Florida Senate - 2019                                    SB 1128
       By Senator Diaz
       36-01735-19                                           20191128__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to emotional support animals; amending
    3         s. 413.08, F.S.; revising and providing definitions;
    4         providing that an individual with a disability who has
    5         an emotional support animal or obtains an emotional
    6         support animal is entitled to full and equal access to
    7         all housing accommodations; prohibiting a housing
    8         accommodation from requiring such individual to pay
    9         extra compensation for such animal; authorizing a
   10         housing accommodation to request certain written
   11         documentation under certain circumstances; authorizing
   12         the Department of Health to adopt rules; specifying
   13         that an individual with a disability is liable for
   14         certain damage done by her or his emotional support
   15         animal; prohibiting the falsification of written
   16         documentation or other misrepresentation regarding the
   17         use of an emotional support animal; providing
   18         penalties; providing an effective date.
   20  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   22         Section 1. Present paragraphs (a) through (d) of subsection
   23  (1) of section 413.08, Florida Statutes, are redesignated as
   24  paragraphs (b) through (e), respectively, present paragraph (d)
   25  of subsection (1) and paragraph (b) of subsection (6) are
   26  amended, a new paragraph (a) is added to subsection (1), and
   27  subsection (10) is added to that section, to read:
   28         413.08 Rights and responsibilities of an individual with a
   29  disability; use of a service animal or an emotional support
   30  animal; prohibited discrimination in public employment, public
   31  accommodations, and housing accommodations; penalties.—
   32         (1) As used in this section and s. 413.081, the term:
   33         (a)“Emotional support animal” means an animal that does
   34  not require training to do specific work or perform special
   35  tasks for an individual with a disability but, by virtue of its
   36  presence, provides support to alleviate one or more identified
   37  symptoms or effects of an individual’s disability.
   38         (e)(d) “Service animal” means an animal that is trained to
   39  do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability,
   40  including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or
   41  other mental disability. The work done or tasks performed must
   42  be directly related to the individual’s disability and may
   43  include, but are not limited to, guiding an individual who is
   44  visually impaired or blind, alerting an individual who is deaf
   45  or hard of hearing, pulling a wheelchair, assisting with
   46  mobility or balance, alerting and protecting an individual who
   47  is having a seizure, retrieving objects, alerting an individual
   48  to the presence of allergens, providing physical support and
   49  assistance with balance and stability to an individual with a
   50  mobility disability, helping an individual with a psychiatric or
   51  neurological disability by preventing or interrupting impulsive
   52  or destructive behaviors, reminding an individual with mental
   53  illness to take prescribed medications, calming an individual
   54  with posttraumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack, or
   55  doing other specific work or performing other special tasks. A
   56  service animal is not a pet. For purposes of subsections (2),
   57  (3), and (4), the term “service animal” is limited to a dog or
   58  miniature horse. The crime-deterrent effect of an animal’s
   59  presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being,
   60  comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for
   61  purposes of this definition.
   62         (6) An individual with a disability is entitled to rent,
   63  lease, or purchase, as other members of the general public, any
   64  housing accommodations offered for rent, lease, or other
   65  compensation in this state, subject to the conditions and
   66  limitations established by law and applicable alike to all
   67  persons.
   68         (b)1. An individual with a disability who has a service
   69  animal or who obtains a service animal is entitled to full and
   70  equal access to all housing accommodations provided for in this
   71  section, and such individual a person may not be required to pay
   72  extra compensation for such animal. This subparagraph does not
   73  apply to an emotional support animal.
   74         2.a.An individual with a disability who has an emotional
   75  support animal or who obtains an emotional support animal is
   76  entitled to full and equal access to all housing accommodations
   77  provided for in this section, and such individual may not be
   78  required to pay extra compensation for such animal. If an
   79  individual’s disability or disability-related need is not
   80  readily apparent to a housing accommodation, the housing
   81  accommodation may request written documentation prepared by a
   82  health care practitioner, as defined in s. 456.001, which
   83  verifies that the individual has a disability or a disability
   84  related need and has been under the practitioner’s care or
   85  treatment for such disability or need, and the animal provides
   86  support to alleviate one or more identified symptoms or effects
   87  of the individual’s disability or disability-related need.
   88         b.The written documentation, as specified in sub
   89  subparagraph a., must be prepared in a format prescribed by the
   90  Department of Health in rule and may not be prepared by a health
   91  care practitioner whose exclusive service to the individual with
   92  a disability is preparation of the written documentation in
   93  exchange for a fee. The Department of Health may adopt rules to
   94  administer this sub-subparagraph.
   95         c.This subparagraph does not apply to a service animal.
   96         3.An individual with a disability However, such a person
   97  is liable for any damage done to the premises or to another
   98  person on the premises by her or his service the animal or
   99  emotional support animal. A housing accommodation may request
  100  proof of compliance with vaccination requirements.
  101         (10)A person who falsifies written documentation, as
  102  specified in sub-subparagraph (6)(b)2.a., for an emotional
  103  support animal or otherwise knowingly and willfully
  104  misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or
  105  written notice, as using an emotional support animal and being
  106  qualified to use an emotional support animal commits a
  107  misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.
  108  775.082 or s. 775.083, and must perform 30 hours of community
  109  service for an organization that serves individuals with
  110  disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the
  111  discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than 6
  112  months.
  113         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.