Florida Senate - 2021                                     SB 762
       By Senator Baxley
       12-00835-21                                            2021762__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to public records; amending s.
    3         320.025, F.S.; authorizing the issuance of
    4         confidential registration certificates and license
    5         plates or decals under a fictitious name to criminal
    6         conflict and civil regional counsel offices to conduct
    7         specified law enforcement activities; expanding a
    8         public records exemption to include all records
    9         pertaining to a registration application submitted by
   10         any regional counsel office; providing for
   11         construction; providing for future legislative review
   12         and repeal; providing a statement of public necessity;
   13         providing an effective date.
   15  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   17         Section 1. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 320.025,
   18  Florida Statutes, are amended, and subsection (4) is added to
   19  that section, to read:
   20         320.025 Registration certificate and license plate or decal
   21  issued under fictitious name; application.—
   22         (1) A confidential registration certificate and
   23  registration license plate or decal shall be issued under a
   24  fictitious name only for a motor vehicle or vessel owned or
   25  operated by a law enforcement agency of state, county,
   26  municipal, or federal government;, the Attorney General’s
   27  Medicaid Fraud Control Unit;, or any state public defender’s
   28  office; or any office of criminal conflict and civil regional
   29  counsel. The requesting agency shall file a written application
   30  with the department, on forms furnished by the department, which
   31  includes a statement that the license plate or decal will be
   32  used for certain activities by the Attorney General’s Medicaid
   33  Fraud Control Unit, or law enforcement, or any state public
   34  defender’s office, or a regional counsel which require the
   35  activities requiring concealment of publicly leased or owned
   36  motor vehicles or vessels and a statement of the position
   37  classifications of the individuals who are authorized to use the
   38  license plate or decal. The department may modify its records to
   39  reflect the fictitious identity of the owner or lessee until
   40  such time as the license plate or decal and registration
   41  certificate are surrendered to it.
   42         (3) This section constitutes an exception to other statutes
   43  relating to falsification of public records, false swearing, and
   44  similar matters. All records relating to the registration
   45  application of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control
   46  Unit, a law enforcement agency, or any state public defender’s
   47  office, or any office of criminal conflict and civil regional
   48  counsel, and records necessary to carry out the intended purpose
   49  of this section, are exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1),
   50  and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution as long as the
   51  information is retained by the department. This section does not
   52  prohibit other personations, fabrications, or creations of false
   53  identifications by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control
   54  Unit, or law enforcement or public defender’s officers, or a
   55  regional counsel office in the official performance of covert
   56  operations.
   57         (4) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset
   58  Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and shall stand repealed
   59  on October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal
   60  through reenactment by the Legislature.
   61         Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public
   62  necessity that all records relating to the application of a
   63  confidential registration certificate and registration license
   64  plate or decal submitted by an office of criminal conflict and
   65  civil regional counsel, and any other records necessary to carry
   66  out the intended purpose of s. 320.025, Florida Statutes, be
   67  made exempt from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a),
   68  Article I of the State Constitution. Investigations by an office
   69  of criminal conflict and civil regional counsel may be
   70  jeopardized by the registration of motor vehicles under the
   71  office’s name or under the names of the office’s investigators
   72  in that persons under investigation may acquire such
   73  registration information in order to seek retaliation against
   74  the office or its investigators. Authorizing offices of criminal
   75  conflict and civil regional counsels to obtain confidential
   76  registration certificates and registration license plates or
   77  decals in the same manner as other law enforcement agencies
   78  would better ensure the safety of the regional counsel offices’
   79  investigators in performing their official duties.
   80         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.