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CS/SB 1856 — Public Records and Public Meetings/Peer Review Panels/Biomedical Research Grants

by Health Regulation Committee and Senator Flores

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Health Regulation Committee (HR)

The bill exempts from Florida’s public records and public meetings laws information related to a peer review panel’s review of applications for biomedical research grants under the James and Esther King Biomedical Research Program (King Program) and the William G. “Bill” Bankhead, Jr., and David Coley Cancer Research Program (Bankhead-Coley Program). Meetings in which peer review panels review applications for biomedical research grants are exempt from public meetings laws; records generated by the panels are confidential and exempt from public records laws, except for final recommendations of the panels; and the research grant applications themselves are held confidential and exempt from public records laws.  The bill authorizes the disclosure of the exempted information under certain circumstances, provides for the repeal of the public records and public meetings exemption unless reenacted before October 2, 2017, in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act, and provides a statement of public necessity for the exemption.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect on the same date that CS/SB 616 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes law.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 115-0