Florida Senate - 2021 SB 648 By Senator Taddeo 40-00098-21 2021648__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to legislative procedures in certain 3 emergencies; creating s. 11.137, F.S.; requiring each 4 house of the Legislature to provide by rule procedures 5 authorizing the use of remote technology systems for 6 remote participation in committee meetings and floor 7 proceedings by members; specifying requirements and 8 limitations for the use of remote technology systems; 9 specifying that a member’s use of a remote technology 10 system is subject to approval by the presiding officer 11 of the applicable house; authorizing the Legislature 12 to provide procedures by joint rule governing the use 13 of remote technology systems in certain bicameral 14 meetings; providing an effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 11.137, Florida Statutes, is created to 19 read: 20 11.137 Use of remote technology systems in committee 21 meetings and floor proceedings during certain emergencies.— 22 (1) Each house of the Legislature shall provide by rule 23 procedures authorizing the use of remote technology systems in 24 committee meetings and floor proceedings during a declared state 25 of emergency or public health emergency which allow for members 26 of the Legislature to remotely participate, attend, vote, or 27 take any other action throughout the meeting or proceeding. 28 (2) Any remote technology system approved for use by the 29 President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House of 30 Representatives must sufficiently allow members of the public to 31 hear or observe any members of the Legislature using the system 32 in order to maintain compliance with the requirements of s. 4(b) 33 or (e), Art. III of the State Constitution, as applicable. While 34 participating or voting remotely, the member may only be in the 35 presence of one other person, who must be a legislative 36 employee. The presence of any such employee must be announced by 37 the member. 38 (3) Any member of the Legislature participating remotely 39 through an approved remote technology system shall be considered 40 present and in attendance for the meeting or proceeding; 41 however, the chair of the committee or the presiding officer, 42 and a majority of the membership of the committee or the house, 43 must be physically present at the meeting or proceeding in order 44 to constitute a quorum. 45 (4) A member of the Legislature wishing to exercise his or 46 her option to participate remotely in a committee meeting or a 47 floor proceeding must receive approval for such accommodation 48 from the presiding officer of his or her house of the 49 Legislature. The written request for accommodation must specify 50 the day for which the accommodation is requested, and must be 51 resubmitted at least weekly. 52 (5) By joint rule, both houses of the Legislature may 53 provide for procedures governing the use of remote technology 54 systems for remote participation by members of the Legislature 55 in meetings of joint committees and conference committees or the 56 Legislative Budget Commission. 57 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.