Florida Senate - 2019 COMMITTEE AMENDMENT Bill No. SB 58 Ì122310XÎ122310 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . . . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— The Committee on Judiciary (Book) recommended the following: 1 Senate Amendment (with title amendment) 2 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 ofa 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. 140 141 ================= 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.