March 15, 2022
Volume 29, Number 9
Dear Seminole Family,
Thank you for taking a few moments to review the final Legisletter of the 2022 legislative session! This session, of the 3,685 bills filed in the House and Senate, the Governmental Relations team tracked 314 bills which would have some impact on the University—275 of the bills filed passed. As the Legislature meets for the final time today in this slightly extended legislative session in order to adopt the General Appropriations Act, I’d like to provide you with some insight into this successful session for both the State University System and for Florida State University. We are grateful to Senate President Wilton Simpson, Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls and Governor Ron DeSantis for all of their incredible support and leadership over the course of this session.
The SUS saw funds appropriated for performance incentives, deferred maintenance, public education capital outlay projects, as well as strategy to help solve the nursing shortage in the state.
FSU specifically saw ongoing programs such as the Institute for Child Welfare, the Institute of Politics, and the Student Veterans Center further funded. The FAMU-FSU College of Engineering received additional recurring funding and the Mag Lab received funding for much-needed upgrades to its electrical system.
The GAA also included funds for the creation of the FSU Health Science Tallahassee Center. This funding gives FSU the unique opportunity to develop an academic health center (AHC) of the future by strengthening its relationship with Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare (TMH) to form the Florida State University Health Science Tallahassee Center (FSU Health) to serve communities across northern Florida. The partnership aligns organizations to drive greater value locally, regionally, and for the state of Florida. The collaboration will catalyze the development of an innovation district with focus on transformative clinical care, research, biomedical innovation, and education. The construction of the new FSU Health Tallahassee Center facility will be a fundamental step in the development of the FSU Health Enterprise and will serve as the cornerstone of an innovation district in Tallahassee. It will provide long-lasting impact on economic development, accelerate highly innovative research, facilitate the establishment of destination clinical programs, and educate the health care workforce of the future.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to say a fond farewell to our own Toni Moore who will be retiring at the end of April. Toni has given 20 years of dedicated service to FSU and over 35 years of service to the State of Florida. We wish her much health and happiness in a well-earned retirement!
Joining us as Toni transitions to retirement is Lynna Sands who comes from University Relations at FSU. She brings a tremendous amount of experience from multiple sectors of the university including administration where she worked closely with athletics, research and governmental relations. Also joining us is FSU alum Lina Rojas, who comes to us from the Office of the President of the Florida Senate. Lina has experience in both the legislative and executive branches of government where she served Governor Scott and Governor DeSantis. We are excited about the future and the experience that Lynna and Lina bring to our team.
Below you will find a final update on some of the bills that were tracked this session related to the work of the University along with a budget reference guide. Please reach out to me or Toni Moore if you have any questions about these bills or anything related to the legislative process. We will issue an update to the list once the Governor has taken his final actions on the list.
I wish you all the best and am grateful for your interest in keeping FSU and the state university system in Florida the best in the country as we continue to educate the next generation of elite students.
Yours in Seminole Spirit,
|48||General Revenue & Lottery||$440,356,709||145|
|Included in the base:|
|49||Boys and Girls State Housing(R)||$200,000|
|49||Student Veterans Center (R)||$500,000|
|Institute of Politics (R)||$5,000,000|
|Institute for Child Welfare (R)||$10,000,000|
|49||Student and Other Fees||$229,310,768||145|
|52||Student Financial Assistance||$1,467,667||155|
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 nonrecurring funds, plus an institutional investment of $295,000,000 in recurring funds to be redistributed from the base funding of the State University System. The Board of Governors shall allocate all appropriated funds for State University System Performance Based Incentives based on the requirements in section 1001.92, Florida Statutes.
|College of Medicine|
|Student and Other Fees||$14,898,434|
|51||FAMU/FSU College of Engineering||$21,256,475||147|
|65||SUS Capital Improvement Fee Projects||$44,700,000||14|
|6||FSU Health Tallahassee Center||$62,500,000||17A|
|498||FSU Health Tallahassee Center||$62,500,000||Section 197|
|Critical Electrical Infrastructure at Mag Lab||$8,310,017|
|496||Deferred Building Maintenance Program||Section 197|
|FAMU/FSU College of Engineering||$855,000|
|Florida State University||$66,187,052|
|FSU - Panama City||$5,000,000|
|6||SUS Lab School – PECO
Proviso: ...shall be distributed among the lab schools based upon full-time equivalent student membership.
|15||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||$1,450,000 R||98|
|27||Autism/CARD - FSU College of Medicine General Revenue||$1,562,563 R||103|
|28||Learning Ally/FSU Dyslexia Screener||$1,500,000 NR|
|Statewide Gov. & Cultural Affairs Programming||$497,522|
|Florida Channel Closed Captioning - GR||$390,862|
|Florida Channel Year Round Coverage – GR +proviso||$2,926,387|
|FSU – Public Television||$370,400|
|FSU – Public Radio Stations||$100,000|
|FSU – Satellite Transponder||$800,000|
|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.
|48||FSU Nursing Education||$1,803,970||143A|
|Linking Industry to Nursing Education Fund||$6,000,000|
|Proviso: ...$6,000,000 is provided for the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) Fund to incentivize collaboration between nursing education programs and healthcare partners. Funds shall be provided to state universities and shall be administered by the Board of Governors...|
|50||Proviso: ...the Board of Governors Foundation shall distribute $262,500 in recurring funds and $15,000 in nonrecurring funds to state universities for Johnson Scholarships in accordance with section 1009.74, Florida Statutes. Sixty percent of such funds shall be released at the beginning of the first quarter and the balance at the beginning of the third quarter.||145|
|50||Proviso: ...$31,285,298 in recurring funds from the General Revenue Fund is provided as Incentives for Programs of Strategic Emphasis during the 2022-2023 academic year pursuant to section 1009.26, Florida Statutes. Universities are eligible to receive funds based on the number and value of waivers provided in the eight Programs of Strategic Emphasis in science, technology, engineering, or math and two in the Critical Workforce Gap Analysis category identified by the Board of Governors.||146|
|51||Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network
Proviso: ...$1,267,808 shall be released to the Florida Postsecondary Academic Library Network at the host entity at the beginning of the first quarter, and $2,158,700 shall be released at the beginning of the second quarter in addition to the normal releases. The additional releases are provided to maximize cost savings through centralized purchases of subscription-based electronic resources and low-cost, no-cost, or open-access electronic textbooks.
|51||Student Open Access Resource (SOAR)
Proviso: ...nonrecurring funds is provided for the Student Open Access Resource (SOAR) initiative. Funds are provided to increase the adoption, adaptation, and creation of open education resources by faculty members from Florida College System institutions and state universities, and to help reduce the costs of textbooks and instructional materials to students
|133||FSU Behavioral Health||$525,000||524|
|384||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 ...||$1,031,689||2543|
|427||Northwest Regional Data Center
Proviso: ... provided to the Department of Management Services to transfer to the Florida State University for the Administrative Fees associated with the Northwest Regional Data Center operations and management of the state data center.
|470||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
State Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2022, 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...
|470||State Health Insurance Plans and Benefits – Proviso
Employee Paid Premiums
a. For the coverage period beginning August 1, 2022, 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.
|471||Proviso: The state shall provide up to six (6) credit hours of tuition-free courses per term at a state university or Florida College System institution to full-time employees on a space available basis as authorized by law.||Section 8|
|471||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|
|476||Proviso: 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 11|
|479||Proviso: ...$36,250,299 in the Federal Grants Trust Fund awarded to the Department of Education from the ARP Act are appropriated for the 2021-2022 fiscal year to the Department of Education to distribute to all school districts, the developmental research (lab) schools, and the Florida Virtual School to implement summer enrichment camps that target public school students’ academic and extracurricular needs, after school programs, and individualized tutoring services that address public school students’ academic, social, and emotional needs.||Section 40|
|488||The nonrecurring sum of $1,539,245 from the General Revenue Fund is appropriated to Florida State University for leave liability related to personnel transitioning from the State Data Center to the Northwest Regional Data Center pursuant to Senate Bill 2518 or similar legislation becoming a law.||Section 125|
R = Recurring
NR = Non-recurring
The budget may be found at: www.myfloridahouse.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
SB 7044- Postsecondary Education, by the Senate Education Committee, contains provisions related to postsecondary fee increases, textbook and instructional material transparency, articulation of credit, accreditation, and tenure review. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires that any Florida College System institution or state university proposal to increase a fee may only pass by an extraordinary vote and that the proposal must also be enclosed in an email to all enrolled students;
- Requires list of required and recommended textbooks and instructional materials to be posted at least 45 days before the first day of class for each term;
- Requires public postsecondary institutions to accept and apply general education courses and credit as first satisfying general education core credit requirements before applying the course credit as elective credit;
- Identifies a process for public state institutions to transfer to other accrediting bodies. Specially for state universities, the process would be as follows:
- The Board of Governors (BOG) will identify accrediting associations that are suited to serve as an accreditor.
- In the year following an institution’s reaffirmation or fifth-year review by its current accrediting association, they must seek and obtain accreditation from an entity identified by the BOG.
- If no regional accreditation association identified by the BOG accepts or grants candidacy status to an institution, the institution must seek accreditation from any other accrediting association that is not its current one.
- If no other accrediting body grants candidacy status before its next reaffirmation or fifth-year review, the institution may remain with its current accrediting association.
- This section expires December 31, 2032.
- Authorizes the BOG to adopt a regulation regarding post-tenure reviews for state university faculty.
If approved by the Governor, except as otherwise provided, this bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
SB 2524- Education, by the Senate Appropriations Committee, makes a number of changes to current law relating to Education, including establishing a number of provisions to improve early literacy attainment in public schools, and increasing the cap on students with unique abilities that are eligible for a Family Empowerment Scholarship in the 2022-2023 school year.
As it relates to higher education, the bill:
- Establishes the Student Open Access Resources (SOAR) Repository, a statewide, searchable database of open education resources. Additional, the section establishes the SOAR Grant Program providing funding support to FCS and SUS institutions for the development and curation of open education resources and for the migration of existing content to the SOAR Repository;
- Establishes the Inclusive Transition and Employment Management Program that provides services to young adults with disabilities who are between the ages of 16 and 28 years old with transitional skills, education, and on-the-job experience to allow them to gain and retain employment.
- Increases the number of waiver-eligible categories in the Programs of Strategic Emphasis BOGO program from eight to 10, to include critical workforce gap category.
- Amends the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Program to revise the reporting and reimbursement deadlines for the program.
- Requires each institution who is eligible to receive funds under the Effective Access to Student Education Grant Program (EASE) to post prominently on its website, by October 1 of each year, its performance on the metrics specified in law.
- Creates the Linking Industry to Nursing Education (LINE) fund to provide matching funds for partnerships between nursing programs and healthcare providers.
- Creates the Prepping Institutions, Programs, Employers, and Learners through Incentives for Nursing Education (PIPELINE) to reward school districts and FCS and SUS institutions that meet performance metrics.
- Revises the goals of the Florida Center for Nursing, to include a statistically valid biennial data-driven gap analysis of the healthcare workforce. The gap analysis must maintain a database on nursing supply and demand in the state and how supply and demand impact the state’s participation in the Nurse Licensure Compact.
- Clarifies the university’s Board of Trustees authority to establish fees, without BOG approval, for a university educational research center for child development.
- Establishes the Hamilton Center for Classical and Civic Education at the University of Florida, who’s purpose will be to support teaching and research concerning the ideas, traditions, and texts that form the foundation of western and American civilization. Provides that the Center may coordinate with additional centers, including the FSU Institute of Politics, to provide programming and training to support the K-20 system.
- Amends the State University Performance Based Funding model, to include a 3-year graduation rate for transfer students, rather than a 2-year graduation rate, and adds a new criterion to specify that any institution that has been found to be in violation of the anti-discrimination principles of individual freedom specified in s. 1000.05 (4)(a), F.S., (contingent upon CS/HB 7 becoming law) is ineligible to receive performance funding the next fiscal year.
- Increases the number of beds from 300 to 340 that be constructed for dormitories at a Florida College System (FCS) institution.
If approved by the Governor, except as otherwise provided, this bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 3 – Law Enforcement Officer, Benefits, Recruitment and Training by Representative Tom Leek (R – Daytona Beach), provides law enforcement agencies with additional tools to bolster the recruitment and retention of qualified officers by providing financial incentives, enhanced training, expanded educational opportunities, and recognition that honors law enforcement officers’ service to the state of Florida. The bill:
- Creates the Florida Law Enforcement Recruitment Bonus Program to provide one-time bonus payments of up to $5,000 to newly employed law enforcement officers in Florida;
- Creates the Florida Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship Program to cover tuition, fees, and up to $1,000 of eligible education expenses for trainees enrolled in a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program;
- Creates a reimbursement program to pay for up to $1,000 of equivalency training costs for certified law enforcement officers who relocate to Florida or members of the special operations forces who become full-time law enforcement officers;
- Provides law enforcement officers who adopt a child from within the state child welfare system with a $25,000 benefit for adopting a child with special needs or a $10,000 benefit for adopting a child without special needs;
- Makes dependent children of law enforcement officers eligible to receive a Family Empowerment Scholarship to attend a private school;
- Increases the base salary for each county sheriff by $5,000;
- Exempts veterans and applicants with an associate degree or higher from taking the basic skills test as a prerequisite to entering a law enforcement officer basic recruit training program;
- Requires that law enforcement officers receive training in health and wellness principles as part of their initial certification training and continued employment training;
- Allows law enforcement officers or former law enforcement officers to receive postsecondary credit at Florida public postsecondary educational institutions for training and experience acquired while serving;
- Encourages each district school board to establish public safety telecommunication training programs and law enforcement explorer programs in public schools; and
- Designates May 1 of each year as “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.”
The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 7 – Individual Freedom by Representative Bryan Avila (R – Hialeah), includes provisions designed to protect individual freedoms and prevent discrimination in the workplace and in public schools.
The bill specifies that subjecting any individual, as a condition of employment, membership, certification, licensing, credentialing, or passing an examination, to training, instruction, or any other required activity that espouses, promotes, advances, inculcates, or compels such individual to believe certain specified divisive concepts constitutes unlawful discrimination.
The bill defines individual freedoms based on the fundamental truth that all individuals are equal before the law and have inalienable rights. Accordingly, the bill requires that instruction, instructional materials, and professional development in public schools be consistent with principles of individual freedom.
The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 45- Educational Opportunities for Disabled Veterans, by Representative Christopher Benjamin (D- Miami Gardens), provides an education benefit to certain veterans who are residents and enrolled in a program of education approved by the federal educational assistance program. The bill would add a state award to what is provided in federal law for educational benefits to achieve a 100 percent award for tuition and fees. To qualify, the veteran must have been:
- Determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to have a service connected total and permanent disability rating of 100 percent for compensation;
- Determined to have a service-connected total and permanent disability rating of 100 percent and have received disability retirement pay from a branch of the United States Armed Services; or
- Issued a valid identification card by the state Department of Veterans’ Affairs which identifies the veteran as either having a 100 percent, service-connected permanent and total disability rating for compensation or who has a service-connected total and permanent disability rating of 100 percent and receives disability retirement pay from a branch of the United States Armed Forces.
Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, a disabled veteran who receives a tuition benefit to attend a state university, a Florida College System institution, a career center operated by a school district, or a charter technical career center under the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, but who does not qualify for the 100 percent eligibility tier federally, is eligible for tuition and fees. The monetary award is equal to the difference between the portion of tuition and fees authorized under federal law and the full amount of tuition and fees charged by the institution attended. The bill specifies that the amount awarded by the state is not to be determined until after federal benefits are applied.
If approved by the Governor, this bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
SB 520- Public Records and Public Meetings, by Senator Jeff Brandes (R- St. Petersburg), makes confidential and exempt from public disclosure requirements of any personal identifying information of an applicant of an applicant for the position of president of a state university of Florida College System institution (FCS) institution.
The bill provides that the personal identifying information of an applicant included in a final group of applicants for president is no longer confidential and exempt from public records requirements beginning at the earlier of the date the final group of applicants to be considered for president is established or at least 21 days before either an interview of an applicant or final action on the offer of employment. At this time, the bill also requires that the age, race, and gender of all applicants who met the minimum qualifications established for the position must also be released to the public.
If approved by the Governor, the bill takes effect upon becoming law.
SB 430 – Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children by Senator Tom Wright (R – Port Orange), reenacts provisions of law establishing and implementing the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children (Compact) and provides for future legislative review and repeal of the Compact on July 1, 2025. The state is a member of the Compact, and therefore has an established State Council. Participation in the Compact enables member states to address educational transition issues faced by military families as they transfer from a state or school district pursuant to official military orders. The bill also provides for the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives each to select a member of the State Council, increasing the membership from seven to eight members.
HB 461—Florida Bright Futures Scholarship Program Student Service Requirements by Representative Lauren Melo (R – Naples), provides that beginning with high school students graduating in the 2022-2023 academic year, the bill authorizes a student to meet the volunteer service requirements prescribed under each award in the Bright Futures Program through paid work. The bill does not adjust the number of hours required for each award, but rather provides a student with the option to meet the requirement through volunteer service or paid work.
The bill requires a student meeting an award requirement through paid work to have approval from the district school board, the administrators of a nonpublic school, or the Department of Education for a home education program student.
The bill requires a student to evaluate and reflect upon his or her volunteer service or paid work experience through papers or other presentations and makes it optional for a student to identify a social or civic issue or a professional area of interest and develop a plan for personal involvement. The bill is effective upon becoming law.
SB 514 – Substitution of Work Experience for Postsecondary Educational Requirements by Senator Danny Burgess (R – Zephyrhills), allows governmental agencies, during the employee hiring process, to substitute equivalent work experience as an alternative to a postsecondary education, if the applicant is otherwise qualified for the position. The bill specifies that work experience may not be substituted for any required licensure, certification, or registration as established by the employing agency and indicated on the position description. The bill defines employing agencies to include any agency or unit of government of the state or any county, municipality, or political subdivision. The bill requires employing agencies who opt to substitute work experience for postsecondary education, to include a notice in the advertisements for such position that substitution is authorized and a description of what education and work equivalencies apply. The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
SB 896 – Educator Certification Pathways for Veterans by Senator Danny Burgess (R – Zephyrhills), creates an additional pathway for veterans to qualify for educator certification. The bill removes the requirement that an applicant for a temporary educator certificate hold a baccalaureate degree if the applicant has completed:
- At least 48 months of active-duty military service with an honorable discharge or medical separation; and
- At least 60 college credits with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale, as provided by one or more accredited institutions of higher learning or a nonaccredited institution of higher learning that the Department of Education has identified as having a quality program resulting in a bachelor’s degree or higher.
- The exception in the bill authorizing a temporary certificate for less than a baccalaureate degree applies only to subject area specializations requiring only a bachelor’s degree. The bill provides that a temporary certificate issued under this pathway is valid for five school fiscal years and is nonrenewable.
- The bill also removes the requirement for an honorably discharged veteran to have served on active duty to qualify for the waiver of initial general knowledge, professional education, and subject area examination fees and certification fees. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 899- Mental Health of Students, by Representative Christine Hunschofsky (D- Coconut Creek), revises requirements for a school district’s annual mental health assistance allocation plan to include policies and procedures that require the provision of information on available mental health services and resources for students and their families. Additionally, the plan’s policies and procedures must require school districts to provide any individual living in the same household as a student receiving services with information about available behavioral health services when receipt of such services could benefit the well-being of the student.
The bill specifies that charter schools must comply with involuntary examination data reporting requirements established by the Legislature in 2021 for traditional public schools and requires the Department of Education to share school-related involuntary examination data with the Department of Children and Families (DCF) by July 1 each year. The bill requires that the DCF use this data in its biennial analysis of involuntary examinations of minors in Florida.
The bill requires school districts to identify a mental health coordinator that will serve as the primary point of contact regarding the district’s student mental health policies, procedures, responsibilities, and reporting.
If approved by the Governor, this bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
SB 1048 – Student Assessments for Senator Manny Diaz (R – Hialeah Gardens), substantially modifies Florida’s statewide standardized assessment program to include a computer-based coordinated screening and progress monitoring tool in English Language Arts and mathematics. The bill specifies that progress monitoring results must provide teachers and parents with actionable feedback to tailor instruction and develop programs and supports, and the end-of-year assessment must be used for all existing accountability purposes specified in law. The bill provides for a one-year transition period to the new statewide standardized assessments, which will hold students and schools harmless during the transition. The bill also requires the Commissioner of Education to provide recommendations on additional ways to streamline testing.
The bill enumerates a list of rights that a parent possesses in order to be notified of his or her student’s educational progress. The bill further specifies the requirements of school districts in notifying parents of their student’s academic progress.
The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
SB 1054 – Financial Literacy Instruction in Public Schools by Senator Travis Hutson (R – Palm Coast), requires that, beginning with students entering grade 9 in the 2022-2023 school year, students must earn one-half credit in personal financial literacy and money management in order to receive a standard high school diploma.
The bill establishes financial literacy standards within the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards beginning in the 2022-2023 school year and thereafter. Financial literacy standards must, at a minimum, establish personal financial literacy and money management. The bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 1203- Education, by Representative Elizabeth Fetterhoff (R- DeLand), requires school districts, lab schools, and specified education entities to conduct background screenings through the Agency for Health Care Administration Care Provider Background Screening Clearinghouse (Clearinghouse) beginning on January 1, 2023. The bill provides a schedule for rescreening of such individuals as they move into the Clearinghouse.
The bill also revises teacher preparation program approval criteria and requirements for preservice field experiences and authorizes members of the Legislature to visit any public school in the legislative district of the member.
Finally, the bill specifies that instructional evaluation procedures are not subject to mandatory collective bargaining. It also requires that any compensation for longevity of service that is awarded to instructional personnel who are not on a performance salary schedule must be included in calculating differentiated salary adjustments as provided in law.
If approved by the Governor, except as otherwise provided, this bill takes effect January 1, 2023.
HB 1421 – School Safety by Representative Fred Hawkins (R – St. Cloud), revises the “Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act” to address school safety and security and establish the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission (MSD Commission). The bill improves transparency around school safety and security and addresses student mental health by:
- Requiring district school boards and charter school governing boards to adopt a plan that guides family reunification when K-12 public schools are closed or unexpectedly evacuated due to natural or manmade disasters.
- Requiring that the State Board of Education adopt rules setting requirements for emergency drills including timing, frequency, participation, training, notification, and accommodations.
- Requiring that law enforcement responsible for responding to schools in the event of an assailant emergency be physically present and participate in active assailant drills.
- Requiring that school safety and environmental incident reporting data be published annually in a uniform, statewide format that is easy to read and understand.
- Requiring safe-school officers that are sworn law enforcement officers to complete mental health crisis intervention training.
- Requiring safe-school officers that are not sworn law enforcement officers to receive training on incident response and de-escalation.
- Requiring that school district and local mobile response teams use the same suicide screening tool approved by the Department of Education.
- Requiring that school districts annually certify, beginning with July 1, 2023, that at least 80 percent of school personnel received the mandatory youth mental health awareness training.
- Requiring the Office of Safe Schools to provide school districts information on the proper use of the School Safety Awareness Program, including the consequences of knowingly submitting false information.
The bill provides that the MSD Commission shall continue until July 1, 2026, for the purpose of monitoring implementation of school safety legislation.
Additionally, the bill requires the Commissioner of Education to oversee and enforce school safety and security compliance in the state.
Except as otherwise provided, the bill has an effective date of July 1, 2022.
HB 1467 – K-12 Education by Representative Sam Garrison (R – Orange Park), establishes 12-year term limits for district school board members. The bill also provides specific requirements for school districts in selecting instructional materials and materials used in school libraries and media centers. Specifically, the bill requires:
- Certain school district instructional material review committee meetings be noticed and open to the public.
- School district personnel who are involved in reviewing and selecting certain instructional materials and library materials to complete training developed by the Department of Education (DOE) on selecting quality, age-appropriate books, prior to making selections.
- School districts to adopt and post procedures for developing library media center collections.
- Each elementary school to post on its website a list of all materials maintained in the school library or required in a classroom booklist.
- Material in a school library or school- or grade-level reading list to be selected by a certified educational media specialist.
- School districts to provide access to all materials for public inspection and to publish in a searchable format a list of all materials available to students on the school website.
- School districts to provide a public review process for the adoption of all materials and to select, approve, adopt, or purchase materials as a separate line item on a board meeting agenda and provide reasonable opportunity for public comment.
- School districts to annually submit to the Commissioner of Education a report identifying materials for which the school district received an objection, and the DOE to publish a list of removed or discontinued materials as a result of an objection.
- School principals to oversee compliance with school library media center materials selection procedures at the school to which they are assigned.
- Superintendents to identify, in their annual certification to the Commissioner of Education for the release of funds for instructional materials, any material that received an objection and the grade-level and course for which a removed or discontinued material was used.
The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
HB 1557- Parental Rights in Education, by Representative Joe Harding (R- Ocala), requires that school districts adopt procedures for notifying parents if there is a change in their student’s services or monitoring related to a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being. All procedures adopted under the bill must reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children by requiring school district personnel to encourage students to discuss issues related to his or her well-being with his or her parent.
In addition, the bill prohibits school districts from maintaining procedures that withhold information, or encourage students to withhold information, related to a student’s mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being from parents. A school district may only withhold information if a prudent person would reasonably believe that disclosure would subject the student to abuse, abandonment, or neglect.
The bill also prohibits instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.
Finally, the bill creates a cause of action for parents that permits them to enforce their rights through declaratory and injunctive relief. A prevailing parent is entitled to attorney fees and court costs and may be awarded damages.
If approved by the Governor, this bill takes effect July 1, 2022.
HB 1577 Homeless Youth by Representative Marie Paule Woodson (D – Pembroke Pines), clarifies that homeless youth, often referred to as unaccompanied youth, are individuals under the age of 18 who lack parental, foster, or institutional care.
The bill addresses the needs of homeless children and young adults. Specifically, the bill:
- Requires district school boards to issue a certified unaccompanied homeless youth a card that includes information on his or her rights and available benefits, and allows health care providers to accept the issued card as proof of the young adult’s status as a certified unaccompanied homeless youth.
- Expands the Keys-to-Independence program to unaccompanied homeless youth who meet certain requirements.
- Waives fees for copies of a birth certificate for certified unaccompanied homeless youth and young adults who aged out of foster care.
- Requires postsecondary institutions to have liaisons to assist former foster children and young adults and those experiencing homelessness to help students with issues related to the use of a tuition and fee exemption.
- Requires postsecondary institutions to retain original documents on a student’s tuition and fee exemption, and prohibits additional request for such documentation.
- Directs the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability to evaluate the effectiveness of campus liaisons.
- Amends the definition of which students qualify for a tuition and fee exemption as homeless children and youth to align with federal law.
- Requires any student determined to be an unaccompanied homeless child or youth for a tuition and fee exemption for a preceding year to be presumed homeless for subsequent years unless an institution has conflicting information.
The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
SB 1808- Immigration Enforcement, by Senator Aaron Bean (R- Jacksonville), amends chapter 908, F.S., relating to federal immigration enforcement, which was enacted in 2019. Chapter 908, F.S., prohibits sanctuary policies and requires that state and local entities and law enforcement agencies cooperate with federal government officials to enforce, and not obstruct, federal immigration laws. Specifically, the bill:
- Expands the definition of “sanctuary policy” to include any law, policy, practice, procedure, or custom of any state or local governmental entity which prohibits a law enforcement agency from providing to any state entity information on the immigration status of a person in the custody of the law enforcement agency.
- Requires each law enforcement agency that operates a county detention facility to enter into a “287(g) Agreement” with United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by January 1, 2023. The bill does not specify which type of agreement the law enforcement agency must choose.
- Prohibits state and local governmental entities from contracting with common carriers or contracted carriers that willfully transport a person into the state knowing the person is an unauthorized alien, except to facilitate the detention, removal, or departure of the person from the state or the United States. The bill also specifies that contracts, including a grant agreement or economic incentive program payment agreement, must include certain provisions requiring the common carrier or contracted carrier to attest that it is not, and will not transport an unauthorized alien into this state.
Additionally, the bill amends the criminal justice data collection statutes. The bill requires state entities to collect and report immigration status data to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement each month. The clerks of courts must collect and report the immigration status of each defendant in a criminal case; the administrator of a county detention facility must collect information on the immigration status of each inmate; and the Department of Corrections must collect and report the immigration status of each inmate and each person supervised by the department on probation or community control.
If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect upon becoming law.
SB 7004- OGSR/Technology Systems/State University or a Florida College System Institution by the Senate Education Committee, saves from repeal the public records and public meetings exemption for certain information held by a state university or Florida College System institution related to information technology (IT) security or potential breaches of security, as well as IT security program risk assessments, evaluations, and audits held by the institution. The exemption from public records and public meetings requirements would have been repealed on October 2, 2022, unless reviewed and reenacted by the Legislature.
The bill was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on February 24, 2022. Chapter No. 2022-009.
SB 7006- OGSR/ Campus Emergency Response, by the Senate Education Committee, revises the sunset date of the public records exemption relating to any information in a campus emergency response from October 2, 2022 to October 2, 2024 and narrows the exemption for the records related to:
- Personnel to only exempt information related to the identification of staff involved in emergency preparedness, response, and recovery activities.
- Individual identification of students, faculty, and staff to only exempt information related to the identification of affected or at-risk students, faculty, and staff, and only before, during, or after an emergency.
If approved by the Governor, this bill takes effect October 1, 2022.
SB 7034 – Child Welfare by Senator Kelli Stargel (R – Lakeland), makes a number of changes to current law relating to monthly payment amounts for foster parents and relative and nonrelative caregivers and other assistance aimed at benefiting the lives of foster youth.
As it relates to higher education, the bill expands the scope of potential students eligible for a tuition and fee exemption at a workforce education program, a Florida College System institution or a state university, to certain students who have been the subject of a shelter, dependency, or termination of parental rights proceeding, including students who:
- Are, or were at the time of reaching 18 years of age, in out-of-home care, rather than in the custody of the DCF as is provided for in current law.
- After reaching 14 years of age, spent at least 18 months in out-of-home care and was reunified with his or her parents who were the subject of the dependency proceeding before reaching 18 years of age if the student is also Pell Grant-eligible.
- Have been placed in a permanent guardianship, regardless of whether the caregiver participates or participated in the Relative Caregiver Program, and such student remains in the guardianship either until the student reaches 18 years of age or, if before reaching 18 years of age, he or she enrolls in an eligible institution.
The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
HB 7071 – Taxation by Representative Bobby Payne (R – Palatka), provides for a number of tax reductions and other tax-related modifications designed to directly impact both families and businesses.
Several provisions related to sales tax are included in the bill:
- A 14-day “back-to-school” tax holiday in July and August 2022 for certain clothing, school supplies, learning aids and puzzles, and personal computers; a 14-day “disaster preparedness” holiday in May and June of 2022 for specified disaster preparedness supplies for families and their pets; a seven-day “Freedom Week” tax holiday in July for specified recreational items and activities; and a seven-day “Tool Time” tax holiday in September for tools and equipment needed in skilled trades.
- A two-year exemption for impact-resistant windows, doors, and garage doors for residential properties; a one-year exemption for babies’ and children’s clothing, shoes, and diapers; a one-year exemption for certain ENERGY STAR certified refrigerators, refrigerator-freezer combinations, water heaters, and clothes washers and dryers; and a three-month exemption for children’s books.
- A reduction in the sales tax on new mobile homes from six percent to three percent. • An exemption from the sales tax on admissions to Formula One Grand Prix races, World Cup matches, and Daytona 500 events.
- An exemption for machinery and equipment used in the production of green hydrogen.
- An exemption for trailers and fencing used on farms.
- Authorization to use school capital outlay surtax for the purchase, lease, and maintenance of school buses.
For property taxes, the bill:
- Provides property tax relief for homestead property rendered uninhabitable for 30 days or more due to a catastrophic event in 2023 or thereafter, and provides relief from all assessments to owners affected by the sudden and unforeseen collapse of a residential improvement.
- Clarifies the start date for calculating the 15-year waiting period for an affordable housing exemption.
- Increases the value of property exempt from ad valorem taxation for residents who are widows, widowers, blind, or totally and permanently disabled from $500 to $5,000.
- Modifies the assessment methodology for land used in the production of aquaculture products.
- Updates the qualifying operations for the deployed servicemember tax exemption.
- Clarifies the calculation of the homestead exemption for classified use properties that contain a homestead.
- Increases the amount of discretionary school tax that can be used for certain vehicles and property and casualty insurance expenses.
- Adopts the Internal Revenue Code in effect on January 1, 2022, to maintain conformity with federal provisions;
- Adds flexibility in the timing of the New Worlds Reading Initiative and Strong Families Tax Credit programs; increases the annual cap of the Strong Families Tax Credit to $10 million; and, beginning in Fiscal Year 2023-2024, increases the annual cap on the New Worlds Reading Initiative Tax Credit to $60 million;
- Provides an additional $5 million annually for the Community Contribution Tax Credit program; and
- Creates a tax credit for investment in short line railroads.
The bill also:
- Exempts certain loans related to emergencies from documentary stamp taxes.
- Limits restrictions on citizens’ access to family housing funds to requirements imposed by lenders.
- Creates a one-month motor fuel tax holiday to reduce motor fuel taxes in October 2022.
The bill is effective July 1, 2022.
Bills that Failed
HB 6007 – Licenses to Carry Concealed Weapons or Firearms by Representative Anthony Sabatini (R – Clermont), removed provision in law that prohibited concealed carry licensees from openly carrying a hand gun or concealed weapon or firearm into a college or university facility. The bill died in committee.
HB 51 – Required Instruction in the History of the Holocaust and the History of African American by Representative Anna Eskamani (D – Orlando), and SB 1398 by Senator Lori Berman (D – Boynton Beach), required the Department of Education to prepare standards and curriculum related to the history of the Holocaust and history of African Americans. The bills died in committee.
SB 188 – Civic Literacy Education by Senator Jeff Brandes (R – St. Petersburg), required the Commissioner of Education to develop criteria for a civic literacy practicum to be incorporated into a school’s curriculum. The bill was indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.
HB 229 – Guidance Services for Academic and Career Planning by Representative Kristen Arrington (D – Kissimmee) and SB 400 by Senator Randolph Bracy (D – Orlando), required information on career education opportunities be provided to public school students and their parents. The bills died in Committee.
HB 497 – Legalization of Recreational Marijuana by Representative Yvonne Hinson (D – Gainesville) and SB 1884 by Senator Bobby Powell (D – West Palm Beach, FSU Alum), authorized person 21 years of age and older to engage in specified activities relating to the personal use of marijuana. The bills died in committee.
SB 666 – State University Student Fee Waivers by Senator Janet Cruz (D – Tampa) and HB 769 by Representative Joy Goff-Marcil (D – Maitland, FSU Alum), required state universities to waive specified fees for graduate students who met a specified full-time equivalent appointment. The bills were indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.
SB 974 – Sovereign Immunity by Senator Joe Gruters (R – Sarasota, FSU Alum) and HB 799 by Representative Mike Beltran (R – Valrico), increased the caps for tort recovery from a governmental entity to $400,000 per person and $600,000 per incident. The bills died in committee.
HB 1407 – Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program by Representative Susan Valdes (D – Tampa) and SB 1916 by Senator Annette Taddeo (D – Miami), established the Hunger-Free Campus Grant Program within the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to designate public postsecondary education institution campuses meeting eligibility requires as Hunger-Free Campuses. The bills died in committee.
SB 1858 – B.K. Roberts Hall at Florida State University by Senator Randolph Bracy (D – Orlando), rescinded the designation of B.K. Roberts Hall at Florida State University. The bill was indefinitely postponed and withdrawn from consideration.