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.
   17  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.