Florida Senate - 2012 CS for CS for SB 206 By the Committees on Rules; and Rules Subcommittee on Ethics and Elections; and Senators Negron, Gaetz, and Evers 595-02196-12 2012206c2 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public meetings; creating s. 3 286.0114, F.S.; requiring that a member of the public 4 be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard before a 5 board or commission takes official action on a 6 proposition before the board or commission; providing 7 that the opportunity to be heard is subject to rules 8 or policies adopted by the board or commission; 9 specifying certain exceptions; providing requirements 10 for rules or policies governing the opportunity to be 11 heard; providing that compliance with the requirements 12 of the act is presumed under certain circumstances; 13 requiring that a board or commission that is subject 14 to ch. 120, F.S., adopt rules; providing an effective 15 date. 16 17 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 18 19 Section 1. Section 286.0114, Florida Statutes, is created 20 to read: 21 286.0114 Public meetings; reasonable opportunity to be 22 heard; attorney fees.— 23 (1) Members of the public shall be given a reasonable 24 opportunity to be heard on a proposition before a board or 25 commission. The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the 26 same meeting at which the board or commission takes official 27 action on the item, if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that 28 meets the same notice requirements as the meeting at which the 29 board or commission takes official action on the item, occurs at 30 a meeting that is during the decisionmaking process, and is 31 within reasonable proximity before the meeting at which the 32 board or commission takes the official action. The opportunity 33 to be heard is subject to reasonable rules or policies adopted 34 by the board or commission to ensure the orderly conduct of a 35 public meeting, as provided in subsection (3). 36 (2) The requirements in subsection (1) do not apply to: 37 (a) An official act that must be taken to deal with an 38 emergency situation affecting the public health, welfare, or 39 safety, when compliance with the requirements would cause an 40 unreasonable delay in the ability of the board or commission to 41 act; 42 (b) An official act involving no more than a ministerial 43 act; or 44 (c) A meeting in which the board or commission is acting in 45 a quasi-judicial capacity with respect to the rights or 46 interests of a person. This paragraph does not affect the right 47 of a person to be heard as otherwise provided by law. 48 (3) Rules or policies of a board or commission adopted 49 under subsection (5) must be limited to rules or policies that: 50 (a) Limit the time an individual has to address the board 51 or commission; 52 (b) Require, at meetings in which a large number of 53 individuals wish to be heard, that representatives of groups or 54 factions on an item, rather than all of the members of the 55 groups or factions, address the board or commission; or 56 (c) Prescribe procedures or forms for an individual to use 57 in order to inform the board or commission of a desire to be 58 heard, to indicate his or her support, opposition, or neutrality 59 on a proposition, and to indicate his or her designation of a 60 representative to speak for him or her or his or her group on a 61 proposition if he or she so chooses. 62 (4) If a board or commission adopts rules or policies in 63 compliance with this section and follows such rules or policies 64 when providing an opportunity for members of the public to be 65 heard, it is presumed that the board or commission is acting in 66 compliance with this section. 67 (5) Each board or commission that is subject to chapter 120 68 shall adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to administer 69 this section. 70 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.