Florida Senate - 2019                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 58
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Judiciary (Book) recommended the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 11.143, Florida Statutes, is amended to
    6  read:
    7         11.143 Standing or select committees; powers.—
    8         (1) Each standing or select committee, or subcommittee
    9  thereof, is authorized to invite public officials and employees
   10  and private individuals to appear before the committee for the
   11  purpose of submitting information to it. Each such committee is
   12  authorized to maintain a continuous review of the work of the
   13  state agencies concerned with its subject area and the
   14  performance of the functions of government within each such
   15  subject area and for this purpose to request reports from time
   16  to time, in such form as the committee designates, concerning
   17  the operation of any state agency and presenting any proposal or
   18  recommendation such agency may have with regard to existing laws
   19  or proposed legislation in its subject area.
   20         (2) In order to carry out its duties, each such committee
   21  is empowered with the right and authority to inspect and
   22  investigate the books, records, papers, documents, data,
   23  operation, and physical plant of any public agency in this
   24  state, including any confidential information.
   25         (3)(a) In order to carry out its duties, each such
   26  committee, whenever required, may issue subpoena and other
   27  necessary process to compel the attendance of witnesses before
   28  such committee, and the chair thereof shall issue the process on
   29  behalf of the committee, in accordance with the rules of the
   30  respective house. The chair or any other member of such
   31  committee may administer all oaths and affirmations in the
   32  manner prescribed by law to witnesses who appear before the
   33  committee for the purpose of testifying in any matter concerning
   34  which the committee desires evidence. Upon motion of any member
   35  of the committee, a witness shall be placed under oath.
   36         (b) Each such committee, whenever required, may also compel
   37  by subpoena duces tecum the production of any books, letters, or
   38  other documentary evidence, including any confidential
   39  information, it desires to examine in reference to any matter
   40  before it.
   41         (c) Either house during the session may punish by fine or
   42  imprisonment any person not a member who has been guilty of
   43  disorderly or contemptuous conduct in its presence or of a
   44  refusal to obey its lawful summons, but such imprisonment must
   45  not extend beyond the final adjournment of the session.
   46         (d) The sheriffs in the several counties or a duly
   47  constituted agent of a Florida legislative committee 18 years of
   48  age or older shall make such service and execute all process or
   49  orders when required by such committees. Sheriffs shall be paid
   50  as provided for in s. 30.231.
   51         (4)(a) Whoever willfully affirms or swears falsely in
   52  regard to any material matter or thing before any such committee
   53  is guilty of false swearing, which constitutes a felony of the
   54  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083,
   55  or s. 775.084.
   56         (b) If a witness fails to respond to the lawful subpoena of
   57  any such committee at a time when the Legislature is not in
   58  session or, having responded, fails to answer all lawful
   59  inquiries or to turn over evidence that has been subpoenaed,
   60  such committee may file a complaint before any circuit court of
   61  the state setting up such failure on the part of the witness. On
   62  the filing of such complaint, the court shall take jurisdiction
   63  of the witness and the subject matter of the complaint and shall
   64  direct the witness to respond to all lawful questions and to
   65  produce all documentary evidence in the possession of the
   66  witness which is lawfully demanded. The failure of a witness to
   67  comply with such order of the court constitutes a direct and
   68  criminal contempt of court, and the court shall punish the
   69  witness accordingly.
   70         (5) All witnesses summoned before any such committee shall
   71  receive reimbursement for travel expenses and per diem at the
   72  rates provided in s. 112.061. However, the fact that such
   73  reimbursement is not tendered at the time the subpoena is served
   74  does not excuse the witness from appearing as directed therein.
   75         Section 2. Section 11.1435, Florida Statutes, is created to
   76  read:
   77         11.1435 Contempt and disorderly conduct before legislative
   78  committees.—
   79         (1)A person, including a member of the Legislature, may
   80  not engage in disorderly or contemptuous conduct before a
   81  standing committee or select committee or subcommittee of the
   82  Legislature. Contemptuous conduct includes knowingly making a
   83  materially false statement, whether or not under oath or
   84  affirmation, before a legislative committee.
   85         (a) A person, including a member of the Legislature, who
   86  engages in disorderly or contemptuous conduct while the
   87  Legislature is in session may be punished by the house in which
   88  the misconduct occurred. The punishment may not exceed a fine of
   89  $1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for up to 90 days, or
   90  by both, upon the order of the presiding officer of the house in
   91  which the misconduct occurred.
   92         (b)A person, including a member of the Legislature, who
   93  engages in disorderly or contemptuous conduct during an interim
   94  meeting of a legislative committee commits a misdemeanor of the
   95  second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s.
   96  775.083.
   97         (2)If a violation of this section occurs while the
   98  Legislature is in session, a member of the committee before
   99  which a violation occurs may file a complaint with the rules
  100  chair of the appropriate house of the Legislature. The complaint
  101  must identify the disorderly or contemptuous conduct, state the
  102  facts showing that the conduct was made in violation of this
  103  section, and include relevant supporting documentation or
  104  evidence.
  105         (3)If the rules chair determines that the complaint fails
  106  to support a finding of a violation of this section, the
  107  complaint must be dismissed. If the rules chair determines that
  108  the complaint states facts that, if true, would be a violation
  109  of this section, the complaint must be referred to a special
  110  master or a standing or select committee to expeditiously
  111  determine whether probable cause of a violation exists.
  112         (4)The special master or a standing or select committee
  113  shall give reasonable notice to the person who is alleged to
  114  have engaged in disorderly or contemptuous conduct, shall
  115  conduct an investigation, and shall give the person an
  116  opportunity to be heard. Following such actions, the special
  117  master or standing or select committee shall prepare a report
  118  and recommendation regarding the alleged violation.
  119         (5)If the report and recommendation of the special master
  120  or standing or select committee conclude that the facts do not
  121  support a finding of probable cause, the rules chair must
  122  dismiss the complaint. If the report and recommendation find
  123  probable cause that the person violated this section, the report
  124  and recommendation must be taken up and acted upon by the
  125  appropriate house where the disorderly or contemptuous conduct
  126  occurred.
  127         (6)If the appropriate house determines that a person
  128  engaged in disorderly or contemptuous conduct and determines a
  129  punishment for the conduct, the presiding officer must issue an
  130  order imposing the punishment. An order imposing imprisonment
  131  must direct the Leon County Sheriff or the sheriff of the
  132  person’s county of residence to take the person into custody for
  133  confinement in the county jail for the time period specified in
  134  the order. Any fines must be deposited into the Lobbyist
  135  Registration Trust Fund.
  136         (7) This section applies in the absence of legislative
  137  rules establishing a procedure to address the misconduct
  138  prohibited by this section.
  139         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.
  141  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  142  And the title is amended as follows:
  143         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  144  and insert:
  145                        A bill to be entitled                      
  146         An act relating to contempt and disorderly conduct
  147         before a legislative committee; amending s. 11.143,
  148         F.S.; requiring a witness to be placed under oath upon
  149         motion of any committee member; conforming a provision
  150         to changes made by the act; creating s. 11.1435, F.S.;
  151         prohibiting a person, including a member of the
  152         Legislature, from engaging in disorderly or
  153         contemptuous conduct; specifying applicable penalties,
  154         including fines and imprisonment; providing a
  155         procedure for investigating and punishing disorderly
  156         or contemptuous conduct while the Legislature is in
  157         session; providing that the procedures apply in the
  158         absence of certain legislative rules; providing an
  159         effective date.