Florida Senate - 2020 SB 1728 By Senator Brandes 24-01991-20 20201728__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public meetings and records; 3 amending s. 945.0911, F.S.; exempting from public 4 meetings requirements the protected health information 5 of specified inmates being considered for the 6 conditional medical release program; exempting from 7 public records requirements certain records used by 8 the reviewing panel to make a determination of the 9 appropriateness of conditional medical release and the 10 recordings of closed panel review hearings; providing 11 for legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; 12 providing a statement of public necessity; providing a 13 contingent effective date. 14 15 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 16 17 Section 1. Present subsection (9) of section 945.0911, 18 Florida Statutes, as created by SB 556, 2020 Regular Session, is 19 redesignated as subsection (10), and a new subsection (9) is 20 added to that section, to read: 21 945.0911 Conditional medical release.— 22 (9) PUBLIC MEETINGS AND RECORDS EXEMPTIONS.— 23 (a) That portion of a panel review hearing conducted in 24 accordance with this section during which the panel will discuss 25 protected information that is confidential and exempt under 26 state or federal law, such as protected health information 27 covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability 28 Act, is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State 29 Constitution. If the panel must discuss exempt information 30 during the course of its meeting, the following requirements 31 must be met: 32 1. The panel must announce at the public meeting that, in 33 connection with the performance of the panel’s duties, protected 34 information must be discussed; 35 2. The panel must declare the specific reasons that it is 36 necessary to close the meeting, or a portion thereof, in a 37 document that is a public record and filed with the official 38 records of the program; and 39 3. The entire closed hearing must be recorded. The 40 recording must include the times of commencement and termination 41 of the closed hearing or portion thereof, all discussion and 42 proceedings, and the names of the persons present. The 43 department shall maintain the recording. 44 (b)1. That portion of the records the panel uses to 45 determine the appropriateness of conditional medical release 46 which includes any of the inmate’s protected information is 47 confidential and exempt from disclosure under s. 119.07(1) and 48 s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. 49 2. Any audio or video recording of, and any minutes and 50 notes generated during, a closed hearing of the panel or closed 51 portion of a hearing of the panel are exempt from disclosure 52 under s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 53 Constitution. Such audio or video recording and minutes and 54 notes must be retained pursuant to the requirements of s. 55 119.021. 56 (c) Only members of the panel, staff supporting the panel’s 57 functions, and other persons whose presence has been authorized 58 by the panel shall be allowed to attend the closed portions of 59 panel hearings. The panel shall ensure that any closure of its 60 meetings as authorized by this section is limited so that the 61 policy of the state in favor of public meetings is maintained. 62 (d) This subsection is subject to the Open Government 63 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand 64 repealed on October 2, 2025, unless reviewed and saved from 65 repeal through reenactment by the Legislature. 66 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 67 necessity that the hearings or portions of hearings during which 68 an inmate’s personal information is discussed by the review 69 panel considering the inmate’s conditional medical release be 70 made exempt from s. 286.011, Florida Statutes, and s. 24(b), 71 Article I of the State Constitution. The Legislature finds that 72 the rights of an inmate afforded under other state or federal 73 laws that deem certain personal information confidential, such 74 as protected health information covered by the Health Insurance 75 Portability and Accountability Act, be upheld and that the 76 inmate’s personal information not be disclosed to the public 77 during such hearings. The Legislature also finds that the 78 recordings of a panel review hearing and the records used by the 79 panel to make its determination be made exempt from disclosure 80 under s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of 81 the State Constitution. The inmate’s personal health 82 information, if publicly available, could be used to invade his 83 or her personal privacy. Making these reports and discussions of 84 such information confidential and exempt from disclosure will 85 protect information of a sensitive personal nature, the release 86 of which could cause unwarranted damage to the privacy rights of 87 the inmate. The Legislature therefore finds that it is a public 88 necessity that such protected information remain confidential 89 and exempt. 90 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 91 SB 556 or similar legislation relating to conditional medical 92 release takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same 93 legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes a law.