June 03, 2021
Volume 28, Number 11
Dear Seminole Family,
Yesterday Governor DeSantis signed into law the 2021-2022 budget of $101 billion along with vetoed items totaling $1.5 billion. I am pleased to report that all of FSU’s projects were funded. The budget includes funding for the following projects:
|Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization Building||$23,492,086|
|FSU College of Business Building (Legacy Hall)||$30,500,000|
|Boys and Girls State Housing||$200,000|
|Student Veterans Center||$500,000|
|Nationally Ranked Operational Enhancement||$15,000,000|
|Institute of Politics||$1,000,000|
|Institute for Child Welfare||$10,000,000|
|FAMU/FSU College of Engineering||$14,541,522|
|College of Medicine||$51,173,091|
I am grateful for all of the support shown by so many stakeholders in getting to this final outcome. I especially want to recognize our friends in the Senate and in the House, the Executive Office of the Governor, our on-campus legislative liaisons, President Thrasher, and the campus administration for their contributions to our success.
Best wishes for a wonderful summer and I look forward to working with you when legislative hearings begin for the 2022 Legislative Session this fall.
Quick Budget Reference Guide SB 5001
|Included in the base:|
|50||Boys and Girls State Housing (R)||$200,000|
|49||Student Veterans Center (R)||$500,000|
|Nationally Ranked Operational Enhancement (R)||$15,000,000|
|Institute of Politics (R)||$1,000,000|
|Institute for Child Welfare (R)||$10,000,000|
|50||Student and Other Fees||$229,310,768||145|
|53||Student Financial Assistance||$1,467,667||154|
|50||SUS Performance Based Incentive (proviso)||$560,000,000||145|
|College of Medicine|
|Student and Other Fees||$14,989,434|
|51||FAMU/FSU College of Engineering||$14,541,522||146|
|51||Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network||$1,836,500||145A|
|6||SUS Capital Improvement Fee Projects||$48,000,000||18|
|7||FSU Interdisciplinary Research Commercialization Bldg.||$23,492,086||20B|
|6||SUS Lab School – PECO
Proviso: ...shall be distributed among the lab schools based upon full-time equivalent student membership.
|453||FSU College of Business Building||$30,500,000||Section 151|
|16||Honorably Discharged Graduate Assistance/GAP
Proviso: ... are provided for supplemental need-based veteran educational benefits. Funds shall be used to assist in the payment of living expenses during holiday and semester breaks for active duty and honorably discharged members of the Armed Forces who served on or after September 11, 2001. To ensure students in both public and private institutions have an opportunity to receive funding, allocations to institutions shall be prorated based on the number of total eligible students at eligible institutions.
|26||Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resource Ctr. General Revenue – FSU||$450,000 R||98|
|27||Autism/CARD - FSU College of Medicine General Revenue||$1,224,008 R||103|
|Statewide Gov. & Cultural Affairs Programming||$497,522|
|Florida Channel Closed Captioning - GR||$390,862|
|Florida Channel Year Round Coverage – GR +proviso||$2,714,588|
|FSU – Public Television||$320,400|
|FSU – Public Radio Stations||$100,000|
|FSU – Satellite Transponder||$800,000|
|Public Radio Stations Recurring Base Appropriations Project||$1,300,000|
|Florida Public Radio Emergency Network Storm Ctr.||$166,270|
|Proviso ... From the funds provided in Specific Appropriation 121, "Governmental Affairs for Public Television" shall be produced by the same contractor selected by the Legislature to produce "The Florida Channel".
From the funds provided in Specific Appropriation 121 for the Florida Channel Satellite Transponder Operations, the Florida Channel shall contract for the leasing, management and operation of the state transponder with the same public broadcasting station that produces the Florida Channel.
Proviso ... $560,000,000 is provided for State University System Performance Based Incentives. The funds available for allocation to the universities based on the performance funding model shall consist of the state’s investment of $265,000,000 in performance funding, plus an institutional investment of $295,000,000 consisting of funds to be redistributed from the base funding of the State University System...
|50||Proviso: ... the Board of Governors Foundation shall distribute $257,500 to state universities for Johnson Scholarships in accordance with section 1009.75, F.S…||145|
|119||FSU Behavioral Health||$285,000||515|
|351||Proviso ... may be utilized to promote and enhance collaborative research among State Universities. The Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model located at Florida International University may consult with the private sector and the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center ...||$969,689||2487|
|418||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
State Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2021, the state share of the State Group Health Insurance Standard and High Deductible Health Plan premiums to the executive, legislative and judicial branch agencies shall continue at $763.46 per month for individual coverage and $1,651.08.
|419||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
Employee Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2019, the employee share of the health insurance premiums for the standard plans shall continue to be $50 per month for individual coverage and $180 per month for family coverage.
|422||Proviso ... Each state agency, at the discretion of the agency head, may expend funds provided in this act for bar dues and for legal education courses for employees who are required to be a member of the Florida Bar as a condition of employment.||Section 8|
The following fixed capital outlay projects may be constructed, acquired, and financed by a university or university direct support organization. Financing mechanisms include any form of approved debt or bonds authorized by the Board of Governors.
Florida State University - 200 W. College Avenue - Administrative office building
|431||A university board of trustees may expend available reserves or carryforward balances from previous years’ operational and programmatic appropriations for deferred maintenance needs at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.||Section 19|
*6% Holdback – Effective July 1 of last year, the Governor withheld 6 percent of university funding due to the revenue shortfall caused by the pandemic. The House and Senate have agreed to release these funds ($184 M) to the universities.
R = Recurring
NR = Non-recurring
The budget may be found at: www.flsenate.gov
Note: Page numbers are in correlation with the printed page numbers, there may be some variation from the online page numbers.
Spotlight on Bills
Bills that Passed
HB 1261 – Higher Education by Representative Jackie Toledo (R – Tampa)
HB 1261 – Higher Education by Representative Jackie Toledo (R – Tampa), was amended last week to remove the provision that allowed out-of-state students to attend a Florida College or state university at in-state tuition rates if their grandparent was a resident of Florida.
The amended bill provides liability protections for educational institutions for actions related to the COVID-19 pandemic and provides that these liability protections apply retroactively to causes of actions accruing on or after March 1, 2020, the date of the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency by the State Surgeon General.
The bill requires the Board of Governor to publicly publish an online dashboard to assist students and families in making better informed decisions about educational options and future employment opportunities. The bill requires students to:
- Register with the university’s career center;
- Complete a career readiness training module;
- Be directed to the online dashboard;
- And affirm that they have been provided with the above referenced information.
Additionally, the bill provides tuition and fee exemptions to:
- A student who is or was in the care of the Department of Children and Families at the time they reached the age of 18, or
- A student who is or was in the custody of a relative or non-relative, or who was adopted from the Department of Children and Families after May 5, 1997.
The bill also creates the State University Free Seat Program to encourage veterans, active-duty members of the United States Armed Forces, active drilling members of the Florida National Guard, and nontraditional students to enroll in an online baccalaureate degree program at a state university. The bill limits the Free Seat fee waivers to 1000 systemwide per academic year.
Beginning with the 2021-2022 academic year, the bill provides a ‘buy one, get one free’ tuition and fee waiver on upper-level courses in one of eight Programs of Strategic Emphasis as adopted by the Board of Governors. The programs adopted by the BOG shall be in the areas of science, technology, engineering, or math.
Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, the bill provides that a state university shall waive the out-of-state fee for a high achieving student, if the student’s grandparent is a legal resident of Florida. The bill limits the fee waiver to 350 systemwide per academic year.
The bill also provides minimum performance standards for institutions to be eligible to participate in state financial aid and tuition assistance programs.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
HB 5601 – Higher Education by Representative Rene Plasencia (R – Titusville)
HB 5601 – Higher Education by Representative Rene Plasencia (R – Titusville), conforms applicable statues to the appropriations provided in the 2021-2022 General Appropriations Act. Specifically, the bill:
- removes a provision relating to the maximum annual start-up and enhancement grant awarded per institution,
- revises eligibility criteria for the William L. Boyd, IV, Effective Access to Student Education grant program and requires recipient institutions to submit a report to the Department of Education,
- requiring the department to submit an annual report to the Legislature and Governor; requiring the State Board of Education to adopt rules relating to the Access to Better Learning and Education Grant Program,
- Expands the salary cap for administration salaries to include teaching faculty. The bill, however, specifies that the salary cap does not apply to faculty in the following high-demand disciplines:
- Computer Information Sciences and Support Services,
- Engineering Technologies and Engineering-related fields,
- Florida Mental Health Institute,
- Health Professions and related programs,
- Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Firefighting, and related fields,
- Physical Sciences,
- Medical School faculty or staff.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021. Approved by the Governor on June 2, 2021.
CS/HB 845 – State University Free Seat Program by Representative David Smith (R – Winter Springs)
CS/HB 845 – State University Free Seat Program by Representative David Smith (R – Winter Springs), was stripped of all language and amended in last hours of the session to:
- Retain the effective date of the Name, Image, Likeness for Student Athletes language that passed in the 2020 legislative session; and
- Specify that state funds may not be used to join or maintain membership in an association whose decisions or proposed decisions are a result of, or in response to, actions proposed or adopted by the Legislature, if such decisions or proposed decisions will result in a negative fiscal impact to the state. The amendment requires the Board of Governors to notify any association if its actions or proposed actions may require public postsecondary institutions to withdraw from the association.
CS/HB 847 – Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach)
CS/HB 847 – Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach), establishes the Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network (Network) under the oversight of the Office of the Board of Governors (BOG) and the Department of Education, and repeals the Complete Florida Plus Program (Complete Florida Plus). The bill retains certain functions from the Complete Florida Plus, with modifications, and adds new functions. Effective July 1, 2021.
HB 7017 – Foreign Influence by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach)
HB 7017 – Foreign Influence by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach), requires greater disclosure of foreign support for public entities, scrutiny of grant applicants and vendors of goods and services with certain foreign connections, and thorough scrutiny of foreign applicants for research positions and of foreign travel and activities of employees of major research institutions. Specifically, the bill requires:
- State agencies and political subdivisions to disclose all foreign donations and grants of $50,000 or more to the Department of Financial Services;
- Applicants for grants from or those proposing contracts with state agencies and political subdivisions to disclose all foreign financial connections with any of seven countries of concern;
- Department of Management Services to screen vendors participating in the online procurement system at least once every five years; and
- Universities and colleges, including their direct-support organizations and other affiliates, to disclose all foreign donations and grants of $50,000 or more to either the Board of Governors of the State University System or the Florida Department of Education.
The bill also:
- Prohibits agreements between certain state entities and the seven countries of concern if the agreement contains certain provisions or requirements; and
- Requires thorough screening of foreign applicants for research positions and foreign travel and activities of employees for every higher education institution and related research institutes having a research budget of $10 million or more.
The bill provides for enforcement of disclosure requirements and operational audits. Effective July 1, 2021
CS/CS/HB 233 – Postsecondary Education by Representative Spencer Roach (R – N. Ft. Myers)
CS/CS/HB 233 – Postsecondary Education by Representative Spencer Roach (R – N. Ft. Myers), requires the State Board of Education (SBE) and Board of Governors (BOG) to select or create a survey to be administered by all Florida College System (FCS) institutions and state universities annually. Beginning September 1, 2022, the results of this survey are to be compiled by the SBE and the BOG, respectively, and published each September. Additionally, to encourage intellectual freedom and viewpoint diversity, the bill prohibits the SBE, the BOG, FCS institutions, and state universities from shielding students, faculty, or staff from protected free speech.
The bill authorizes the recording, for specified purposes, of video and audio in classrooms at Florida’s public institutions of higher education, while clarifying that the nonconsensual recording of video and audio in classrooms is permissible. Furthermore, faculty research, lectures, writings, and commentary, whether published or unpublished, are protected expressive rights. Any person injured by the unauthorized publishing of video and audio can seek civil remedy including injunctive relief and damages.
Providing further protections for students, the bill requires that state university student government associations provide elected or appointed officers a direct appeal, with no conditions precedent, to a senior university administrator of any discipline, suspension, or removal from office. Furthermore, all FCS institutions and state universities are required to adopt student codes of conduct that meet a set of minimum due process protections including, but not limited to, a presumption of innocence for accused students, a burden of proof that must be carried by the institution, and a right to an impartial hearing officer.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021
CS/CS/SB 1028 – Charter Schools by Senator Travis Hutson (R – Palm Coast)
CS/CS/SB 1028 – Charter Schools by Senator Travis Hutson (R – Palm Coast), adds provisions for public postsecondary institutions to serve as a charter school sponsor, modifies provisions for hope operators, and authorizes a career and professional academy to be offered by a charter school. Specifically, the bill:
- Provides that the limitation of one lab school per university does not apply to a university that establishes a lab school to serve families of a military installation that is within the same county as a branch campus that offers programs from the university’s college of education.
- Authorizes state universities and Florida College System (FCS) institutions to solicit applications and sponsor charter schools upon approval by the Department of Education (DOE).
- Provides that a state university sponsored charter school may serve students from multiple school districts to meet regional education or workforce demands, and an FCS sponsored charter school may serve students from any county within the college’s service area to meet workforce demands.
- Authorizes an FCS institution that operates an approved teacher preparation program to operate additional charter schools.
- Provides that the board of trustees of a sponsoring state university or FCS institution charter school is a local educational agency for the purpose of receiving federal funds and accepting responsibility for all requirements in that role.
- Provides that students attending a state university or FCS institution sponsored charter school are not to be included in the school district’s grade calculation.
- Establishes operational funding and capital outlay funding formulas for charter schools sponsored by a state university or FCS institution.
- Requires the DOE to collaborate to develop a charter school sponsor evaluation framework.
- Requires public school to provide to parents information on the important role water safety education courses and swimming lessons play in saving lives.
- Authorizes charter schools to provide career and professional academies and revises charter school enrollment limitations.
- Adds hope operators to the list of entities required to perform an annual financial audit.
- Creates the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act”, providing that interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, or club athletic teams or sports that are sponsored by a public secondary school or public postsecondary institution must be expressly designated as one of the following based on the biological sex at birth of team members:
- Males, men, or boys;
- Females, women, or girls; or
- Coed or mixed, including both males and females.
- Modifies provisions that a high-performing charter school may submit two applications for a charter school within the state to be opened at a time determined by the high-performing charter school.
- Clarifies that instructional and noninstructional personnel at a school of hope must file with the school of hope, rather than the district school board as for other charter schools, a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or other recognized entity.
- Authorizes a charter school that is an exceptional student education center that receives a rating of “maintaining” or higher may replicate its educational program.
- Specifies that the limitation of one lab school per university does not apply to a university that establishes a lab school to serve a military installation within same county.
- Allows a virtual charter school to offer part-time instruction.
- Provides for a direct appeal in a charter dispute if a party wants to bypass mediation.
- Revises the procedures for immediately terminating a charter school.
- Provides for the award of attorney fees and costs in certain circumstances.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021, except as otherwise expressly provided in the bill. Chapter 2021-35
CS/CS/SB 52 – Higher Education by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R – Ft. Myers)
CS/CS/SB 52 – Higher Education by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R – Ft. Myers), contains provisions to help postsecondary institutions provide certain educational and financial benefits and support to students and employees. Specifically, the bill:
- Removes the restriction that Florida Postsecondary Comprehensive Transition Program (FPCTP) grant funds be used only for start-up and enhancement costs and removes the maximum annual award for the grants.
- Clarifies that postsecondary tuition and fee exemptions apply to a student who is currently in the custody of the Department of Children and Families or a specified relative or nonrelative, or who was at the time he or she reached 18 years of age.
- Establishes the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program to reimburse eligible postsecondary institutions for tuition and related costs for dual enrollment courses taken by certain students, and specifies reporting deadlines.
- Authorizes a university board of trustees, subject to approval by the Board of Governors, to target certain employees for bonuses by implementing a bonus scheme based on awards for work performance or employee recruitment and retention.
- Authorizes a public or private college or university with a teacher preparation program to develop a professional development system that includes a master plan for in-service activities.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/CS/SB 1108 – Education by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah)
CS/CS/SB 1108 – Education by Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah), revises several areas of education law, primarily relating to graduation requirements and statewide standardized assessments. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires every school district, alternative school, and the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) to offer either the SAT or ACT to every student in the 11th grade free of charge, subject to an appropriation for that purpose;
- Amends the civic literacy requirement for post-secondary education to include both an assessment and a course, as opposed to one or the other;
- Creates a process to allow students in high school to earn the civic literacy requirement before enrolling in a public college or university in this state;
- Requires the statewide, standardized math and English learning assessments in grades 3 through 6 to be paper-based;
- Deletes obsolete language relating to prior statewide standardized assessments, and updates the assessment publication requirement in anticipation of the implementation of new state standards;
- Authorizes the Department of Education (DOE) to hold certain intellectual property rights, including the right to patent, copyright, and trademark. This authority will allow the DOE to protect certain materials, such as state authored assessments, from being sold or distributed without authorization;
- Creates the Innovative Blended Learning and Real-Time Student Assessment Pilot Program:
- Revises the required curriculum regarding character development to include instruction on voting using the primary and general election ballot for grades 11 and 12; and
- Creates an alternate standard to satisfy the grade 10 English Language Arts assessment for certain students participating in the English for Speakers of Other Languages Program.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/HB 1159 – Educator Preparation and Certification by Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera (R – Coral Gables, FSU Alum)
CS/HB 1159 – Educator Preparation and Certification by Representative Demi Busatta Cabrera (R – Coral Gables, FSU Alum), provides additional pathways to certification for teachers. The bill permits applicants for certification to satisfy the mastery of general knowledge requirement through receipt of a master’s degree or higher from an institution the Department of Education (DOE) has identified as a quality program. Additionally, the bill permits applicants to satisfy the professional education competence requirement through completion of a DOE approved Educator Preparation Institute (EPI) and receipt of a highly effective rating on their performance evaluation.
The bill requires that the core curricula for teacher preparation programs and EPI competency-based certification programs include instruction on the early identification of students in crisis as well as the use of technology in education and distance learning. The bill permits EPIs to provide instruction and professional development for non-degreed teachers in career programs.
The bill authorizes an organization of private schools or a consortium of charter schools to develop an alternative preparation program for certified teachers for submission to the DOE for approval. The bill expands the William Cecil Golden Professional Development Program for School Leaders to provide supports to additional school administrators and leaders while focusing on data- and evidence-based training and supports.
The bill provides that a parent or guardian my request that his or her K-5 public school student be retained for the 2021-2022 school year for academic reasons.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
HB 7033 – Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys by Representative Traci Koster (R – Safety Harbor)
HB 7033 – Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys by Representative Traci Koster (R – Safety Harbor), establishes the Task Force on Closing the Achievement Gap for Boys within the Department of Education (DOE) to examine evidence-based strategies for closing the achievement gap for boys and to make recommendations to the DOE, the Governor, and the Legislature. The recommendations must address:
- Professional development for instructional personnel and school administrators.
- The selection of curriculum, supplemental materials, and classroom activities in early learning programs and K-12 schools.
- Academic, behavioral, and mental health supports to help educate and raise young men who are better prepared for success in school and in life.
The bill establishes the Commissioner of Education or a designee as chair of the task force. Other members of the task force must be appointed by July 1, 2021, including stakeholders appointments by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate President, and the Governor.
The bill requires the task force to convene by August 1, 2021, and upon the call of the chair thereafter. The task force must submit a report containing its recommendations to the Governor, the Senate President, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives by December 1, 2021.
The bill requires the DOE to provide staffing, administrative support, data, and other relevant information to the task force to help it carry out its responsibilities. The task force expires on June 30, 2022.
The bill is effective upon becoming law.
HB 5 – Civic Education Curriculum by Representative Ardian Zika (R – Land O’Lakes)
HB 5 – Civic Education Curriculum by Representative Ardian Zika (R – Land O’Lakes), l revises the social studies credit requirement for high school graduation. The bill requires that the United States Government course include a comparative discussion of political ideologies that conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy in the nation’s founding principles.
To help students understand their roles, rights, and responsibilities as residents of the state, the bill requires the Florida Department of Education (DOE) to develop or approve an integrated civic education curriculum for public school students in kindergarten through grade 12. The bill provides requirements for the civic education curriculum to aid in students’ development of civic responsibility and knowledge. As part of the curriculum requirements, the State Board of Education is required to develop civic-minded expectations for an upright citizenry.
The bill also requires the DOE to curate oral history resources for use alongside the civic education curriculum. Effective July 1, 2021
CS/HB 157 – First Aid Training in Public Schools by Representative Fred Hawkins (R – St. Cloud)
CS/HB 157 – First Aid Training in Public Schools by Representative Fred Hawkins (R – St. Cloud), requires school districts to provide basic training in first aid, including one hour of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) instruction, for public school students in grades 9 and 11. Basic CPR instruction for students is currently encouraged but not required by state law.
The bill provides that the CPR training must be based on a nationally recognized program that uses the most current evidence-based emergency cardiovascular care guidelines. The instruction must allow students to practice the psychomotor skills associated with performing CPR. If a school district has the necessary equipment, students must also be provided instruction in the use of an automated external defibrillator.
The bill encourages school districts to provide basic first aid training, including CPR instruction, to students in grades 6 and 8.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/HB 519 – Required Health Education Instruction by Representative Clay Yarborough (R – Jacksonville)
CS/HB 519 – Required Health Education Instruction by Representative Clay Yarborough (R – Jacksonville), revises the required comprehensive health education curriculum for K-12 public schools to include instruction on the prevention of child sexual abuse, exploitation, and human trafficking. The bill clarifies that the comprehensive health curriculum must be age and developmentally appropriate.
The bill limits the existing requirement to provide instruction to all students on abstinence and the consequences of teen pregnancy so that it is only provided to students in grades 6 through 12.
The bill is effective date of July 1, 2021.
CS/HB 529 – Moments of Silence in Public Schools by Representative Randy Fine (R – Palm Bay)
CS/HB 529 – Moments of Silence in Public Schools by Representative Randy Fine (R – Palm Bay), requires a moment of silence to be set aside for students during each school day.
The bill revises current law that allows a district school board to set aside a brief period of time for silent prayer or meditation. Instead, the bill requires each teacher during first period to set aside 1 to 2 minutes for a moment of silence. A teacher may not make suggestions as to the nature of any reflection, and a student may not interfere with another student’s participation.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/CS/HB 545 – Reproductive Health and Disease Education by Representative Linda Chaney (R – St. Petersburg)
CS/CS/HB 545 – Reproductive Health and Disease Education by Representative Linda Chaney (R – St. Petersburg), requires school districts to notify parents of public school students of their right to exempt their child from the teaching of reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, through the submission of a written request. The bill requires a school district to notify parents of this right by posting information about how to request the exemption on the homepage of the school district’s website. The district homepage must also include a link for a student’s parent to access and view the instructional materials used in reproductive health and disease curriculum.
The bill requires district school boards to annually approve all instructional materials used to teach reproductive health or any disease, including HIV/AIDS, in an open, noticed public meeting. School districts are required to provide a process for the public review of and comment on the adoption of such instructional materials.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/CS/HB 131 – Educator Conduct by Representative Wyman Duggan (R – Jacksonville)
CS/CS/HB 131 – Educator Conduct by Representative Wyman Duggan (R – Jacksonville), improves the processes, at the state and local level, 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 is effective July 1, 2021.
HB 241 – Parents’ Bill of Rights by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach)
HB 241 – Parents’ Bill of Rights by Representative Erin Grall (R – Vero Beach), creates the Parents’ Bill of Rights that enumerates parental rights with respect to his or her minor child for education, health care, and criminal justice procedures. The bill prohibits the state, its political subdivision, any other governmental entity or any other institution from infringing upon the fundamental right of a parent to direct the upbringing, education, health care, and mental health of his or her minor child. The bill requires state action that infringes upon this fundamental right to be reviewed with strict scrutiny.
For education-related parental rights, the Florida K-20 Education Code currently includes s. 1002.20, F.S., relating to K-12 Student and Parents Rights. This section enumerates 24 rights of students and parents, most of which are duplicated in the bill. The bill requires school districts to adopt policies that govern the plans and procedures by which each school district must promote parental involvement. School districts must also adopt notification procedures for specific parental rights.
The bill establishes parental consent requirements for, among other things, the collection of certain identifying information for a minor child. The bill requires parental notification when a state actor suspects a child is the victim of a criminal offense but provides exceptions including when a suspected offense has been reported to law enforcement or the Department of Children and Families.
The bill also requires a health care practitioner, or his or her employees, to obtain parental consent before performing health care services on a minor child and subjects health care practitioners and health care facilities to disciplinary action for violation of these parental consent requirements in certain instances.
The bill is effective date of July 1, 2021.
CS/SB 590 – School Safety by Senator Gayle Harrell (R – Stuart)
CS/SB 590 – School Safety by Senator Gayle Harrell (R – Stuart), requires public and charter schools to make a reasonable attempt to notify the parents of a minor student before the student is removed from school, school transportation, or a school-sponsored activity for an involuntary mental health examination. The bill provides that a school principal or designee may delay notification if they believe it is necessary to avoid jeopardizing the health and safety of the student.
The bill requires all school safety officers to undergo crisis intervention training. The bill also requires schools to contact a health care practitioner capable of initiating a Baker Act in person or via telehealth prior to a Baker Act being initiated. The bill mandates the collection of data by school districts and the Department of Children and Families (DCF) relating to the number and frequency of involuntary examinations of minors initiated by schools.
The bill specifies that parents of public school students have the right to timely notification of threats, unlawful acts, and significant emergencies, as well as access to school safety and discipline incidents as reported in the school environmental safety incident report. The bill adds requirements to the student code of conduct to include:
- Criteria for recommending to law enforcement that a student who commits a criminal offense be allowed to participate in a civil citation or similar prearrest diversion program as an alternative to expulsion or arrest; and
- Criteria for assigning a student who commits a petty act of misconduct, to a school-based intervention program. If a student’s assignment is based on a noncriminal offense, the student’s participation in a school-based intervention program may not be entered into the Department of Juvenile Justice Information System Prevention Web.
The bill allows district school board policies to provide accommodations for drills conducted by exceptional education centers, and requires district school boards to establish certain emergency response and emergency preparedness policies and procedures.
The bill also requires timely notice to parents of specified unlawful acts and significant emergency situations on school grounds, school transportation, or school-sponsored activities.
The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
CS/HB 311 – Public Records/Assessment Instruments by Representative David Silvers (D – West Palm Beach)
CS/HB 311 – Public Records/Assessment Instruments by Representative David Silvers (D – West Palm Beach), protects proprietary information contained in assessments as well as their related materials and combats cheating, plagiarism, and academic dishonesty, the bill expands the scope of the existing public records exemption for the assessments and developmental materials related to the student assessment program for public schools. While current law protects some of the examinations and assessments administered by the Florida Department of Education (DOE), Florida College System (FCS) institutions, and state universities from release pursuant to Florida’s public records laws, the bill expands such protections to cover a number of specific examinations and assessments required by law.
The bill creates a new public records exemption that protects all examinations and assessments, including developmental materials and workpapers that are prepared, prescribed, or administered by FCS institutions, the state universities, or DOE. The State Board of Education and the Board of Governors of the State University System must adopt rules and regulations, respectively, governing the appropriate management of the protected materials.
The public records exemptions are subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act and will repeal on October 2, 2026, unless the Legislature reviews and reenacts the exemption by that date. Effective July 1, 2021.
SB 922 – Veterans’ Preference in Employment by Senator Danny Burgess (R – Zephyrhills), expands the benefit of a veterans preference in employment by authorizing a state or a political subdivision of the state to waive a postsecondary educational requirement for a position of employment. The education waiver applies to:
- A current member of a reserve component of the United States Armed Forces (U.S.A.F.);
- A current member of the Florida National Guard; or
- An honorably-discharged veteran.
The bill increases the points used for appointment and retention determinations, and requires a political subdivision of the state to develop a written veterans/ recruitment plan. The bill is effective July 1, 2021.
HB 1 – Combating Public Disorder by Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R – Miami)
HB 1 – Combating Public Disorder by Representative Juan Fernandez-Barquin (R – Miami), addresses acts of public disorder to define previously undefined offenses of affray, riot, and inciting a riot and create the offenses of aggravated rioting and aggravated inciting a riot.
The bill also:
- Requires a person arrested for unlawful assembly, riot, and certain offenses committed in furtherance of a riot or aggravated riot, to be held in jail until he or she appears for a first appearance hearing and a court determines bond;
- Creates a budget appeal process to challenge reductions in municipal law enforcement agencies’ budgets similar to that available to a county sheriff;
- Corrects constitutional infirmities in the current prohibition against obstructing a roadway;
- Provides that a municipality is civilly liable for specified damages proximately caused by the municipality’s breach of a duty to allow the municipal law enforcement agency to respond appropriately to protect persons and property during a riot or an unlawful assembly (as specified in the bill);
- Increases penalties for assault and battery, and increases offense severity level rankings for aggravated assault and aggravated battery, when committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Creates the crime of mob intimidation, which prohibits a mob from using force or the threat of imminent force to compel or induce, or attempt to compel or induce, a person to do or refrain from doing any act or to assume, abandon, or maintain a particular viewpoint against that person’s will;
- Provides for a six-month mandatory minimum sentence for battery on a law enforcement officer if the offense was committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Increases the offense severity level rankings for assault and battery on a law enforcement officer or other specified official when the offense was committed in furtherance of a riot or an aggravated riot;
- Punishes criminal mischief that involves damaging a memorial or historic property if the damage is greater than $200, and requires restitution of the full cost of repair or replacement of the memorial or historic property;
- Creates the crime of destroying or demolishing a memorial or historic property and requires restitution of the full cost of repair or replacement of the memorial or historic property;
- Reclassifies the degree, and increases the offense severity level ranking, of specified burglary and theft offenses committed during a riot or an aggravated riot when facilitated by conditions arising from the riot;
- Creates the crime of cyber-intimidation by publication, which prohibits a person from electronically publishing another person’s personal identification information with the intent to incite violence or commit a crime against the person or threaten or harass the person, placing the other person in reasonable fear of bodily harm;
- Creates an affirmative defense in a civil action for damages for personal injury, wrongful death, or property damage that such action arose from injury or damage sustained by a participant acting in furtherance of a riot;
- Increases the offense severity ranking level of offenses involving injuring or removing a tomb or monument; and
- Ranks battery during a riot or an aggravated riot and other offenses in the offense severity level ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code.
Effective upon becoming law. Chapter No. 2021-006
Bills that Failed
HB 977 – B.K. Roberts Hall at Florida State University by Representative Ramon Alexander (D – Tallahassee)
HB 977 – B.K. Roberts Hall at Florida State University by Representative Ramon Alexander (D – Tallahassee) repealed law that named the FSU College of Law Building after B.K. Roberts. The bill died in committee.
SB 86 – Student Financial Aid by Senator Dennis Baxley (R – Lady Lake, FSU Alum)
SB 86 – Student Financial Aid by Senator Dennis Baxley (R – Lady Lake, FSU Alum), modified provisions relating to postsecondary financial aid programs, and established new financial aid programs for Pell Grant eligible students and students without a high school diploma. The bill died is House Messages.
HB 6001 – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms by Representative Anthony Sabatini (R – Clermont)
HB 6001 – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms by Representative Anthony Sabatini (R – Clermont), allowed persons who is issued a concealed weapons or firearms license to openly carry a handgun, weapon or firearm into a college or university facility. The bill died in committee.
HB 835 – Employee Organizations by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach) and SB 1014 by Senator Dennis Baxley (R – Lady Lake, FSU Alum)
HB 835 – Employee Organizations by Representative Cord Byrd (R – Jacksonville Beach) and SB 1014 by Senator Dennis Baxley (R – Lady Lake, FSU Alum), required public employees who desired to join an employee organization to sign membership authorization form and prohibited an employee organization from having its dues and uniform assessments deducted from the salaries of employees in the unit by the employer. The bills died on the calendar.
CS/SB 84 – Retirement by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R – Ft. Myers)
CS/SB 84 – Retirement by Senator Ray Rodrigues (R – Ft. Myers), closed the FRS pension plan to new enrollees, except for members of the Special Risk Class and required participation in the investment. The bill died in committee.
CS/CS/CS/HB 969 – Consumer Data Privacy by Representative Fiona McFarland (R – Sarasota) and SB 1734 by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R – Orange Park)
CS/CS/CS/HB 969 – Consumer Data Privacy by Representative Fiona McFarland (R – Sarasota) and SB 1734 by Senator Jennifer Bradley (R – Orange Park), added “biometric data” to the definition of personal information in the Florida Information Protection Act. The bill required that entities in possession of fingerprints, DNA, and other biological or physiological identifying information take reasonable measures to protect the biometric data and report any data breaches. The bills died on the calendar.