2012 Florida Statutes
Standing or select committees; powers.
Standing or select committees; powers.
11.143 Standing or select committees; powers.—
(1) Each standing or select committee, or subcommittee thereof, is authorized to invite public officials and employees and private individuals to appear before the committee for the purpose of submitting information to it. Each such committee is authorized to maintain a continuous review of the work of the state agencies concerned with its subject area and the performance of the functions of government within each such subject area and for this purpose to request reports from time to time, in such form as the committee designates, concerning the operation of any state agency and presenting any proposal or recommendation such agency may have with regard to existing laws or proposed legislation in its subject area.
(2) In order to carry out its duties, each such committee is empowered with the right and authority to inspect and investigate the books, records, papers, documents, data, operation, and physical plant of any public agency in this state, including any confidential information.
(3)(a) In order to carry out its duties, each such committee, whenever required, may issue subpoena and other necessary process to compel the attendance of witnesses before such committee, and the chair thereof shall issue the process on behalf of the committee, in accordance with the rules of the respective house. The chair or any other member of such committee may administer all oaths and affirmations in the manner prescribed by law to witnesses who appear before the committee for the purpose of testifying in any matter concerning which the committee desires evidence.
(b) Each such committee, whenever required, may also compel by subpoena duces tecum the production of any books, letters, or other documentary evidence, including any confidential information, it desires to examine in reference to any matter before it.
(c) Either house during the session may punish by fine or imprisonment any person not a member who has been guilty of disorderly or contemptuous conduct in its presence or of a refusal to obey its lawful summons, but such imprisonment must not extend beyond the final adjournment of the session.
(d) The sheriffs in the several counties or a duly constituted agent of a Florida legislative committee 18 years of age or older shall make such service and execute all process or orders when required by such committees. Sheriffs shall be paid as provided for in s. 30.231.
(4)(a) Whoever willfully affirms or swears falsely in regard to any material matter or thing before any such committee is guilty of false swearing, which constitutes a felony of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
(b) If a witness fails to respond to the lawful subpoena of any such committee at a time when the Legislature is not in session or, having responded, fails to answer all lawful inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed, such committee may file a complaint before any circuit court of the state setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction of the witness and the subject matter of the complaint and shall direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to produce all documentary evidence in the possession of the witness which is lawfully demanded. The failure of a witness to comply with such order of the court constitutes a direct and criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish the witness accordingly.
(5) All witnesses summoned before any such committee shall receive reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem at the rates provided in s. 112.061. However, the fact that such reimbursement is not tendered at the time the subpoena is served does not excuse the witness from appearing as directed therein.
History.—s. 3, ch. 68-35; s. 9, ch. 69-52; s. 1, ch. 69-72; (3)(c) formerly s. 9, Art. III of the Constitution of 1885, as amended; converted to statutory law by s. 10, Art. XII of the Constitution as revised in 1968; s. 8, ch. 71-136; s. 1, ch. 77-121; s. 1, ch. 91-429; s. 2, ch. 94-170; s. 1307, ch. 95-147; s. 12, ch. 96-318.