2023 Legislature                                   CS for SB 904
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         616.242, F.S.; providing an exemption from public
    4         records requirements for all investigatory records
    5         made or received by the Department of Agriculture and
    6         Consumer Services pursuant to an active amusement ride
    7         investigation for a specified timeframe; providing for
    8         future legislative review and repeal of the exemption;
    9         providing a statement of public necessity; providing a
   10         contingent effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Paragraph (b) of subsection (14) of section
   15  616.242, Florida Statutes, as amended by SB 902, 2023 Regular
   16  Session, is amended to read:
   17         616.242 Safety standards for amusement rides.—
   19         (b) The department shall prepare a written report of each
   20  investigation it conducts. All investigatory records made or
   21  received by the department pursuant to an investigation are
   22  confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I
   23  of the State Constitution until such time as the investigation
   24  is completed or ceases to be active. For purposes of this
   25  paragraph, an investigation is considered active so long as the
   26  department is proceeding with reasonable dispatch and has a
   27  reasonable good faith belief that additional information is
   28  necessary and likely to be discovered which will allow the
   29  department, following an accident, to make a final determination
   30  of the cause and circumstances of the accident. This paragraph
   31  is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in
   32  accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2,
   33  2028, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment
   34  by the Legislature.
   35         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   36  necessity that all investigatory records made or received by the
   37  Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services pursuant to an
   38  amusement ride investigation by the department pursuant to s.
   39  616.242, Florida Statutes, be made confidential and exempt from
   40  s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the
   41  State Constitution until the investigation is completed or
   42  ceases to be active. The premature release of such records could
   43  frustrate or thwart the investigation and impair the ability of
   44  the department to effectively and efficiently administer s.
   45  616.242, Florida Statutes. In addition, the release of such
   46  records before completion of an active investigation could
   47  jeopardize the ongoing investigation, thereby affecting the
   48  ability of the department to effectively and efficiently
   49  administer the investigation. Therefore, the Legislature finds
   50  that the harm that may result from the release of investigatory
   51  records made or received by the department pursuant to an
   52  investigation by the department of a violation of s. 616.242,
   53  Florida Statutes, outweighs the public benefit that may be
   54  derived from the disclosure of the information.
   55         Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that
   56  SB 902 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation
   57  is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension
   58  thereof and becomes a law.