Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 470 By the Committee on Judiciary; and Senator Bracy 590-02873-21 2021470c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records; amending s. 3 943.0586, F.S.; providing an exemption from public 4 records requirements for specified expunged criminal 5 history records; providing exceptions; providing 6 criminal penalties; providing for future legislative 7 review and repeal of the exemption; providing a 8 statement of public necessity; providing a contingent 9 effective date. 10 11 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 12 13 Section 1. Subsection (8) is added to section 943.0586, 14 Florida Statutes, as created by SB 468 or similar legislation, 15 2021 Regular Session, to read: 16 943.0586 Expunction of criminal history records relating to 17 qualifying cannabis offenses.— 18 (8) PUBLIC RECORDS.—A criminal history record ordered 19 expunged under this section which is retained by the department 20 is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. 21 I of the State Constitution, except that the department shall 22 disclose the existence of a criminal history record ordered 23 expunged to the entities set forth in subparagraphs (6)(a)1. and 24 3.-7. for their respective licensing, access authorization, and 25 employment purposes and to criminal justice agencies for their 26 respective criminal justice purposes. It is unlawful for any 27 employee of an entity set forth in subparagraph (6)(a)1., 28 subparagraph (6)(a)3., subparagraph (6)(a)4., subparagraph 29 (6)(a)5., subparagraph (6)(a)6., or subparagraph (6)(a)7. to 30 disclose information relating to the existence of an expunged 31 criminal history record of a person seeking employment, access 32 authorization, or licensure with such entity or contractor, 33 except to the person to whom the criminal history record relates 34 or to persons having direct responsibility for employment, 35 access authorization, or licensure decisions. A person who 36 violates this subsection commits a misdemeanor of the first 37 degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. This 38 section is subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act in 39 accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed on October 2, 40 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through reenactment 41 by the Legislature. 42 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 43 necessity that individuals who petition a court and are granted 44 expunction of certain low-level and nonviolent criminal history 45 records have such criminal history records made confidential and 46 exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), 47 Article I of the State Constitution. The Legislature recognizes 48 the disproportionate harm that criminalizing the purchase or 49 possession of small amounts of cannabis has had on minorities 50 and disadvantaged communities. The Legislature further 51 recognizes the trends in this state, and nationally, of counties 52 and localities decriminalizing the purchase or possession of 53 small amounts of cannabis. The Legislature also recognizes the 54 need for certain limited exceptions are necessary for public 55 safety. Without this public records exemption, individuals 56 having such low-level and nonviolent criminal history records 57 who are granted expunction of such records might not be able to 58 seek gainful employment and become productive, contributing 59 members of this state. For these reasons, the Legislature finds 60 that it is a public necessity that such records be made 61 confidential and exempt. 62 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 63 SB 468 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 64 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 65 thereof and becomes a law.