January 27, 2020
Volume 27, Number 3
Research integrity, sports-arena names and a “college athletes’ bill of rights” dominated the higher education discussions in the legislature last week, the second of the nine-week session.
Last Tuesday, the House Select Committee on the Integrity of Research Institutions initiated its inquiry into potential Chinese interference in public research. The following day, the House Higher Education Appropriations Committee conducted a panel discussion on whether universities should seek legislative permission before naming sports arenas or other facilities after companies willing to pay for that right. FSU Vice President Kyle Clark participated in the discussion.
On Thursday, the House Commerce Committee discussed a proposed committee bill creating a “college athletes’ bill of rights,” guaranteeing financial aid and health coverage as compensation to athletes for their name, image and likeness.
In addition, lawmakers fast-tracked legislation in both the House and Senate that would allow service members and veterans to receive college credit for their military training.
Further information on the above proposals as well as others is in the Spotlight on Bills section of this newsletter.
This week is shaping up to be especially busy. Both the House and Senate Education Appropriations Committees will release their first-run budgets. Plus, FSU will host the Florida Board of Governors meeting on Wednesday and Thursday at the Turnbull Center.
You can keep up with state legislative activities via The Florida Channel, on TV and at thefloridachannel.org. As always, please feel free to contact me with questions about legislation or legislative procedures. I can be reached at (850) 644-1728 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CS/HB 7011 – K-12 Student Athletes by Representative Ralph Massullo (R – Beverly Hills)
CS/HB 7011 – K-12 Student Athletes by Representative Ralph Massullo (R – Beverly Hills), clarifies that the American College of Sports Medicine has determined that exertional heat stroke (EHS) is one of the leading causes of death in athletics despite evidence showing a 100 percent survival rate when an athlete is rapidly cooled down within the first 10 minutes after collapsing. Florida leads the nation in high school student athlete deaths from EHS with four since 2011.
To better protect student athletes participating in athletics during hot weather and avoid preventable injury or death, the bill requires the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) to:
- require member schools to monitor heat stress and modify athletic activities (i.e., contests, practices, workouts, and conditioning) based on heat stress guidelines;
- identify heat stress levels at which a cooling zone must be made available for athletic activities;
- make training and materials available for the effective monitoring of heat stress;
- establish requirements for cooling zones and individuals with related training at athletic activities, including the use of cold water immersion tubs or equivalent means;
- require school emergency action plans to include a procedure for onsite cooling using cold water immersion or equivalent means before transport to the hospital for EHS;
- establish hydration guidelines, including appropriate introduction of electrolytes; and
- require student athletes to pass the annual medical evaluation each year before engaging in any athletic activities that occur outside of the school year.
The bill specifies that these requirements apply year-round.
The bill also requires all athletic coaches and sponsors of extracurricular activities involving outdoor practices or events to complete annual training in EHS identification, prevention, and response, including effective administration of cooling zones.
Beginning June 1, 2021, the bill requires an employee or volunteer with current cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillator (AED) training to be present at each athletic activity during and outside of the school year. All employees or volunteers who are reasonably expected to use an AED must complete the training and must be notified annually of the location of each AED on school grounds, which must be available in a clearly marked and publicized location for each athletic activity.
The bill was amended last week by the Education Committee and reported the favorably as a committee substitute. The amendment:
- requires FHSAA member schools to be able to measure heat stress levels, based on the ambient temperature, humidity, wind speed, sun angle, and cloud cover at the site of an athletic activity, rather than specifying WBGT or heat index levels; and
- removes the requirement that the FHSAA notify member schools in writing within 30 days when it does not adopt a policy change as recommended by the SMAC and include the rational for not adopting the policy recommendation.
A similar bill in the Senate, SB 1696 by Senator Keith Perry (R – Gainesville) is scheduled to be heard by the Education Committee later today.
CS/SB 506 – Public Procurement by Senator Keith Perry (R – Gainesville)
CS/SB 506 – Public Procurement by Senator Keith Perry (R – Gainesville), amends the definition of “continuing contract” under the Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act (CCNA) to increase the maximum dollar amount for each individual project and each individual study under the contract for construction projects. The maximum dollar amount for each individual project is increased from $2 million to $5 million, and the maximum dollar amount for each individual study is increased from $200,000 to $500,000.
The bill authorizes local governmental entities to use the CCNA selection process, increasing the maximum dollar amount for continuing contracts of local governments from $2 million to $5 million.
With the enactment of a higher monetary threshold for these continuing contracts, the state and local governments may have fewer procurements of these services, resulting in lower overall costs.
The bill reported favorably by the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government last week and is now in the Appropriations Committee. A similar bill in the House, CS/CS/HB 441 by Representative Nick DiCeglie (R – Largo) reported favorably by the State Affairs Committee.
CS/HB 883 – Education by Representative Wyman Duggan (R – Jacksonville)
CS/HB 883 – Education by Representative Wyman Duggan (R – Jacksonville), improves the processes by which educational personnel who commit sexual misconduct with a student would be prohibited from further contact with students. Additionally, the bill prohibits employment of such individuals in positions that have direct contact with students in public schools, charter schools, and private schools participating in the state scholarship program.
The bill requires the DOE to maintain a disqualification (DQ) list to prohibit individuals who have committed sexual misconduct with a student from being employed. When an employee separates from employment due to termination or resignation in lieu of termination, the bill requires execution of an affidavit-of-separation explaining the facts and reasons for the separation. The affidavit must disclose when the separation is due to sexual misconduct with a student. Before employing an individual in any position that requires direct contact with students, the bill requires the employment history check to include a review of each affidavit of separation from the applicant’s previous employers.
The bill was amended last week by the PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee to:
- Create one unified DQ list for persons prohibited from employment in public schools, charter schools, and private schools participating in the state scholarship program and includes process for removal from the DQ list.
- Define misconduct that mandates inclusion on the DQ list as “sexual misconduct with a student” in addition to felony conviction for disqualifying offenses under s. 1012.315, F.S.
- Include “educational support employees” to those who are subject to the DQ list.
- Prohibit employment of an individual if he or she was previously terminated or resigned in lieu of termination for sexual misconduct with a student.
- Create a duty on the employer to report the employee and the disqualifying circumstance to the DOE for inclusion on the DQ list if prohibited conduct occurs subsequent to employment.
- Require a person on the DQ list to be notified that he or she may not serve to apply to serve as an employee or contracted personnel, and commits a third degree felony if he or she knowingly violates this provision.
- Create an affidavit-of-separation that public school employers must execute when an employee is terminated or resigns in lieu of termination and requires employers to request and review copies of the affidavit from an applicant’s previous employers.
- Require DOE to make a probable cause determination within 60 days of receipt of a legally sufficient complaint of sexual misconduct with a student.
- Limit the amount of time a certificateholder is on administrative suspension to the superintendent’s submission of a legally sufficient complaint to DOE and the school district must complete the proceedings and sanctions within 1 year of submission of the legally sufficient complaint.
- Authorizes the Commissioner of Education to permanently deny or revoke an owner or operator’s authority to establish or operate a private school if the owner or operator is operating or has previously operated in a manner contrary to the health, safety, or welfare of the public. Such individuals must be included on the DQ list.
The Senate companion, SB 534 by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens), is waiting to be heard by the Appropriations Committee.
SB 7040 - Implementation of the Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens)
SB 7040 - Implementation of the Recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens), provides additional safeguards for Florida’s students and schools by building upon the school safety and security foundation established in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act and the recommendations of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission (commission). The bill:
- Improves school safety planning and reporting to require:
- Each district school board to adopt a school district emergency event family reunification plan to reunite students and employees with their families in the event of an emergency.
- The State Board of Education to establish emergency drill policies and procedures.
- Comprehensive participation from all members of a school threat assessment team.
- Law enforcement officers responsible for responding to the school in the event of an emergency to be on campus and directly involved in the execution of emergency drills.
- Alignment of school-based diversion programs with local judicial circuit diversion programs.
- Each district school board to adopt policies to ensure the accurate and timely reporting of all school safety and discipline incidents.
- The Office of Safe Schools (OSS) include in school safety specialist training information about federal and state reporting and data privacy laws.
- Enhances the safe school officer position and the role of the county sheriff by:
- Requiring school safety officers to complete mental health crisis intervention training.
- Expanding the power of school safety officers to make arrests on property owned or leased by a charter school in the district.
- Making the sheriff responsible for the provision of Feis guardian training and clarifying the training requirements applicable to such training.
- Strengthens school mental health coordination and implementation and requires:
- A workgroup to provide guidance on the implementation of mental health-related recommendations of the commission.
- Additional reporting requirements for the mental health assistance allocation.
- Individualized Education Plans to include additional provisions related to post-high school transition.
- Strengthens school safety oversight and accountability by directing the:
- Commissioner of Education to enforce compliance with all school safety requirements.
- OSS to coordinate compliance with school safety incident reporting.
- FortifyFL reporting tool to notify users of consequences for false reporting.
- Expands representation on the commission to include superintendents, principals, or teachers.
The bill was workshopped and submitted as a committee bill last week. A comparable bill in the House, HB 1083 by Representative Jennifer Webb (D – St. Petersburg) is waiting to be hear din the PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee.
Update on Bills
CS/SB 372 - Postsecondary Education for Certain Military Personnel by Senator Tom Lee (R – Brandon)
CS/SB 372 - Postsecondary Education for Certain Military Personnel by Senator Tom Lee (R – Brandon), promotes uniformity in the application of military training and education toward postsecondary credit (credit) or career education clock hours (clock hours) by public postsecondary educational institutions and establishes a fee waiver for active duty members and honorably discharged veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The bill was amended in the Education Committee and submitted as a committee substitute (CS). The CS modifies the postsecondary course and credit evaluation process established in the bill. Specifically, the committee substitute:
- Includes an option for the application of military training and education to career education clock hours, rather than only academic credit.
- Removes the requirement that the Articulation Coordinating Committee (ACC) workgroup review recommendations of the American Council on Education.
- Modifies the process for review and approval of postsecondary course equivalencies and the minimum credit and clock hours to be awarded, to:
- Require an ACC workgroup to submit to the Board of Governors of the State University System (BOG) and State Board of Education (SBE) a process for prioritizing and determining postsecondary course equivalencies for military courses and occupations by December 1, 2020, which must be approved timely by the BOG and SBE.
- Upon BOG and SBE approval of the workgroup’s recommendations, require the ACC to facilitate a review of military courses and occupations, and postsecondary course equivalencies and credit and clock hour awards.
- Require the ACC to approve a prioritized list of postsecondary course equivalencies and minimum credit and clock hour awards within one year of BOG and SBE approval of the workgroup’s recommendations.
- Require the BOG and SBE to timely approve in the statewide articulation agreement the list approved by the ACC.
- Remove the January 1, 2022, date by which postsecondary institutions must award credit, and requires the award of credit and clock hours based on BOG and SBE approval.
- Changes the effective date from July 1, 2020, to upon becoming a law.
The bill reported favorably by the Appropriations Committee last week. A similar bill in the House, CS/HB 171 by Representative Mel Ponder (R – Destin, FSU Alum) reported favorably by the Education Committee last week and is now waiting to be heard by the full House.
HEA 20-01 - Public postsecondary commercial sponsorships by Representative Randy Fine (R – Palm Bay)
HEA 20-01 - Public postsecondary commercial sponsorships by Representative Randy Fine (R – Palm Bay), creates s. 1004.098, F.S., to require State University System and Florida College System institutions’ presidents to provide written notification to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives prior to executing a contract for all non-philanthropic commercial sponsorships of $1 million or more, designed for marketing in a public postsecondary institution’s athletic facilities. If, within 30 days of receipt, any of the parties provide written objection, an act of the Legislature shall be required for authorization. The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee tomorrow. There is no Senate companion at this time.
SB 774 - Public Records and Meetings/Applicant for President/State University or Florida College System Institution by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens)
SB 774 - Public Records and Meetings/Applicant for President/State University or Florida College System Institution by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens), creates an exemption from public records and public meetings requirements for any personal identifying information associated with applicants for president of a state university or Florida College System institution. The bill specifies that the proposed exemption does not apply once a final group of at least three applicants is established.
Additionally, the bill provides that the exemption is subject to the Open Government Sunshine Review Act, and so is repealed on October 2, 2025, unless saved from repeal by the Legislature.
The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Education Committee today. There is no House companion at this time.
HB 1387 - Sale of Surplus State-owned Lands by Representative James Grant (R – Tampa)
HB 1387 -- Sale of Surplus State-owned Lands by Representative James Grant (R – Tampa), removes the requirement that a building or parcel of land must be offered to state universities or Florida College System institutions prior to being offered for lease or sale. The bill also provides requirements for determining the value of surplus lands to be based on the highest and best use of the property considering all applicable developmental rights to ensure the highest value to the state.
The bill clarifies that only funds received from the sale of surplus state-owned office buildings and the nonconservation lands associated with such buildings, must be deposited into the Architects Incidental Trust Fund and that the funds may only be used for specific operational and facilities development activities of the department.
The bill is scheduled to be heard by the Government Operations & Technology Appropriations Subcommittee tomorrow. A similar bill in the Senate, SB 1714 by Senator Rob Bradley (R – Orange Park), has been referred to the Governmental Oversight and Accountability; Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government; Appropriations.