Florida Senate - 2012                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for SB 206
                                Barcode 803518                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Comm: RCS            .                                
                  01/23/2012           .                                

       The Committee on Rules (Negron) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 286.0114, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         286.0114 Public meetings; reasonable opportunity to be
    8  heard; attorney fees.—
    9         (1) Members of the public shall be given a reasonable
   10  opportunity to be heard on a proposition before a board or
   11  commission. The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the
   12  same meeting at which the board or commission takes official
   13  action on the item, if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that
   14  meets the same notice requirements as the meeting at which the
   15  board or commission takes official action on the item, occurs at
   16  a meeting that is during the decisionmaking process, and is
   17  within reasonable proximity before the meeting at which the
   18  board or commission takes the official action. The opportunity
   19  to be heard is subject to reasonable rules or policies adopted
   20  by the board or commission to ensure the orderly conduct of a
   21  public meeting, as provided in subsection (3).
   22         (2) The requirements in subsection (1) do not apply to:
   23         (a) An official act that must be taken to deal with an
   24  emergency situation affecting the public health, welfare, or
   25  safety, when compliance with the requirements would cause an
   26  unreasonable delay in the ability of the board or commission to
   27  act;
   28         (b) An official act involving no more than a ministerial
   29  act; or
   30         (c) A meeting in which the board or commission is acting in
   31  a quasi-judicial capacity with respect to the rights or
   32  interests of a person. This paragraph does not affect the right
   33  of a person to be heard as otherwise provided by law.
   34         (3) Rules or policies of a board or commission adopted
   35  under subsection (6) must be limited to rules or policies that:
   36         (a) Limit the time an individual has to address the board
   37  or commission;
   38         (b) Require, at meetings in which a large number of
   39  individuals wish to be heard, that representatives of groups or
   40  factions on an item, rather than all of the members of the
   41  groups or factions, address the board or commission; or
   42         (c) Prescribe procedures or forms for an individual to use
   43  in order to inform the board or commission of a desire to be
   44  heard, to indicate his or her support, opposition, or neutrality
   45  on a proposition, and to indicate his or her designation of a
   46  representative to speak for him or her or his or her group on a
   47  proposition if he or she so chooses.
   48         (4) If a board or commission adopts rules or policies in
   49  compliance with this section and follows such rules or policies
   50  when providing an opportunity for members of the public to be
   51  heard, it is presumed that the board or commission is acting in
   52  compliance with this section.
   53         (5) Whenever an action is filed against a board or
   54  commission of any state agency or authority or any agency or
   55  authority of a county, municipal corporation, or political
   56  subdivision to enforce the provisions of this section or to
   57  invalidate the actions of any such board, commission, agency, or
   58  authority which were taken in violation of this section, the
   59  court shall assess reasonable attorney fees against such agency
   60  or authority if the court determines that the defendant to such
   61  action acted in violation of this section. The court may assess
   62  reasonable attorney fees against the individual filing such an
   63  action if the court finds that the action was filed in bad faith
   64  or was frivolous. Fees may be assessed against an individual
   65  member or members of the board or commission of the agency or
   66  authority; however, if the board or commission seeks the advice
   67  of its attorney and such advice is followed, fees may not be
   68  assessed against the individual member or members of the board
   69  or commission. This subsection does not apply to a state
   70  attorney or his or her duly authorized assistants or any officer
   71  charged with enforcing the provisions of this section.
   72         (6) Each board or commission that is subject to chapter 120
   73  shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer
   74  this section.
   75         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.
   77  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   78         And the title is amended as follows:
   79         Delete everything before the enacting clause
   80  and insert:
   81                        A bill to be entitled                      
   82         An act relating to public meetings; creating s.
   83         286.0114, F.S.; requiring that a member of the public
   84         be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard before a
   85         board or commission takes official action on a
   86         proposition before the board or commission; providing
   87         that the opportunity to be heard is subject to rules
   88         or policies adopted by the board or commission;
   89         specifying certain exceptions; providing requirements
   90         for rules or policies governing the opportunity to be
   91         heard; providing that compliance with the requirements
   92         of the act is presumed under certain circumstances;
   93         providing for attorney fees if an action is filed
   94         against a board or commission; specifying certain
   95         exceptions; requiring that a board or commission that
   96         is subject to ch. 120, F.S., adopt rules; providing an
   97         effective date.