Public Records
SB 1648 (Formerly PCB 7064, Government Oversight) and HB 1151 (Rep. Hood)

  • Summary:  Prohibits the use of public funds in payment of dues or membership contributions to any entity that does not comply with public records law. Would require associations like FAC to maintain certain records for public inspection and copying.
  • Status:  SENATE unanimously passed the 39-0.  HOUSE bill will be heard in Government Operations on March 31, 2014 where we are expecting a strike-all removing some of the more problematic provision. Senate leadership priority.  
  • Update:  HB 1151 passed the Government Operations Committee on April 1 with an amendment that deleted the most problematic provision of the bill. That section would have required organizations that receive public funds for dues or membership contributions to make open and inspection for copying any document that it has presented to or shared with its members. FAC continues to work with the House sponsor to address of other issues of concern in the bill.  The bill will be heard next in the State Affairs Committee.

Relating to Florida Retirement System (FRS)
SB 1114 (Formerly PCB 7046 - Community Affairs)

  • Summary:  All current employees can remain in either Defined Benefit (pension) or Defined Contribution (investment) Plan.  Employees hired after July 1, 2015, will have the choice of enrolling into the Defined Contribution Plan or Cash-Balance Plan. Special Risk employees (i.e. Firefighters, Sheriffs, etc.) hired after July 1, 2015, will still be eligible to enroll in the Defined Benefit Plan. Current employees enrolled in the pension or investment plans will be eligible to move to the Cash-Balance plan. A Cash-Balance retirement plan guarantees a minimum retirement benefit for its members. Cash-Balance accounts would be funded by employee and employer contributions based on a percentage of monthly compensation, a guaranteed 2 percent interest on the account balance and 75 percent of any investment returns over 2 percent. Upon retirement, employees may choose to receive retirement benefits as an annuity or as a lump-sum distribution. No actuarial analysis is available.  
  • Status: Passed Community Affairs by a 5-4 vote and has been referred to two committees; no House companion yet. FRS reform remains a House leadership priority.   

FRS Cash Balance Plan Trust Fund
SB 1112 (Formerly PCB SB7040 - Community Affairs)

  • Summary:  Creates a trust fund for the newly created Cash-Balance Plan in SB 7046.
  • Status: Passed first of two committees; no House companion yet.

Relating to Florida Retirement System (FRS)
SB 184 (Sen. Brandes) 

  • Summary: Provides for compulsory membership in FRS Investment Plan for employees in the Elected Officers’ Class or the Senior Management Service Class initially enrolled after a specified date; prohibits an elected official eligible for membership in the Elected Officers’ Class from enrolling in the Senior Management Service Class or in the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program; requires certain employees initially enrolled in FRS on or after a specified date to be compulsory members of the investment plan.
  • Status: It has not been calendared yet and has no House companion.

FRS Rates
SB 2506 (Governmental Oversight)-HB 5005 (Appropriations Committee)

  • Summary:  Annual bill that sets employer contribution rates for the next fiscal year. Increases employer contribution rates for retiree health insurance subsidy from 1.20% to 1.30%.
  • Changes employer contribution rates for each membership class of FRS as follows:
    • Regular – 3.53 % from 3.55%
    • Special Risk – 11.01% from 11%
    • Special Risk Administrative Support – 4.18% from 4.17%
    • Elected Officers (legislators) – 6.30% from 6.52%
    • Elected Officers (judges) – 10.10% from 10.05%
    • Elected Officers (county officers) – 8.36% from 8.44%
    • Senior Management – 4.80% from 4.81%
    • DROP – 4.30 from 4.63%
  • To address unfunded actuarial liabilities of the system, amends the current 2014 employer contribution rates for each membership class of FRS as follows:
    • Regular – 2.54% from 2.19
    • Special Risk – 7.51% from 6.83%
    • Special Risk Administrative Support – 36.59% from 30.56%
    • Elected Officers (legislators) – 38.66% from 24.85%
    • Elected Officers (judges) – 21.77% from 17%
    • Elected Officers (county officers) – 33.58% from 23.36%
    • Senior Management – 15.04% from 12.27%
    • DROP – 6.72% from 7.01%
  • Fiscal Impact:  $47.72 million
  • Status: SENATE passed unanimously out of Appropriations. HOUSE: Passed the House floor and sent to the Senate where it was taken up and substituted for SB2506 and made a conference issue. 

Wage Theft
SB 926 (Sen. Simpson) and HB 957 (Rep. Combee)

  • Summary:  Provides requirements for county ordinances regulating wage theft; authorizes county funding to assist in addressing claims of wage theft; preempts further regulation of wage theft to the state; provides an exception for ordinances enacted by a specified date.
  • Status: SENATE after being amended in Judiciary to provide for two model ordinances that counties may enact, a strike-all was adopted in Rules that eliminates the model ordinances approach and took up the language from last year that provides for a civil cause of action and preempts counties from enacting ordinances of any kind, with a carve-out for existing wage theft ordinances.  The bill narrowly passed committed by 8-7 vote.  HOUSE bill is in Local and Federal Affairs, its second of three committees, but has not been calendared yet.   

County and Municipal Parks
HB 677 (Rep. Rangel) and SB 378 (Sen. Abruzzo)

  • Summary: Requires counties and municipalities to provide discounts on public park entrance fees to military members, veterans, and the spouses and parents of certain deceased military members, law enforcement officers and firefighters.
  • Status: SENATE unanimously passed out of Community Affairs and is now in Appropriations but not yet calendared.  HOUSE unanimously passed out of Local  & Federal Affairs this week and is now in Economic Affairs.

Collective Bargaining for Public Employees
HB 649 (Rep. Cummings) and SB 816 (Sen. Bradley)

  • Summary:  Specifies that for purposes of resolving impasse, the sheriff, tax collector, property appraiser, supervisor of elections, and clerk of circuit court are each "legislative body" for their respective employees; provides that BOCC is legislative body for resolving impasse related to wages; requires BOCC to provide supplemental funds to county constitutional officers under certain circumstances; provides that in county that has expressly abolished any such office, such duties are transferred to elected or appointed charter officer if charter is not inconsistent with general law or special law approved by vote of electors; defines term "wages."
  • Status:  SENATE was calendared in Governmental Oversight March 20, 2014, but not taken up; a strike all is expected that will remove the provisions requiring BOCC to provide mid-year funding and circuit court action.  HOUSE has not been calendared yet. Bill appears to be dead this session.   

Relating to Governmental Ethics
SB 846 (Sen. Latvala) and HB 655 (Rep. Hood)

  • Summary:  Specifying the applicability of certain provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees to members of the executive council of certain quasi-governmental entities; requires elected municipal officers to complete annual ethics training; clarifies timing of ethics training requirements of constitutional officers; prohibits local officers – defined as constitutional officers, including county commissioners and school board members, from lobbying the Legislature and Executive agencies; requires constitutional officers to certify annual ethics training on his or her full and public disclosure of financial interests; authorizes the removal from office of any public official who willfully and knowingly fails to file required disclosure forms; limits withholding of wages to no less than 10% of public salary toward payment of unpaid fines; specifying the applicability of certain provisions of the Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees to citizen Support Organizations and Direct Support Organizations.
  • Status:  SENATE unanimously passed the Senate. HOUSE has been referred to three committees but not calendared yet. Senate leadership priority. 

Government Ethics
HB 655 (Rep. Hood) and SB 606 (Sen. Clemens) 

  • Summary:  Requiring elected municipal officials to participate in annual ethics training; deleting the requirement that each reporting individual or procurement employee file a quarterly statement disclosing certain gifts with the Commission on Ethics; authorizing a reporting individual or procurement employee to request an advisory opinion regarding application of the section from the Commission; preempts one local political subdivision from imposing additional or more stringent code of ethics onto another political subdivision; requires the commission to impose a civil penalty on a person who has filed a complaint with malicious intent under certain circumstances.
  • Status:  SENATE bill was TP’d in Ethics and Elections; FAC staff continues to work to amend the political subdivision preemption language. The bill was TP’s again on March 3, 2014, as FAC continues to try to amend the preemption language.  HOUSE bill not calendared yet. The bill faces opposition from the Commission Ethics and FAC and some noncontroversial provisions appear in SB 846.  Bill appears to be dead.

Public Meetings
SB 718 (Sen. Legg) and HB 985 (Rep. Santiago)

  • Summary:  Requires that the notice of a public meeting include a description of each matter to be considered at such meeting; prohibits the board or commission of an agency or authority of the state, a county, a municipality, or a political subdivision from acting upon a matter at a public meeting which was not included in the notice of such meeting; provides an exception for certain emergency matters upon the approval of a super majority of the members of the board or commission.
  • Status:  SENATE bill was heard in Community Affairs where concerns were raised over drafting and unintended consequences of making local government less efficient.  Senator Legg has committed to work on FAC concerns.  HOUSE bill referred to three committees but not yet calendared. FAC has concerns regarding the level of specificity required.   

Legislative Lobbying Expenditures
HB 133 (Rep. Rogers) and SB 192 (Sen. Braynon)

  • Summary: Revises term "expenditure" to exclude use of public facility or public property that is made available by governmental entity to legislator for public purpose, to exempt such use from legislative lobbying requirements; provides exceptions when member or employee of Legislature may accept certain expenditures made by lobbyist or principal; provides reporting requirements; requires each chamber to establish rules on reporting.
  • Status: SENATE passed Ethics and Elections and is in Governmental Oversight. HOUSE has not been calendared in its first committee.  

Residency of Candidates and Public Officers
HB 571 (Rep. Rodrigues) and SB 602 (Sen. Latvala) 

  • Summary:  Requires candidate or public officer to reside in specific geographic area to have only one domicile at a time; provides factors that may be considered when determining residency; provides exceptions for active duty military members; preempts certain local residency requirements for candidates and public officers.
  • Status:  SENATE: Was calendared in Rules, April 2, 2014, but not considered. HOUSE: Bill is in Local and Federal Affairs, its second of three referrals, but not yet calendared.