SB 376/HB 227 (Book/Willhite): Workers Compensation for First Responders – These bills provide for indemnity benefits under workers’ compensation for a mental or nervous injury of a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, or a paramedic, whether or not such injury is accompanied by a physical injury requiring medical treatment.






HB 9/SB 308 (Metz/Bean): Federal Immigration Enforcement – These bills would have required county governments and law enforcement agencies, including their officials, agents, and employees, to support and cooperate with federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, the bills would prohibit a county government or law enforcement agency from having a law, policy, practice, procedure, or custom which impedes a law
enforcement officer from communicating or cooperating with a federal immigration agency. The bills also required any sanctuary policies currently in effect to be repealed within 90 days of the Act becoming law. If found in violation of the Act, a county or law enforcement agency could be fined by the State or subject to a suspension of state grant funding eligibility for five years. The bill passed the House floor but was temporarily
postponed in its first Senate committee, likely because it did not have enough votes to pass. SB 308 was never reconsidered and thus the bill stalled and died in the Senate.

HB 317/SB 272 (Ingoglia/Brandes): Local Tax Referenda – Originally, the bills would have required 60% vote for referenda considered at any election other than a general. SB 272 was amended to prohibit holding a referendum on any election other than a general election. This was during the second of four committee stops. HB 317 was amended to match the amended Senate version and prohibit referenda on any election other than a general election. While HB 317 passed out of the House, the bill stalled and died in the Senate.

HB 725/SB 1144 (Williamson/Perry): Permit Fees – These bills would have required building departments to adopt fee schedules on their websites in conjunction with Building Permit Utilization Reports, which include budgetary information regarding the building departments. Both bills passed all of their committees, but the bill stalled in the Senate during the last week of Session and ultimately died.

HB 7079 (Pub. Rec./Disaster Response) – This bill provides a public records exemption for the names, addresses, and telephone numbers collected by a public shelter during an emergency. It also provides a public records exemption for the name, address, and telephone number of a homeowner or a tenant which is held by an agency for the purpose of providing damage assessment data following a disaster. HB 7079 passed the full House but was not considered by the Senate.

SB 900/HB 695 (Flores/Latvala): Fire Fighters – These bills would have required fire service employers of full-time firefighters to offer cancer insurance coverage to its firefighter employees. The bills provided that upon a diagnosis of cancer, a firefighter is entitled to certain benefits if the firefighter has been employed by his or her employer for at least five continuous years, has not used tobacco products for at least the preceding five years, and has not been employed in any other position in the preceding years has been proven to create a higher risk for cancer. HB 695 was workshopped in one committee but never received a vote, and SB 900 stalled in its final committee.

HB 273/SB 750 (Rodriguez/Perry): Public Records – These bills would have prohibited a county that received a request to inspect or copy a record from responding to such request by filing a civil action against the individual or entity making the request. 

HB 79/SB 192 (Roth/Baxley): Public Meetings – These bills codified judicial interpretation of Florida’s Sunshine law. Specifically, the proposals defined the terms “de facto meeting,” “discussion,” “meeting,” “official act,” and “public business”. The bills also provided that notice is not required when two or more members of a board are gathered if no official acts are taken and no public business is discussed. SB 192 passed off Senate floor and was reported favorably through all House committee but was not taken up on the House floor.

HB 459 (Massullo): Public Records – This bill would have made broad changes to the public records exemption for trade secrets for those entities that contract with public agencies, including counties. The bill passed off the House floor but was not considered by the Senate.