, state grants or contracts, or investigations by the Attorney General of charitable organizations as set forth in state statute.

The restriction on additional annual filing or reporting requirements on a charitable organization shall not apply when such organization is providing any report or disclosure required by state law to be filed with the Secretary of State.

These provisions are identical to provisions in the truly agreed to SS/HB 2400 (2022) and HCS/SS/SCS/SB 931 (2022), substantially similar to HCS/SS#2/SCS/SB 968 (2022), and similar to HB 1490 (2022), provisions in CCS/HCS/SS/SB 333 (2021), and to HB 245 (2021).

SUNSHINE LAW

(Section 610.021)

The act modifies the definitions of "public business", "public meeting", and "public record" and adds a definition for "transitory records". "Transitory records" shall not be considered a public record. Currently, the definition of "public record" provides that personally identifiable student records maintained by a public educational institution may be viewed by parent or guardian of the student, or the student if over the age of 18. This act modifies this provision to apply to all public governmental bodies rather than just public educational institutions. Also, the definition of "public records" excludes any internal memorandum received or prepared by a public body consisting of certain advisory material unless such record is retained by the public body. This act repeals the requirement that such record was retained by the public body.

Bases for closing records and meetings are modified to include certain records relating to nonjudicial mental or physical health proceedings. The act authorizes a public governmental body to close records and meetings relating to security measures, GPS data, and investigative and surveillance techniques of any law enforcement or public safety agency which, if disclosed, has the potential to endanger individual or public safety or health.

Currently, a public body may close records relating to operational guidelines, policies, and response plans for use in responding to a critical incident which is or appears to be terrorist in nature. This act repeals the requirement that incident be terrorist in nature. The act further authorizes the closure of existing and proposed security protocols of a public body.

A public governmental body is authorized to close records that are related to email addresses and telephone numbers submitted to a public governmental body by individuals or entities for the sole purpose of receiving electronic or other communications.

The public body may also close records of utility usage and bill records for customers of public utilities unless the customer requests them or authorizes their release.

This act authorizes the closure of public records that are retained by a public governmental body that are related to a constituent of the public body as well as records related to a dignitary or foreign leader. Medical and mental health records of a constituent may be closed in their entirety and other such records shall be redacted to remove individually identifiable information of the constituent. The act defines the term "constituent" to include any person who is a resident of, pays property taxes within, or owns a business entity within, the boundaries of the public body, but shall not include a lobbyist or lobbyist principal, a statewide elected official, or an elected official of a political subdivision, or an employee of such elected official.

The act authorizes the closure of inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by state or federal law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency, provided that this exception shall not apply to records created twenty-five years or more before the date the records were requested or to records to or from a registered lobbyist or lobbyist principal.

Further, any record may be closed that is retained in the office of a member of the General Assembly, or employees of the General Assembly, that contain information regarding proposed legislation or the legislative process. These authorizations to close records shall not apply if the record has been offered in a public meeting of either house of the General Assembly or, for legislative records, to any record addressed to, or from, a lobbyist or lobbyist principal.

Currently, requests for records must be acted upon with three business days. This act changes this requirement to five business days. Access to and production of records may be conditioned upon the receipt of payment of fees.

Where a single record contains both open and closed records, the public body shall make a redacted version of such record available. Current law authorizes a public body to charge for research time required to fulfill records requests. This act authorizes the public body to also charge for the time needed to redact documents using employees of the body that result in the lowest charge.

Currently, payment of copying fees may be requested prior to the making of copies. This act modifies this provision so that payment of any fees may be requested prior to fulfilling the request. Except as provided in the amendment, a request for public records to a public governmental body shall be considered withdrawn if the requester fails to remit all fees within thirty days of a request for payment of the fees by the public governmental body. The public body shall include notice to the requester that the failure to remit the fees within thirty days shall result in the request being considered withdrawn. If a public body responds to a records request in order to seek clarification of the request and no response to the clarification request is received within thirty days, then such request shall be considered withdrawn. The request for clarification shall include notice to the requester that the request shall be considered withdrawn if there is no response within thirty days. If the same or a substantially similar request for records is made within six months of the expiration of the thirty day period and no fee was remitted for the original request or no response to the request for clarification was received, then the public body can request payment of fees made for the original request.

Certain parts of these provisions are identical to provisions of SCS/SB 930 (2022), SB 1135 (2022), SCS/HCS/HB 362 (2021) and SCS/SB 613 (2020).

SCOTT SVAGERA