Florida Senate - 2020                                     SB 806
       By Senator Gainer
       2-00855-20                                             2020806__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s. 585.61,
    3         F.S.; exempting from public records requirements
    4         certain animal health records submitted to or
    5         generated by the Department of Agriculture and
    6         Consumer Services or the state veterinarian in
    7         connection with the Bronson Animal Disease Diagnostic
    8         Laboratory; providing for future legislative review
    9         and repeal of the exemption; providing a statement of
   10         public necessity; providing an effective date.
   12  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   14         Section 1. Section 585.61, Florida Statutes, is amended to
   15  read:
   16         585.61 Animal disease diagnostic laboratory; public records
   17  exemption.—
   18         (1) There is established an animal disease diagnostic
   19  laboratory in Osceola County designated as the “Bronson Animal
   20  Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.”
   21         (2) The construction and operation of the laboratory
   22  established by this section are shall be under the supervision
   23  and control of the department. It is shall be the duty of the
   24  department to operate the laboratory in an efficient manner so
   25  that any person who maintains animals in this state may obtain
   26  prompt and reliable diagnosis of animal diseases, including any
   27  disease which may affect poultry eggs, in this state, and
   28  recommendations for the control and eradication of such
   29  diseases, to the end that diseases of animals may be reduced and
   30  controlled, and eradicated when possible.
   31         (3) Any person who maintains animals in this the state may
   32  use the services of the laboratory under the terms of this
   33  section and the rules adopted for such use by the department.
   34  The department shall require any user of its services to pay a
   35  fee not to exceed $300 for any one of the services requested.
   36  All laboratory fees collected shall be deposited in the Animal
   37  Industry Diagnostic Laboratory Account within the General
   38  Inspection Trust Fund. The fees collected shall be used to
   39  improve the diagnostic laboratory services as provided for by
   40  the Legislature in the General Appropriations Act.
   41         (4)(a)The following information is exempt from s.
   42  119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution:
   43         1.Records generated or received by the department or the
   44  state veterinarian in connection with services provided by the
   45  laboratory which document any of the following:
   46         a.The diagnosis, treatment, or effect of the medical
   47  condition of an animal.
   48         b.The prescribing, dispensing, or administering of drugs,
   49  medicine, appliances, applications, or treatment of any nature
   50  to prevent, cure, or relieve an animal’s wound, fracture, bodily
   51  injury, or disease.
   52         c.A manual procedure for the diagnosis of, or treatment
   53  related to, an animal’s pregnancy, fertility, or infertility.
   55  The exemption granted by this paragraph does not apply to
   56  official certificates of veterinary inspection or any document
   57  required by law to transport an animal in this state.
   58         2.If such information is contained in documents related to
   59  the medical diagnosis or treatment of an animal, the name, home
   60  address, work address, telephone number, and e-mail address of a
   61  person or business entity that makes the animal or the animal’s
   62  medical record available to the department or the state
   63  veterinarian by using the services of the laboratory to obtain a
   64  medical diagnosis or treatment for the animal.
   65         3.If such information is contained in a document related
   66  to the medical diagnosis or treatment of an animal by the
   67  laboratory, the name of any department employee, contract
   68  employee, or volunteer who diagnosed or treated the medical
   69  condition of an animal pursuant to this chapter.
   70         (b)The exemptions from public records requirements granted
   71  under this subsection apply to records and information held
   72  before, on, or after July 1, 2020.
   73         (c)This subsection is subject to the Open Government
   74  Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand
   75  repealed on October 2, 2025, unless reviewed and saved from
   76  repeal through reenactment by the Legislature.
   77         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   78  necessity that animal health records submitted to or generated
   79  by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the
   80  state veterinarian, in the performance of their official duties
   81  under chapter 585, Florida Statutes, be made exempt from s.
   82  119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of the
   83  State Constitution. The department and the state veterinarian
   84  are charged with surveilling and eradicating animal disease in
   85  the state. To that end, the department relies heavily on animal
   86  owners to submit information or to make animals available to the
   87  department’s animal disease diagnostic laboratory for disease
   88  diagnostics. In the absence of the proposed exemptions, animal
   89  owners are reluctant to report animal diseases to the department
   90  or to use the services of the animal disease diagnostic
   91  laboratory for fear that their personal information or the
   92  animal’s medical information may be disclosed pursuant to a
   93  public records request. Currently, competitors can manipulate
   94  information gleaned from public records requests regarding
   95  animal disease diagnostics to create unwarranted consumer
   96  uncertainty about Florida producers’ meat or dairy products. To
   97  avoid this potential harm, producers find other options for
   98  disease diagnostics at private laboratories or laboratories in
   99  other states, and the department is not made privy to valuable
  100  disease information, which is contrary to the public health and
  101  welfare.
  102         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2020.