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CS/SB 4 — Public Records and Meetings/Commission on Ethics

by Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee and Ethics and Elections Committee

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

Prepared by: Ethics and Elections Committee (EE)

CS/SB 4 is the public records exemption companion bill to the omnibus ethics act (Chapter 2013-36, L.O.F.). Among other things, the new ethics laws allow the Commission on Ethics ("Commission") to initiate investigations upon receipt of a referral from the Governor, Department of Law Enforcement, a state attorney, or a U.S. Attorney. In order to investigate a referral, six members of the Commission must vote in favor of initiating the investigation. CS/SB 4 exempts from the public records and open meetings laws any records and proceedings of the Commission related to a referral or a preliminary investigation initiated by a referral. These exemptions apply until the Commission determines that it will not investigate a matter, until it determines whether probable cause exists to believe a violation occurred, or until the subject of the referral waives the right to confidentiality.

These provisions became law without the Governor’s signature and took effect May 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 40-0; House 112-1