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.
   16  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.