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HB 1297 — Public Records/Florida False Claims Act

by Rep. Young (CS/SB 1496 by Judiciary Committee and Senator Thrasher)

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

Prepared by: Judiciary Committee (JU)

The bill creates a public records exemption for a complaint of a Florida False Claims Act (FFCA) violation and other information held by the Department of Legal Affairs pursuant to an investigation of the alleged violation. The exemption expires when the investigation is complete, unless the complaint and other information are otherwise protected by law. 

The bill provides for repeal of the exemption on October 2, 2018, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature. It also provides a statement of public necessity as required by the Florida Constitution. 

This bill is linked to CS/CS/HB 935 (CS/CS/SB 1494), which substantially revises the authority of the Department of Legal Affairs to pursue fraud and other acts of misconduct under the FFCA.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect on the same date that HB 935 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension thereof and becomes law.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 117-0