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. 38 39 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 40 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: 62 154.012 Sexual 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 123 124 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: 151 943.1724 Training 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.