Florida Senate - 2022 SB 590 By Senator Rodriguez 39-00846-22 2022590__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records and meetings; 3 creating s. 491.018, F.S.; providing an exemption from 4 public records requirements for certain information 5 held by the Department of Health or the Board of 6 Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and 7 Mental Health Counseling pursuant to the Professional 8 Counselors Licensure Compact; authorizing the 9 disclosure of such information under certain 10 circumstances; providing an exemption from public 11 meetings requirements for certain meetings or portions 12 of certain meetings of the Counseling Compact 13 Commission or committees of the commission; providing 14 an exemption from public records requirements for 15 recordings, minutes, and records generated during the 16 closed portions of such meetings; providing for future 17 legislative review and repeal of the exemptions; 18 providing statements of public necessity; providing a 19 contingent effective date. 20 21 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 22 23 Section 1. Section 491.018, Florida Statutes, is created to 24 read: 25 491.018 Professional Counselors Licensure Compact; public 26 records and meetings exemptions.— 27 (1) A counselor’s personal identifying information, other 28 than the counselor’s name, licensure status, or licensure 29 number, obtained from the data system, as described in article X 30 of s. 491.017, and held by the department or the Board of 31 Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental 32 Health Counseling is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. 33 I of the State Constitution unless the state that originally 34 reported the information to the data system authorizes the 35 disclosure of such information by law. If disclosure is so 36 authorized, information may be disclosed only to the extent 37 authorized by law by the reporting state. 38 (2)(a) A meeting or a portion of a meeting of the 39 Counseling Compact Commission, established in article IX of s. 40 491.017, or the executive committee or other committees of the 41 commission is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the 42 State Constitution if the commission’s legal counsel or designee 43 has certified that the meeting may be closed because the 44 commission or executive committee or other committees of the 45 commission must discuss any of the following: 46 1. Noncompliance of a member state with its obligations 47 under the compact. 48 2. The employment, compensation, discipline, or other 49 matters, practices, or procedures related to specific employees, 50 or other matters related to the commission’s internal personnel 51 practices and procedures. 52 3. Current, threatened, or reasonably anticipated 53 litigation. 54 4. Negotiation of contracts for the purchase, lease, or 55 sale of goods, services, or real estate. 56 5. Accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any 57 person. 58 6. Disclosure of trade secrets or commercial or financial 59 information that is privileged or confidential. 60 7. Disclosure of information of a personal nature if 61 disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of 62 personal privacy. 63 8. Disclosure of investigative records compiled for law 64 enforcement purposes. 65 9. Disclosure of information related to any investigative 66 reports prepared by or on behalf of or for use of the commission 67 or other committee charged with responsibility of investigation 68 or determination of compliance issues pursuant to the compact. 69 10. Matters specifically exempted from disclosure by 70 federal or member state law. 71 (b) In keeping with the intent of the Professional 72 Counselors Licensure Compact, recordings, minutes, and records 73 generated during an exempt meeting or portion of such a meeting 74 are exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 75 Constitution. 76 (3) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 77 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed 78 on October 2, 2027, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 79 through reenactment by the Legislature. 80 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds that it is a public 81 necessity that a counselor’s personal identifying information, 82 other than the counselor’s name, licensure status, or licensure 83 number, obtained from the data system, as described in article X 84 of s. 491.017, Florida Statutes, and held by the Department of 85 Health or the Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family 86 Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling be made exempt from s. 87 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 88 Constitution. Protection of such information is required under 89 the Professional Counselors Licensure Compact, which the state 90 must adopt in order to become a member state of the compact. 91 Without the public records exemption, this state will be unable 92 to effectively and efficiently implement and administer the 93 compact. 94 (2)(a) The Legislature finds that it is a public necessity 95 that any meeting of the Counseling Compact Commission or the 96 executive committee or other committees of the commission held 97 as provided in article IX of s. 491.017, Florida Statutes, in 98 which matters specifically exempted from disclosure by federal 99 or state law are discussed be made exempt from s. 286.011, 100 Florida Statutes, and s. 24(b), Art. I of the State 101 Constitution. 102 (b) The Professional Counselors Licensure Compact requires 103 the closure of any meeting, or any portion of a meeting, of the 104 Counseling Compact Commission or the executive committee or 105 other committees of the commission if the commission’s legal 106 counsel or designee has certified that the meeting may be closed 107 because the commission or executive committee or other 108 committees of the commission must discuss certain sensitive and 109 confidential subject matters. In the absence of a public meeting 110 exemption, this state would be prohibited from becoming a member 111 state of the compact. 112 (3) The Legislature also finds that it is a public 113 necessity that the recordings, minutes, and records generated 114 during a meeting that is exempt pursuant to article IX of s. 115 491.017, Florida Statutes, be made exempt from s. 119.07(1), 116 Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 117 Constitution. Release of such information would negate the 118 public meetings exemption. As such, the Legislature finds that 119 the public records exemption is a public necessity. 120 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 121 SB 358 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 122 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 123 thereof and becomes a law.