HB 431

A bill to be entitled
2An act relating to the joint use of public school
3facilities; creating s. 1013.105, F.S.; providing
4legislative findings; providing definitions;
5encouraging each district school board to develop
6written policies to promote public access to outdoor
7recreation and sports facilities on school property
8and increased joint-use agreements; providing duties
9of the Department of Education; creating s. 768.072,
10F.S.; providing for limitation of liability for a
11district school board that allows public access or
12enters into a joint-use agreement except in instances
13of gross negligence; defining the term "gross
14negligence"; providing an effective date.
16     WHEREAS, every year, an estimated 300,000 people in the
17United States die due to being overweight or obese, and
18     WHEREAS, since the 1970's, the number of overweight
19children in Florida has increased by 300 percent, and
20     WHEREAS, overweight or obese children experience the same
21risk factors associated with heart disease in adults, such as
22high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, and Type 2
23diabetes, once referred to as adult-onset diabetes, and
24     WHEREAS, studies have shown that up to 80 percent of
25overweight adolescents become overweight adults, and
26     WHEREAS, 14 percent of deaths from cancer in men and 20
27percent of deaths from cancer in women are due to obesity, and
28     WHEREAS, the annual economic impact of obesity on the
29United States' health care system is estimated by the Centers
30for Disease Control and Prevention at $147 billion, and
31     WHEREAS, a recent study by a major insurance carrier stated
32that if current trends in obesity are not abated, 50 percent of
33Americans will have diabetes by 2020, which will cost the health
34care system approximately $3.35 trillion, and
35     WHEREAS, many communities, especially those that are more
36urbanized, have few or no public parks or playground spaces, and
37     WHEREAS, opening public school recreation and sports
38facilities to the public provides an immediate increase in
39places where children and families can exercise and play, NOW,
42Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
44     Section 1.  Section 1013.105, Florida Statutes is created
45to read:
46     1013.105  Joint use of public school facilities.-
47     (1)  The Legislature finds that greater access to
48recreation and sports facilities is needed to reduce the impact
49of obesity on personal health and health care expenditures. The
50Legislature further finds that public schools are equipped with
51taxpayer-funded playgrounds, fields, tracks, courts, and other
52outdoor recreation and sports facilities that offer easily
53accessible opportunities for physical activity for residents of
54the community regardless of income.
55     (2)  As used in this section, the term:
56     (a)  "Joint-use agreement" means a written agreement
57between a district school board and a local government or
58private organization setting forth the terms and conditions for
59the shared use of outdoor public school property.
60     (b)  "Public access" means free access to the outdoor
61recreation and sports facilities on public school property
62during nonschool hours and when a school-sponsored or school-
63related activity is not occurring.
64     (3)  Each district school board is encouraged to develop
65written policies to promote public access and increased joint-
66use agreements. Public access policies should outline the
67outdoor recreation and sports facilities that are open to the
68public and the hours they are open.
69     (4)  The Department of Education shall:
70     (a)  Develop a model joint-use agreement and post the model
71agreement on its website.
72     (b)  Post on its website links to or copies of district
73school board joint-use agreements submitted to the department by
74each district school board entering into a joint-use agreement.
75     (c)  Develop criteria for the acceptance of grants for
76implementing joint-use agreements.
77     Section 2.  Section 768.072, Florida Statutes, is created
78to read:
79     768.072  Limitation on public school premises liability.-
80     (1)  A district school board that allows public access or
81enters into a joint-use agreement pursuant to s. 1013.105 shall
82gain a presumption against liability for personal injury and
83nonschool property damage in all instances except where injury
84or damage was due to gross negligence. This section does not
85change the presumption of liability for injury or damage that
86occurred during school hours or during a school-related or
87school-sponsored activity.
88     (2)  As used in this section, the term "gross negligence"
89means that the defendant's conduct was so reckless or wanting in
90care that it constituted a conscious disregard or indifference
91to the life, safety, or rights of persons exposed to such
93     Section 3.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2012.

CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.