Florida Senate - 2021 SB 6-A By Senator Hutson 7-00004-21A 20216A__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to public records and public meetings; 3 creating s. 16.716, F.S.; specifying that any exempt 4 or 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 commission wherein exempt 9 or confidential and exempt information is discussed, 10 provided certain requirements are met; providing an 11 exemption from public records requirements for 12 recordings, minutes, and records generated during such 13 exempt portions of meetings; providing for the future 14 review and repeal of the exemption; providing a 15 statement of public necessity; providing a contingent 16 effective date. 17 18 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 19 20 Section 1. Section 16.716, Florida Statutes, is created to 21 read: 22 16.716 Florida Gaming Control Commission public records and 23 public meetings exemptions.— 24 (1)(a) Any information obtained by the Florida Gaming 25 Control Commission which is exempt or confidential and exempt 26 from s. 119.07(1) or s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution 27 shall retain its exempt or confidential and exempt status. The 28 information may be released by the commission, upon written 29 request, to an agency, as defined in s. 119.011, or a 30 governmental entity in the performance of the commission’s 31 official duties and responsibilities. An agency or a 32 governmental entity receiving such information from the 33 commission shall maintain the exempt or confidential and exempt 34 status of the information. 35 (b)1. Any portion of a meeting of the commission during 36 which information that is exempt or confidential and exempt is 37 discussed is exempt from s. 286.011 and s. 24(b), Art. I of the 38 State Constitution. 39 a. The chair of the commission shall advise the commission 40 at a public meeting that, in connection with the performance of 41 a commission duty, it is necessary that the commission hear or 42 discuss information that is exempt or confidential and exempt. 43 b. The chair’s declaration of necessity for closure and the 44 specific reasons for such necessity shall be stated in writing 45 in a record that shall be a public record and shall be filed 46 with the official records of the commission. 47 c. The entire closed session shall be recorded. The 48 recording shall include the times of commencement and 49 termination of the closed session, all discussion and 50 proceedings, and the names of all persons present. No portion of 51 the session may be off the record. Such recording shall be 52 maintained by the commission. 53 2. Only members of the commission, Department of Legal 54 Affairs staff, or commission staff supporting the commission’s 55 function and other persons whose presence is necessary for the 56 presentation of exempt or confidential and exempt information 57 shall be allowed to attend the exempted portions of the 58 commission meetings. The commission shall ensure that any 59 closure of its meetings as authorized by this paragraph is 60 limited so that the general policy of this state in favor of 61 public meetings is maintained. 62 3. A recording of, and any minutes and records generated 63 during, that portion of a commission meeting which is closed to 64 the public pursuant to this paragraph are confidential and 65 exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State 66 Constitution until such time as the information is no longer 67 exempt or confidential and exempt. 68 (2) This section is subject to the Open Government Sunset 69 Review Act in accordance with s. 119.15 and is repealed on 70 October 2, 2026, unless reviewed and saved from repeal through 71 reenactment by the Legislature. 72 Section 2. The Legislature finds that it is a public 73 necessity that any information obtained by the Florida Gaming 74 Control Commission which is exempt or confidential and exempt 75 from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of 76 the State Constitution, maintains its status as exempt or 77 confidential and exempt. In the absence of this public records 78 exemption, sensitive confidential or exempt information, 79 including criminal intelligence information and criminal 80 investigative information, would be disclosed, thus eliminating 81 the protected status of the information obtained by the 82 commission. If the commission is unable to maintain the exempt 83 or confidential and exempt status of the information received, 84 the commission would be unable to effectively and efficiently 85 perform its duties and responsibilities. In addition, the 86 Legislature finds that it is a public necessity that any portion 87 of a meeting of the Florida Gaming Control Commission wherein 88 exempt or confidential and exempt information is discussed be 89 made exempt from s. 286.011, Florida Statutes, and s. 24(b), 90 Article I of the State Constitution. The release of exempt or 91 confidential and exempt information via a public meeting defeats 92 the purpose of the public records exemption. If such information 93 were part of an active investigation, the release of such 94 information before its completion could jeopardize the ongoing 95 investigation. Furthermore, the Legislature finds that it is a 96 public necessity that the recording of, and any minutes and 97 records generated during, that portion of a commission meeting 98 that is closed to the public be made confidential and exempt 99 from s. 119.07(1), Florida Statutes, and s. 24(a), Article I of 100 the State Constitution, until such time as the information is no 101 longer exempt or confidential and exempt. This limited public 102 records exemption ensures that the information discussed during 103 the closed meeting remains protected while also allowing the 104 commission to perform its statutory duties and responsibilities. 105 Section 3. This act shall take effect on the same date that 106 SB 4A or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation 107 is adopted in the same legislative session or an extension 108 thereof and becomes a law.