Florida Senate - 2021 CS for SB 7078 By the Committees on Appropriations; and Regulated Industries 576-04245-21 20217078c1 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records and public meetings; 3 amending s. 16.71, F.S.; specifying that any exempt or 4 confidential and exempt information obtained by the 5 Florida Gaming Control Commission retains its exempt 6 or confidential and exempt status; providing an 7 exemption from public meetings requirements for 8 portions of meetings of the Florida Gaming Control 9 Commission wherein exempt or confidential and exempt 10 information is discussed; authorizing the commission 11 to close portions of meetings during which certain 12 matters are discussed if certain requirements are met; 13 providing an exemption from public meetings 14 requirements for such portions of meetings; providing 15 an exemption from public records requirements for 16 documents and recordings relating to such exempt 17 portions of meetings; providing for future review and 18 repeal of the exemption; providing a statement of 19 public necessity; providing a contingent effective 20 date. 21 22 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 23 24 Section 1. Subsection (14) 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 (14)(a) Information made exempt or confidential and exempt 28 from s. 119.07(1) or s. 24(a) Art I. of the State Constitution 29 which is obtained by the Florida Gaming Control Commission shall 30 retain its exempt or confidential and exempt status. The 31 information may be released by the commission to other 32 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 (b) 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 1. The chair of the commission shall advise the commission 41 at a public meeting that, in connection with the performance of 42 a commission duty, it is necessary that the commission hear or 43 discuss information that is exempt or confidential and exempt. 44 2. The chair’s declaration of necessity for closure and the 45 specific reasons for such necessity shall be stated in writing 46 in a document that shall be a public record and shall be filed 47 with the official records of the commission. 48 3. The entire closed session shall be recorded. The 49 recording shall include the times of commencement and 50 termination of the closed session, all discussion and 51 proceedings, and the names of all persons present. No portion of 52 the session shall be off the record. Such recording shall be 53 maintained by the commission. 54 (b) Only members of the commission, Department of Law 55 Enforcement staff supporting the commission’s function, and 56 other persons whose presence is necessary for the presentation 57 of exempt or confidential and exempt information shall be 58 allowed to attend the exempted portions of the commission 59 meetings. The commission shall assure that any closure of its 60 meetings as authorized by this paragraph is limited so that the 61 general policy of this state in favor of public meetings is 62 maintained. 63 (c) A recording of, and any minutes and notes generated 64 during, that portion of a commission meeting which is closed to 65 the public pursuant to this subsection are confidential and 66 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 67 Constitution until such time as the information discussed is no 68 longer exempt or confidential and exempt. 69 (d) This subsection is subject to the Open Government 70 Sunset Review Act in accordance with s. 119.115 and is repealed 71 on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal 72 through reenactment by the Legislature. 73 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 74 necessity to maintain the exempt or confidential and exempt 75 status of any exempt or confidential and exempt information 76 obtained by the Florida Gaming Control Commission. In the 77 absence of this exemption, sensitive confidential or exempt 78 information would be disclosed. In addition, the Legislature 79 finds that it is a public necessity that portions of meetings of 80 the Florida Gaming Control Commission wherein confidential and 81 exempt information is discussed be made exempt from public 82 meetings requirements. The release of confidential and exempt 83 information via a public meeting defeats the purpose of a public 84 records exemption. Accordingly, the Legislature finds that the 85 harm to the public that would result from the release of such 86 information substantially outweighs any minimal public benefit 87 derived therefrom. 88 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 89 SB 7076 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 90 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 91 thereof and becomes a law.