Florida Senate - 2020 SB 682 By Senator Baxley 12-00646A-20 2020682__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the Florida Guide to a Healthy 3 Marriage; creating s. 741.0307, F.S.; creating the 4 Marriage Education Committee within the Department of 5 Children and Families for the purpose of creating the 6 Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage; providing for 7 committee operation; providing for appointment of 8 committee members and terms of office; requiring the 9 committee to submit the completed guide to the 10 Governor and the Legislature; providing for committee 11 termination; providing for periodic reconstitution of 12 the committee to review and update the guide; 13 providing requirements for filling vacancies; 14 providing requirements for the guide’s content; 15 requiring the committee to oversee the design and 16 layout of the guide and obtain private funds to cover 17 associated costs; authorizing the committee to obtain 18 private funds for the costs of printing and 19 distributing copies of the guide; authorizing the 20 committee to distribute printed copies of the guide 21 under certain circumstances; requiring clerks of court 22 to post an electronic copy of the guide on the court’s 23 website and provide printed copies to applicants for 24 marriage licenses under certain circumstances; 25 encouraging clerks of court to provide a list of 26 certain course providers and websites where certain 27 classes are available; providing for periodic review 28 and revision of the guide; requiring the committee to 29 periodically submit a report to the Governor and the 30 Legislature detailing its revisions to the guide and 31 recommendations for further updates; amending s. 32 741.04, F.S.; prohibiting the issuance of a marriage 33 license until petitioners verify that both parties 34 have obtained and read the Florida Guide to a Healthy 35 Marriage or some other presentation of similar 36 information; providing an effective date. 37 38 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 39 40 Section 1. Section 741.0307, Florida Statutes, is created 41 to read: 42 741.0307 Marriage Education Committee; Florida Guide to a 43 Healthy Marriage.— 44 (1) There is created within the Department of Children and 45 Families, for administrative purposes only, the Marriage 46 Education Committee for the sole purpose of creating the Florida 47 Guide to a Healthy Marriage. Except as otherwise provided in 48 this section, the committee shall operate in a manner consistent 49 with s. 20.052. The committee shall consist of six marriage 50 education and family advocates, two of whom shall be appointed 51 by the Governor, two of whom shall be appointed by the President 52 of the Senate, and two of whom shall be appointed by the Speaker 53 of the House of Representatives. The committee shall be 54 appointed by September 1, 2020, and the appointees shall each 55 serve a 1-year term or until such time as the Florida Guide to a 56 Healthy Marriage has been created, whichever is earlier. The 57 committee shall submit the completed guide to the Governor, the 58 President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of 59 Representatives and terminates with the submission of the guide. 60 The committee shall subsequently be reconstituted once every 10 61 years after July 1, 2020, to review and update the contents of 62 the guide. The Governor, the President of the Senate, and the 63 Speaker of the House of Representatives shall each appoint two 64 members to the reconstituted committee. A vacancy on the 65 committee shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term 66 in the same manner as the original appointment. 67 (2) The Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage shall include, 68 but is not limited to: 69 (a) Resources regarding conflict management, communication 70 skills, family expectations, financial responsibilities and 71 management, domestic violence resources, and parenting 72 responsibilities. 73 (b) Current information from marriage education and family 74 advocates to assist in forming and maintaining a long-term 75 marital relationship. 76 (c) Information regarding premarital education, marriage 77 enrichment education, and resources that are available to help 78 restore a marriage that is potentially moving toward 79 dissolution. 80 (d) Contact information and website links to additional 81 resources and local professional and community services to 82 further assist a marital relationship. 83 (3) The Marriage Education Committee shall oversee the 84 design and layout of the guide. The committee shall raise funds 85 from private sources to cover the costs of the design and 86 layout. The committee may raise funds from private sources to 87 cover the costs of printing and distributing copies of the 88 guide. If adequate funds are not raised to cover the costs of 89 printing and distribution, the committee will not be required to 90 print or distribute copies of the guide. 91 (4) The clerk of the circuit court in each judicial circuit 92 shall post an electronic copy of the guide on its website. 93 Additionally, if the Marriage Education Committee provides 94 printed copies of the guide to the office of the clerk of the 95 circuit court, the clerk shall make the guide available to 96 marriage license applicants. The clerk of the circuit court is 97 encouraged to provide a list of course providers and sites where 98 marriage and relationship skill-building classes are available. 99 (5) The Marriage Education Committee shall review the guide 100 and provide a report to the Governor, the President of the 101 Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives every 10 102 years, or as soon thereafter as practicable, detailing changes 103 made to the guide and recommending further updates. 104 Section 2. Paragraph (c) is added to subsection (2) of 105 section 741.04, Florida Statutes, to read: 106 741.04 Issuance of marriage license.— 107 (2) A county court judge or clerk of the circuit court may 108 not issue a license to marry until the parties to the marriage 109 file with the county court judge or clerk of the court a written 110 and signed affidavit, made and subscribed before a person 111 authorized by law to administer an oath, which provides: 112 (c) A statement that verifies that both parties have 113 obtained and read or otherwise accessed the information 114 contained in the Florida Guide to a Healthy Marriage, as created 115 under s. 741.0307, or some other presentation of information 116 regarding conflict management, communication skills, family 117 expectations, financial responsibilities and management, 118 domestic violence resources, and parenting responsibilities. 119 Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.