Florida Senate - 2021 SB 7078 By the Committee on Regulated Industries 580-04018-21 20217078__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records and public meetings 3 exemptions; amending s. 16.71, F.S.; specifying that 4 any exempt or confidential and exempt information 5 obtained by the Florida Gaming Control Commission 6 retains its exempt or confidential and exempt status; 7 providing an exemption from public meetings 8 requirements for portions of meetings of the 9 commission wherein confidential or exempt information 10 is discussed; specifying the commission is a criminal 11 justice agency; authorizing the commission to close 12 portions of meetings during which certain criminal 13 matters are discussed if certain requirements are met; 14 providing an exemption from public meetings 15 requirements for such portions of meetings; providing 16 an exemption from public records requirements for 17 documents and recordings relating to such exempt 18 portions of meetings; providing for future review and 19 repeal; providing a statement of public necessity; 20 providing an effective date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Subsection (11) is added to section 16.71, as 25 created by SB 7076, 2021 Regular Session, to read: 26 16.71 Florida Gaming Control Commission.— 27 (11)(a)1. Information made exempt or confidential and 28 exempt from s. 119.07(1) or s. 24(a) Art I. of the State 29 Constitution which is obtained by the Florida Gaming Control 30 Commission shall retain its exempt or confidential and exempt 31 status. The information may be released by the commission to 32 other governmental entities as needed in the performance of its 33 official duties and responsibilities. The governmental entity 34 shall maintain the exempt or confidential and exempt status of 35 the information. 36 2. Portions of meetings of the commission during which 37 information made exempt or confidential and exempt is discussed 38 are exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art I. of the State 39 Constitution. 40 (b)1. The Florida Gaming Control Commission is a criminal 41 justice agency as defined in s. 119.011. 42 2.a. The Florida Gaming Control Commission may close 43 portions of meetings during which the commission will hear or 44 discuss active criminal intelligence information or active 45 criminal investigative information, as those terms are defined 46 in s. 119.011(3), and such portions of meetings shall be exempt 47 from the provisions of s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the 48 State Constitution, provided that the following conditions are 49 met: 50 (I) The chair of the commission shall advise the commission 51 at a public meeting that, in connection with the performance of 52 a commission duty, it is necessary that the commission hear or 53 discuss active criminal investigative information or active 54 criminal intelligence information. 55 (II) The chair’s declaration of necessity for closure and 56 the specific reasons for such necessity shall be stated in 57 writing in a document that shall be a public record and shall be 58 filed with the official records of the commission. 59 (III) The entire closed session shall be recorded. The 60 recording shall include the times of commencement and 61 termination of the closed session, all discussion and 62 proceedings, and the names of all persons present. No portion of 63 the session shall be off the record. Such recording shall be 64 maintained by the commission. 65 b. Only members of the commission, Department of Law 66 Enforcement staff supporting the commission’s function, and 67 other persons whose presence has been authorized by the chair of 68 the commission shall be allowed to attend the exempted portions 69 of the commission meetings. The commission shall assure that any 70 closure of its meetings as authorized by this paragraph is 71 limited so that the general policy of this state in favor of 72 public meetings is maintained. 73 3. A tape recording of, and any minutes and notes generated 74 during, that portion of a Florida Gaming Control Commission 75 meeting which is closed to the public pursuant to this paragraph 76 are confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. 77 I of the State Constitution until such time as the criminal 78 investigative information or criminal intelligence information 79 ceases to be active. 80 (c) This subsection is subject to the Open Government 81 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.115 and is repealed 82 on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 83 through reenactment by the Legislature. 84 Section 2. (1) The Legislature finds that it is a public 85 necessity to maintain the exempt or confidential and exempt 86 status of any exempt or confidential and exempt information 87 obtained by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. In the 88 absence of this exemption, sensitive confidential or exempt 89 information would be disclosed. In addition, the Legislature 90 finds that it is a public necessity that portions of meetings of 91 the Florida Gaming Control Commission wherein confidential and 92 exempt information is discussed be made exempt from public 93 meetings requirements. The release of confidential and exempt 94 information via a public meeting defeats the purpose of a public 95 records exemption. Accordingly, the Legislature finds that the 96 harm to the public that would result from the release of such 97 information substantially outweighs any minimal public benefit 98 derived therefrom. 99 (2) The Legislature finds that during limited portions of 100 the meetings of the Florida Gaming Control Commission it is 101 necessary that the commission be presented with and discuss 102 details, information, and documents related to active criminal 103 intelligence information or active criminal investigative 104 information. These presentations and discussions are necessary 105 for the commission to make its decisions for licensing of 106 persons for pari-mutuel and gaming activities, and for decisions 107 related to gaming enforcement and enforcement of gambling laws 108 as required by the Legislature under this act. The Legislature 109 finds that to reveal the contents of documents containing active 110 criminal investigative or intelligence information or to allow 111 active criminal investigative or active criminal intelligence 112 matters to be discussed in a meeting open to the public 113 negatively impacts the ability of law enforcement agencies to 114 efficiently continue their investigative or intelligence 115 gathering activities. The Legislature finds that information 116 coming before the commission that pertains to active criminal 117 investigations or intelligence should remain confidential and 118 exempt from public disclosure. The Legislature finds that the 119 Florida Gaming Control Commission may, by declaring only those 120 portions of commission meetings in which active criminal 121 investigative or active criminal intelligence information is to 122 be presented or discussed closed to the public, assure an 123 appropriate balance between the policy of this state that 124 meetings be public and the policy of this state to facilitate 125 efficient law enforcement efforts. Accordingly, the Legislature 126 finds that the harm to the public that would result from the 127 release of such information substantially outweighs any minimal 128 public benefit derived therefrom. 129 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 130 SB 7076 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 131 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 132 thereof and becomes a law.