Florida Senate - 2014                                    SB 1262
       By Senator Brandes
       22-00990-14                                           20141262__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records and meetings;
    3         amending s. 627.0628, F.S.; providing an exemption
    4         from public records and public meetings requirements
    5         for trade secrets used to design an insurance flood
    6         loss model held in records or discussed in meetings of
    7         the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection
    8         Methodology, the Office of Insurance Regulation, or
    9         the appointed consumer advocate; providing for
   10         legislative review and repeal of the exemption under
   11         the Open Government Sunset Review Act; providing a
   12         statement of public necessity; providing a contingent
   13         effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subsection (3) of section
   18  627.0628, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   19         627.0628 Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection
   20  Methodology; public records exemption; public meetings
   21  exemption.—
   23         (f)1. A trade secret, as defined in s. 688.002, which that
   24  is used in designing and constructing a hurricane or flood loss
   25  model and which that is provided pursuant to this section, by a
   26  private company, to the commission, office, or consumer advocate
   27  appointed pursuant to s. 627.0613, is confidential and exempt
   28  from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   29  Constitution.
   30         2.a. That portion of a meeting of the commission or of a
   31  rate proceeding on an insurer’s rate filing at which a trade
   32  secret made confidential and exempt by this paragraph is
   33  discussed is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the
   34  State Constitution. The closed meeting must be recorded, and no
   35  portion of the closed meeting may be off the record.
   36         b. The recording of a closed portion of a meeting is exempt
   37  from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State
   38  Constitution.
   39         c. This paragraph subparagraph is subject to the Open
   40  Government Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and
   41  shall stand repealed on October 2, 2019 2015, unless reviewed
   42  and saved from repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   43         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   44  necessity that a trade secret, as defined in s. 688.002, Florida
   45  Statutes, which is used in designing and constructing a flood
   46  loss model and which is provided by a private company to the
   47  Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, the
   48  Office of Insurance Regulation, or a consumer advocate appointed
   49  pursuant to s. 627.0613, Florida Statutes, be made confidential
   50  and exempt from public records requirements and from public
   51  meetings requirements.
   52         (1) Disclosing trade secrets would negatively impact the
   53  business interests of a private company that has invested
   54  substantial economic resources in developing such model, and
   55  competitor companies would gain an unfair competitive advantage
   56  if provided access to such information. Reliable projections of
   57  flood losses are necessary in order to ensure that rates for
   58  flood insurance meet the statutory requirement that rates be
   59  neither excessive nor inadequate. This goal is served by
   60  enabling the commission, the office, and the consumer advocate
   61  to have access to all aspects of flood loss models and by
   62  encouraging private companies to submit such models to the
   63  commission, office, and consumer advocate for review without
   64  concern that trade secrets will be disclosed through a public
   65  records request.
   66         (2) In addition, the Legislature finds that it is a public
   67  necessity to protect trade secrets relating to such model which
   68  are discussed during a meeting of the commission or during a
   69  rate proceeding on an insurer’s rate filing held by the office,
   70  because the release of such information via a public meeting or
   71  proceeding would allow competitors and other persons to attend
   72  those meetings and discover the protected trade secrets and
   73  would defeat the purpose of the public records exemption. The
   74  Legislature also finds that it is a public necessity to exempt
   75  from public records requirements the recordings generated during
   76  those portions of a commission meeting or a rate proceeding at
   77  which confidential and exempt trade secrets are discussed.
   78  Release of such recordings would compromise the discussions that
   79  take place during the closed meeting or proceeding and would
   80  negate the public meetings exemption. Current law provides a
   81  public records exemption for trade secrets. As such, release of
   82  the recordings generated during those closed portions of a
   83  meeting or proceeding on trade secrets would compromise the
   84  current protections already afforded to trade secrets.
   85         Section 3. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law
   86  if SB 542 or similar legislation is adopted in the same
   87  legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes a law.