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CS/HB 993 — Pub. Rec./Animal Researchers at Public Research Facilities

by Higher Education and Workforce Subcommittee and Rep. Cummings (CS/SB 414 by Education Committee and Senator Dean)

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

Prepared by: Education Committee (ED)

The bill provides an exemption from public record requirements for personal identifying information of a person employed by, under contract with, or volunteering for a public research facility that conducts animal research or is engaged in activities related to animal research. 

The bill makes such personal identifying information exempt from public record requirements when it is contained in the following records: 

  • Animal records, including animal care and treatment records;
  • Research protocols and approvals;
  • Purchasing, funding, and billing records related to animal research or activities;
  • Animal care and use committee records; and
  • Facility and laboratory records related to animal research or activities. 

The exemption is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act and shall stand repealed on October 2, 2019, unless reviewed and saved from repeal by the Legislature. 

The public necessity statement provides that the exemption is necessary to protect researchers from physical and emotional harm from animal rights advocates who oppose the use of animals for medical research. The statement provides that certain university employees have been harassed and threatened after personal identifying information was disclosed pursuant to public records requests. 

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014.

Vote: Senate 35-0; House 115-1