Florida Senate - 2011 CS for SB 1192 By the Committee on Governmental Oversight and Accountability; and Senators Rich and Flores 585-04606-11 20111192c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 3 1004.55, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for all records that relate to a 5 client of a regional autism center who receives the 6 services of a center or participates in center 7 activities and the client’s family; providing for the 8 release of specified confidential and exempt 9 information by a center under certain circumstances; 10 providing an exemption from public-records 11 requirements for personal identifying information of a 12 donor or prospective donor to a regional autism center 13 if the donor or prospective donor wishes to remain 14 anonymous; providing for review and repeal of the 15 exemptions; providing a statement of public necessity; 16 providing an effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Subsection (6) is added to section 1004.55, 21 Florida Statutes, to read: 22 1004.55 Regional autism centers; public-record exemptions.— 23 (6)(a) Client records.— 24 1. All records that relate to a client of a regional autism 25 center who receives the services of a center or participates in 26 center activities, and all records that relate to the client’s 27 family, are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 28 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 29 2. A client who receives the services of a center, if 30 competent, or the client’s parent or legal guardian if the 31 client is incompetent, shall be provided with a copy of the 32 client’s individual record upon request. 33 3. A regional autism center may release the confidential 34 and exempt records as follows: 35 a. To physicians, attorneys, or governmental entities 36 having need of the confidential and exempt information to aid a 37 client, as authorized by the client, if competent, or the 38 client’s parent or legal guardian if the client is incompetent. 39 b. In response to a subpoena or to persons authorized by 40 order of court. 41 c. To the State Board of Education or the Board of 42 Governors of the State University System when the director of 43 the center deems it necessary for the treatment of the client, 44 maintenance of adequate records, compilation of treatment data, 45 or evaluation of programs. 46 4. If personal identifying information of a client or the 47 client’s family has been removed, a regional autism center may 48 release information contained in the confidential and exempt 49 records as follows: 50 a. To a person engaged in bona fide research if that person 51 agrees to sign a confidentiality agreement with the regional 52 autism center, agrees to maintain the confidentiality of the 53 information received, and, to the extent permitted by law and 54 after the research has concluded, destroy any confidential 55 information obtained. 56 b. For statistical and research purposes by the director of 57 the center or designee, if any confidential and exempt 58 information is removed in the reporting of such statistical or 59 research data. 60 (b) Financial donor information.—Personal identifying 61 information of a donor or prospective donor to a regional autism 62 center who desires to remain anonymous is confidential and 63 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 64 Constitution. 65 (c) Review and repeal.—This subsection is subject to the 66 Open Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 67 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2016, unless reviewed and 68 saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 69 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds that it is a public 70 necessity that all records that relate to a client of a regional 71 autism center who receives the services of a center or 72 participates in center activities, and all records that relate 73 to the client’s family, be made confidential and exempt from 74 public-records requirements. Matters of personal health are 75 traditionally private and confidential concerns between the 76 patient and the health care provider. The private and 77 confidential nature of personal health matters pervades both the 78 public and private health care sectors. For these reasons, the 79 individual’s expectation of and right to privacy in all matters 80 regarding his or her personal health necessitates this 81 exemption. The Legislature further finds that it is a public 82 necessity to protect records regarding clients of a regional 83 autism center or the client’s family, because the release of 84 such records could be defamatory to the client or could cause 85 unwarranted damage to the name or reputation of that client or 86 the client’s family. Information contained in records and 87 communications of a regional autism center relating to the 88 condition of autism or related disorders contain sensitive 89 personal information that, if released, could cause harm to a 90 client of the center or his or her family. Protecting such 91 records ensures an environment in which the discussion of the 92 condition of autism or related disorders can be conducted in a 93 free and open manner, thus enabling individuals with autism and 94 their families to receive appropriate diagnostic and treatment 95 information and cope more effectively with the enormous 96 challenges posed by neurodevelopmental disorders and sensory 97 impairments. 98 (2) The Legislature also finds that it is a public 99 necessity that personal identifying information of a donor or 100 prospective donor to a regional autism center be made 101 confidential and exempt from public-records requirements if such 102 donor or prospective donor desires to remain anonymous. If the 103 identity of a prospective or actual donor who desires to remain 104 anonymous is subject to disclosure, there is a chilling effect 105 on donations because donors are concerned about disclosure of 106 personal information leading to theft and, in particular, 107 identity theft, including personal safety and security. 108 Therefore, the Legislature finds that it is a public necessity 109 to make confidential and exempt from public-records requirements 110 information that would identify a donor or prospective donor to 111 a regional autism center if such donor or prospective donor 112 wishes to remain anonymous. 113 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2011.