Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1530
       By Senator Book
       32-01176A-21                                          20211530__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to victims of sexual offenses;
    3         amending s. 16.01, F.S.; authorizing the Attorney
    4         General to review the evidence in alleged cases of
    5         sexual battery or cyberstalking upon the written
    6         request of specified persons; authorizing the Attorney
    7         General to prosecute such cases; providing
    8         requirements for attorneys assigned to such cases;
    9         creating s. 154.012, F.S.; requiring counties to
   10         establish sexual assault response teams; providing for
   11         duties, membership, meetings, technical assistance,
   12         and an annual report; requiring teams to promote the
   13         use of sexual assault forensic examiners meeting
   14         certain requirements; amending s. 627.6131, F.S.;
   15         requiring health insurers to establish certain
   16         alternative methods of delivery of explanation of
   17         benefits in certain circumstances; amending s. 943.17,
   18         F.S.; requiring the Criminal Justice Standards and
   19         Training Commission, in consultation with the Florida
   20         Council Against Sexual Violence, to establish minimum
   21         standards for basic and advanced career development
   22         training programs for law enforcement officers that
   23         include a culturally responsive trauma-informed
   24         response to sexual assault; requiring every basic
   25         skills course for law enforcement officers to include
   26         certain training by a specified date; creating s.
   27         943.1724, F.S.; requiring the Criminal Justice
   28         Standards and Training Commission to incorporate a
   29         culturally responsive trauma-informed response to
   30         sexual assault into a certain course curriculum;
   31         requiring each certified law enforcement officer to
   32         successfully complete a specified number of hours of
   33         training on sexual violence and interviewing and
   34         investigations of sexual assault victims within a
   35         specified timeframe; providing requirements for
   36         current law enforcement officers; providing an
   37         effective date.
   39  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   41         Section 1. Present subsections (4) through (9) of section
   42  16.01, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (5)
   43  through (10), respectively, and a new subsection (4) is added to
   44  that section, to read:
   45         16.01 Residence, office, and duties of Attorney General.
   46  The Attorney General:
   47         (4)Shall review the evidence in an investigation upon a
   48  written request by a victim of an alleged sexual battery or
   49  cyberstalking offense, by the state attorney of the judicial
   50  circuit in which the alleged sexual battery or cyberstalking
   51  offense occurred, or by the law enforcement agency that
   52  investigated the alleged sexual battery or cyberstalking
   53  offense, to determine whether a charge or charges should be
   54  filed. If the Attorney General determines that filing a charge
   55  or charges is appropriate, the Office of the Attorney General
   56  shall prosecute such case in the judicial circuit in which it
   57  occurred. The attorney assigned to prosecute the case shall have
   58  the training and experience required to effectively prosecute
   59  the type of offense in the case to which he or she is assigned.
   60         Section 2. Section 154.012, Florida Statutes, is created to
   61  read:
   62         154.012Sexual assault response teams; membership; duties.—
   63         (1)The health department in every county in this state, or
   64  its designee, shall establish a local sexual assault response
   65  team or enter into a collaborative agreement with another
   66  jurisdiction to establish a regional sexual assault response
   67  team. The purpose of the team is to ensure a coordinated
   68  multidisciplinary response to sexual violence.
   69         (2)Each team shall develop a written protocol to govern
   70  the team’s response to sexual assault that includes:
   71         (a)The role and responsibilities of each team member.
   72         (b)Procedural issues regarding the immediate crisis and
   73  health care and law enforcement responses and follow-up services
   74  provided to a victim.
   75         (c)Procedures for the preservation, secure storage, and
   76  destruction of evidence from a sexual assault evidence kit,
   77  including length of storage, site of storage, and chain of
   78  custody.
   79         (d)Procedures for maintaining the confidentiality of the
   80  victim regarding the forensic medical examination.
   81         (3)Membership of each team shall consist of the following
   82  persons or their designees:
   83         (a)The state attorney.
   84         (b)The director of the local sexual assault crisis center.
   85         (c)The chief of police.
   86         (d)The county sheriff.
   87         (e)A forensic sexual assault nurse examiner or a
   88  designated health care provider who performs forensic medical
   89  examinations and collects evidence.
   90         (f)A representative from hospital emergency room nursing
   91  or physician leadership.
   92         (g)The director or administrator of the local county
   93  health department.
   94         (h)The director of the local victim or witness program.
   95         (4)The Florida Council Against Sexual Violence shall
   96  provide technical assistance relating to the development and
   97  implementation of the teams.
   98         (5)Each team shall promote the use of sexual assault
   99  forensic examiners who have received a minimum of 40 hours of
  100  specialized training in the provision of trauma-informed medical
  101  care and in the collection of evidence for sexual assault
  102  victims.
  103         (6)Each team shall meet at least quarterly, or more often
  104  if necessary, to ensure a coordinated multidisciplinary response
  105  to sexual violence and shall publish an annual report for the
  106  jurisdictions covered by the team that includes local statistics
  107  on the number of forensic medical examinations performed, the
  108  number of criminal sexual assaults reported to law enforcement,
  109  and the number of criminal sexual assaults prosecuted and the
  110  outcome of the prosecutions.
  111         Section 3. Subsection (20) is added to section 627.6131,
  112  Florida Statutes, to read:
  113         627.6131 Payment of claims.—
  114         (20)For claims involving a sexual assault victim, a health
  115  insurer shall establish alternative methods of delivery of the
  116  explanation of benefits that permit:
  117         (a)A subscriber who is legally authorized to consent to
  118  care for a covered person or recipient;
  119         (b)A covered person or recipient who is legally authorized
  120  to consent to that covered person’s or recipient’s own care; or
  121         (c)Another party who has the exclusive legal authorization
  122  to consent to care for the covered person or recipient
  124  to receive the explanation of benefits by an alternative method,
  125  provided that each such alternative method is in compliance with
  126  45 C.F.R. s. 164.522 regarding the right to request privacy
  127  protection for protected health information.
  128         Section 4. Subsection (7) is added to section 943.17,
  129  Florida Statutes, to read:
  130         943.17 Basic recruit, advanced, and career development
  131  training programs; participation; cost; evaluation.—The
  132  commission shall, by rule, design, implement, maintain,
  133  evaluate, and revise entry requirements and job-related
  134  curricula and performance standards for basic recruit, advanced,
  135  and career development training programs and courses. The rules
  136  shall include, but are not limited to, a methodology to assess
  137  relevance of the subject matter to the job, student performance,
  138  and instructor competency.
  139         (7)The commission, in consultation with the Florida
  140  Council Against Sexual Violence, shall establish minimum
  141  standards for basic and advanced career development training
  142  programs for law enforcement officers that include a culturally
  143  responsive trauma-informed response to sexual assault. After
  144  January 1, 2022, every basic skills course required for law
  145  enforcement officers to obtain initial and continuing education
  146  certification must include training on culturally responsive
  147  trauma-informed interviewing and investigations of sexual
  148  assault victims.
  149         Section 5. Section 943.1724, Florida Statutes, is created
  150  to read:
  151         943.1724Training on sexual assault.—
  152         (1)The commission shall incorporate a culturally
  153  responsive trauma-informed response to sexual assault into the
  154  course curriculum required for a law enforcement officer to
  155  obtain initial certification.
  156         (2)Within 1 year after beginning employment, each
  157  certified law enforcement officer must successfully complete 8
  158  hours of training on sexual violence and interviewing and
  159  investigations of sexual assault victims, with an emphasis on
  160  culturally responsive trauma-informed interviewing and
  161  investigations of sexual assault victims. Completion of the
  162  training may count toward the 40 hours of instruction for
  163  continued employment or appointment as a law enforcement officer
  164  required under s. 943.135. The training must be completed by
  165  current law enforcement officers by July 1, 2024. If an officer
  166  fails to complete the required training, his or her
  167  certification must be placed on inactive status until the
  168  employing agency notifies the commission that the officer has
  169  completed the training.
  170         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.