Table of Contents:
(Click on titles for full summary)
EDUCATION:

HB 867 (SB 862)/FAILED: Relating to Parent Empowerment in Education by Rep. Trujillo (Sen. Stargel)
SB 1076 / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to K-20 Education by Sen. Legg
SB 1108 (HB 465) / SENT to Governor:  Relating to Exceptional Student Education by Sen. Gardiner (Rep. Brodeur)
HB 7003 (SB 138) / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children by K-12 Subcommittee (Sen. Brandes)
HB 7009 (SB 1630) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Education by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee (Sen. Legg)
HB 7029 (SB 904) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Education by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee (Sen. Brandes)

ELECTIONS:

HB 0569 (SB 1382) / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to Campaign Finance by Rep. Schenck (Sen. Latvala)
HB 7013 (SB 600) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Florida Election Code by Ethics & Elections Subcommittee (Sen. Latvala)

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT:

HB 4001 (SB 320) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Florida Renewable Fuel Standard Act by Rep. Gaetz (Sen. Evers)

GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS:

SB 0052 (HB 13) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving by Sen. Detert (Rep. Holder)
HB 0655 (SB 726) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Employment Benefits by Precourt (Sen. Simmons)

HEALTH CARE:

SB 1816 / DIED: Relating to Health Care By Sen. Negron
HB 7169 / DIED: Relating to Florida Health Choices Plus Program by Cummings

PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE:

SB 1770 / SENT to Governor: Relating to Property Insurance by Banking and Insurance Committee

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS:

SB 458 (HB 1399) / DIED: Relating to Firefighter and Police Officer Pension Plans by Sen. Ring (Rep. Rooney)
SB 0534 (HB 599) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Publicly-funded Defined Benefit Retirement Plans by Sen. Brandes (Rep. Caldwell)
SB 1392 / FAILED: Relating to Retirement by Sen. Simpson
HB 7011 / FAILED: Relating to Florida Retirement System by Rep. Brodeur

TAX & BUDGET:

HB 219 / DIED: Relating to Professional Sports Franchises by Rep. Nelson
SB 306 / DIED: Relating to Economic Development by Sen. Braynon
HB 1049 / DIED: Relating to Sports Facilities by Rep. Santiago
HB 7007 (SB 1024) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Economic Development by Rep. Trujillo (Commerce and Tourism Committee)

TORT REFORM:

SB 1792 / SENT to Governor: Relating to Medical Negligence Actions by Judiciary
HB 7015 (SB 1412) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Expert Testimony by Civil Justice Subcommittee (Sen. Richter)

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EDUCATION:
HB 867 (SB 862)/ FAILED: Relating to Parent Empowerment in Education by Rep. Trujillo (Sen. Stargel)
Status: Passed by House; Failed on Senate Floor (04/30/13) / Vote Count: House (68-51)/Senate (20-20) 
HB 867 enables parents, by petitioning the school district, to request implementation of a parent-selected turnaround option for Florida’s lowest performing public schools. The turnaround option requested by parents must be considered for implementation by the district school board at a publicly noticed meeting if the petition is signed and dated by a majority of the parents of students enrolled in the school or students who are scheduled for assignment to the school in the following school year. The district school board may adopt the turnaround option selected by parents or a different option selected by the school board. If the district school board does not adopt the parent-selected option, it must include that option with the implementation plan submitted to the State Board of Education. The state board may approve the district’s plan or, if it determines that the parent-selected option is more likely to improve student performance at the school, require the school board to submit a plan for implementing the parent-selected option. However, if the school improves by at least one letter grade, the school no longer has to implement the turnaround option.SB 1076 / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to K-20 Education by Sen. Legg
Status: Passed by Legislature; Signed by Governor (04/22/13) / Vote Count: House (116-0)/Senate (33-7) / Effective Date: July 1, 2013
SB 1076 aligns education with economic opportunity for graduates of Florida’s public schools, colleges, and universities to better prepare students for their future work. The law revises educational programs and targets funding to foster students’ development of technology skills in prekindergarten through college and to increase opportunities for students to earn industry certifications in high school and college. In summary, the bill makes the following changes:

Establishes new requirements that integrate technology skills and knowledge into K-12 classrooms.
Redefines one rigorous standard high school diploma for students entering 9th grade in the 2013-2014 school year at 24 credits.
Establishes new Scholar and Merit diploma designations for current and future high school students earning a standard high school diploma
Establishes performance funding provisions for public schools, school district workforce education programs, Florida College System institutions, and state universities to reward education entities that align programs with economic demands.
Requires initiatives to help students focus on their future work while they are still in school and to target technical programs to industry needs.
Creates a mechanism for designating Preeminent State Research Universities, based on institutional performance on 12 statutorily-established metrics.
Revises a degree completion pilot program as the Complete Florida Degree Program which will be a formal program for online bachelor degree options in state universities, coordinated through the University of West Florida in collaboration with other state universities.
Provides for a $10,000 Bachelor Degrees at Florida College System institutions by authorizing the waiver of Florida College System tuition and fees for the purpose of offering baccalaureate degrees for state residents for which the cost for the degree program does not exceed $10,000.

SB 1108 (HB 465) / SENT to Governor:  Relating to Exceptional Student Education by Sen. Gardiner (Rep. Brodeur)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/1/2013) / Vote Count: House (118-0)/Senate (39-0)
The bill provides for the involvement of parents of students with disabilities in meetings, including those related to decisions regarding assessment and placement. It also requires school districts to provide exceptional student education-related services, as defined by State Board of Education rule, for a home education student with a disability who is eligible for the services and who enrolls in a public school for the purpose of receiving those services. This could increase the number of students provided education-related services in the school districts and require additional funding in the FEFP for these students. However, the fiscal impact should not be significant. Any student with a disability has a right to educational services appropriate for his or her individual needs. SB 1108 defines an Exceptional Student Education Center and specifies the accountability requirements that apply to them. The bill establishes requirements for the reimbursement of federal funds to charter schools. Finally, the bill requires applicants for renewal of a professional educator certificate to earn a minimum of one college credit or the equivalent in-service points in the area of instruction for teaching students with disabilities.HB 7003 (SB 138) / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children by K-12 Subcommittee (Sen. Brandes)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Signed by Governor (4/10/2013) / Vote Count: House (116-0)/Senate (36-0)
This bill reenacts provisions of law establishing and implementing the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children and provides for future legislative review and repeal of the compact in 2016. Participation in the compact enables member states to address educational transition issues faced by military families as they transfer from various states and school districts in accordance with official military orders. States are required to enact the compact into law in order to join the compact, which the Florida Legislature did in the 2008 Regular Session. Currently, 45 states and the District of Columbia are members of the compact. Since enactment in 2008, Florida’s compact legislation has included a repeal provision which requires automatic repeal of the compact after a period of time, unless reauthorized by the Legislature. The Legislature last reauthorized the compact in 2010, and provided for repeal of the compact in three years, which is May 11, 2013. In addition to reauthorizing the compact and providing for future legislative review and repeal of the law, the bill also specifies that compact membership dues must be paid within existing resources by the Department of Education.HB 7009 (SB 1630) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Education by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee (Sen. Legg)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/3/2013) / Vote Count: House (76-42)/Senate (31-7)
The bill includes several provisions that increase charter school accountability and transparency:

Prohibiting a charter school, upon termination of the charter, from expending more than $10,000 without prior written permission from the sponsor, unless such expenditure was included within the annual budget submitted to the sponsor, or is for reasonable attorney’s fees and costs during the pendency of an appeal, or is for reasonable fees and costs to conduct an independent audit.
Requiring an audit to be completed by an independent third party within 30 days after a charter school is notified of nonrenewal, closure, or termination.
Prohibiting charter schools from executing contracts that contain acceleration clauses requiring expenditure of funds based on closure, or notification of nonrenewal or termination and from executing contracts that extend beyond the term of the school’s contract with its sponsor.
Providing retracting power to the sponsor in case of violation of contract provisions.
Providing disclosure requirements for charter applicants of previous charter schools that were subject to corrective action or financial emergency recovery plans.
Requiring sponsors to submit to DOE specific information for each application received to be compiled in a summary report regarding the number of applications received, approved, denied and withdrawn each year.
Prohibiting employees of the charter school or the charter management organization and their spouses, from serving on the charter school governing board.
Requiring DOE to develop a proposed statewide standard charter contract by consulting and negotiating with school districts and charter schools and to provide it to the Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the President of the Senate by November 1, 2013.

The bill also includes several provisions to expand charter school growth and flexibility:

Allowing charter applicants to submit a draft charter by May 1 each year, with an application fee, and to receive district feedback on material deficiencies by July 1, prior to final submission on August 1.
Allowing high-performing charter schools to determine their own capacity and enrollment caps and allowing them to increase those caps under certain circumstances.
Providing statutory clarification that provisions affecting instructional personnel contracts, do not apply to charter schools under certain circumstances.
Clarifying that district K-12 educational facilities not being used to support public education be made available to charters and requiring the charter school to pay maintenance costs of the facility.
Authorizing out-of-state operators to qualify for high-performing status to operate schools or systems in Florida under certain circumstances; requiring the State Board of Education to adopt the review and qualification process in rule.

HB 7029 (SB 904) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Education by Choice & Innovation Subcommittee (Sen. Brandes)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/3/2013)
The bill includes several provisions that increase access to digital and blended learning options by:

Expanding the pool of eligible applicants who can apply for state-level approval to include individuals or organizations that provide individual online courses, including, but not limited to, massive open online courses (MOOCs) that are measured by state assessments.
Creating a district innovation school pilot program that encourages schools to engage in a whole school transformation using blended learning models in exchange for flexibility and exemption from certain statutes.
Allowing districts and providers to offer part-time virtual instruction for K-12 students in all courses, rather than only those courses that are measured through statewide assessments or end-of-course-exams.
Providing an opportunity for providers without sufficient prior, successful experience in offering online courses to receive conditional approval from the Department of Education to offer only courses measured through statewide assessments or end-of-course exams. The conditional approval is only effective until the provider has sufficient data to apply for provider approval in accordance with current law and State Board of Education rule.
Allowing students enrolled in one school district to enroll in an online course offered by any other district in the state, without limitations.
Prohibiting a school district from requiring a public school student to take a virtual course outside the school day or on the school grounds.
Clarifying, for home school students, that eligibility be verified upon enrollment, for purposes of funding through the FEFP. Home education students must still meet applicable eligibility criteria for participation in virtual education courses.The bill increases accountability for digital learning options in the following way:
Requiring providers to maintain a minimum level of services to parents and students, instead of locating an administrative office in the state.
Requiring the Department of Education to develop an online catalog of available digital learning courses provided pursuant to 1002.37, 1002.45, and 1003.498, F.S., that provides specific information for each course, including completion and passage rates and a method for student and teacher users to provide evaluative feedback.
Requiring FLVS to provide information in their required report about operations occurring outside the state as Florida Virtual School Global, as well as operations within the state.
Requiring the Auditor General to conduct on operational audit of the Florida Virtual School, including Florida Virtual School Global and to submit the final report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives no later than January 31, 2014.
Providing evaluation and funding methods for individuals or organizations that provide individual online courses, including MOOCs.

ELECTIONS:
HB 0569 (SB 1382) / SIGNED by Governor: Relating to Campaign Finance by Rep. Schenck (Sen. Latvala)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Signed by Governor (5/1/2013) / Vote Count: House (79-34)/Senate (37-2)
The bill includes the following major provisions:

Eliminates committees of continuous existence (CCE) and provides for an orderly transition process through de-certification on September 30, 2013; however, the bill retains the $250 aggregate reporting limit for former CCEs reporting “multiple uniform contributions” (formerly “member dues”) as a political committee (PC).
Removes the “3-pack” exemption that allows PCs to run political advertisements jointly endorsing 3 or more candidates outside the scope of the contribution limits in Chapter 106.
Provides for unlimited contributions to PCs supporting/opposing candidates, in lieu of the current $500/election limit.
Authorizes county political party executive committees to contribute an aggregate of $50,000 to each non-statewide candidate, in addition to the aggregate limit of $50,000 for all other political party contributions.
Limits political party turn backs from candidate surplus funds to $25,000.
Prohibits candidates who switch races from “double-dipping” contributors for maximum contributions in both races.
Increases the amount certain successful candidates can contribute to an office account, and expands the permissible uses of such funds.
Allows a successful state candidate to retain up to $20,000 of campaign funds for reelection.

HB 7013 (SB 600) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Florida Election Code by Ethics & Elections Subcommittee (Sen. Latvala)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/3/2013) / Vote Count: House (115-1)/Senate (27-13)
This bill increases the number of days available for early voting by requiring a minimum of 8 days and allowing up to a maximum of 14 days, beginning on the 15th day before an election that contains state or federal races and ending on the 2nd day before the election. Early voting must be offered each day from the 10th day before an election that contains state or federal races through the 3rd day before the election. Early voting may be offered, at the discretion of each county’s supervisor of elections, on the 15th, 14th, 13th, 12th, 11th, or 2nd day before an election that contains state or federal races. As such, early voting on the Sunday before the general election may be offered at the discretion of each county’s supervisor of elections, but is not required. This bill increases the number of hours available for early voting by requiring counties to offer early voting for a minimum of 64 hours and allowing early voting for a maximum of 168 hours during the early voting period. Early voting must be offered for no less than 8 hours (instead of 6 hours required under current law) and no more than 12 hours per day at each site during the early voting period. Finally, HB 7013 applies a 75-word limit to the first of multiple summaries in a joint resolution proposed by the legislature. The bill specifies that the 75-word limitation does not apply to any ballot summary revised by the Attorney General to correct deficiencies identified by a court.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT:
HB 4001 (SB 320) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Florida Renewable Fuel Standard Act by Rep. Gaetz (Sen. Evers)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (4/30/2013) / Vote Count: House (77-39)/Senate (33-1)
HB 4001 repeals the entire Florida Renewable Fuel Standard Act from the statutes, thereby removing the requirement that all gasoline sold or offered for sale in Florida by a terminal supplier, importer, blender, or wholesaler shall be blended gasoline. The bill also removes the requirement that each terminal supplier, importer, blender, or wholesaler include in their monthly report to the Department of Revenue, the number of gallons of blended and unblended gasoline sold.
GOVERNMENTAL REGULATIONS:
SB 0052 (HB 13) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Use of Wireless Communications Devices While Driving by Sen. Detert (Rep. Holder)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/2/2013) / Vote Count: House (110-6)/Senate (39-1)
SB 52 creates the “Florida Ban on Texting While Driving Law.” The bill prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle while manually typing or entering multiple letters, numbers, symbols, or other text in a handheld wireless communication device, or sending or reading data in the device, for the purpose of non-voice interpersonal communication. The bill makes exceptions for emergency workers and interpersonal communications that are conducted without manually typing the message or without reading the message. The prohibition is enforceable as a secondary offense. A first violation is punishable as a non-moving violation, with a fine of $30 plus court costs that vary by county. A second violation committed within 5 years after the first is a moving violation punishable by a $60 fine plus court costs. The bill allows for the admissibility of a person’s wireless communications device billing records as evidence in the event of a crash resulting in death or personal injury. In addition to the fines, a violation of the unlawful use of a cell phone which results in a crash will result in 6 points added to the offender’s driver license record and the unlawful use of a cell phone while committing a moving violation within a school safety zone will result in 2 points added to the offender’s driver license record in addition to the points for the moving violation.HB 0655 (SB 726) / SENT to Governor: Relating to Employment Benefits – by Precourt (Sen. Simmons)
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/3/2013) / Vote Count: House (76-41)/Senate (25-13)
HB 655 prohibits local governments from requiring an employer to provide certain employment benefits not required by state or federal law. The term “employment benefits” is defined as anything of value that an employee may receive from an employer in addition to wages and salary. The term “employer” is defined as any person who is required to pay a state or federal minimum wage to the person’s employees. The bill does not limit the authority of local governments to establish a minimum wage or provide employment benefits not otherwise required under state or federal law for its own employees or for the employees of an employer contracting with, or receiving a direct tax abatement or subsidy from, the political subdivision. The bill further specifies that provisions of the act do not apply to a domestic violence or sexual abuse ordinance, order, rule or policy adopted by a local government. The bill also creates an 11-member Employer-Sponsored Benefits Task Force to analyze employment benefits and the impact of the state preemption of the regulation of such benefits. Task force findings and recommendations are to be included in a report submitted to the Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House by January 15, 2014.
HEALTH CARE:
SB 1816 / DIED: Relating to Health Care By Sen. Negron
Status: Died in Senate returning messages (04/29/13) / Vote Count: House (N/A)/Senate (N/A)
This bill expands the Florida Healthy Kids Corporation (FHKC) to revise legislative intent to include a new program, Healthy Florida. This program would be eligible to draw down federal dollars, originally intended to expand Medicaid under the PPACA, to be used to allow individuals under 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Level to purchase private health insurance plans. The bill modifies FHKC’s corporate governance structure, medical loss ratio guidelines for health plan contracts, and corporate responsibilities. The bill provides definitions, eligibility criteria, enrollment, and benefits for the Healthy Florida program. The FHKC is also authorized to make changes to the program to negotiate for the approval of the Healthy Florida program with the federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), if necessary. The bill includes a conflict of laws statement indicating that if there is a conflict between a provision in the bill and the PPACA, the provision must be interpreted to comply with the requirements of federal law.HB 7169 / DIED: Relating to Florida Health Choices Plus Program by Cummings
Status: Died in House returning messages (04/30/13) / Vote Count: House (71-45)/Senate (N/A)
HB 7169 uses the infrastructure of Florida Health Choices (FHC) to implement the Florida Health Choices Plus Program (FHC Plus). The program will assist uninsured Floridians to gain access to affordable health coverage, products and services. Uninsured parents and Social Security Income-eligible disabled adults with incomes under 100% of poverty who are not eligible for Medicaid are eligible. Enrollees in FHC Plus will receive $2,000 to fund a contribution amount for responsible expenditures (CARE) account to purchase health coverage, products and services in the FHC Plus marketplace. Each enrollee must make a monthly individual contribution of $25 to the account, and may make additional contributions to increase their buying power. Employers, local governments, and charitable organizations may also make contributions. In addition, non-disabled enrollees must meet the same work requirements as TANF enrollees. The bill also expands the current FHC program by allowing all individuals and employers to participate FHC. Employers must use a defined contribution method of participation, and must give employees the option of taking unused contribution amounts as salary. The bill creates the Florida Health Care Market Task Force within the Legislature to study and make recommendations on: strategies for allowing state employees to participate in FHC with a defined contribution; methods for increasing the capacity of our current health care workforce, particularly advanced registered nurse practitioners and physician assistants; and options for reducing federal control of the Medicaid program. The task force will consist of seven members, three appointed by the Senate President, three by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and a chair appointed jointly. The bill requires the task force to submit a report to the President and Speaker by January 1, 2014.
PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE:
SB 1770 / SENT to Governor: Relating to Property Insurance by Banking and Insurance Committee
Status: Passed by Legislature; Sent to Governor (5/2/2013) / Vote Count: House (111-6)/Senate (32-1)
The bill makes the following changes to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and Public Adjusters:

Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (CAT Fund)

Renames the “Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation” to the “State Board of Administration Finance Corporation.”
Extends the CAT Fund assessment exemption for medical malpractice until May 31, 2016.
Repeals outdated language for the $10M additional coverage for specified insurers and the Temporary Emergency Options for Additional Coverage.
Requires the CAT Fund submit to the Legislature and Financial Services Commission an annual Probable Maximum Loss (PML) report for the upcoming storm season.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens)

Exempts Citizens from “exchange of business” restrictions to facilitate the operations of the clearinghouse.
Adds a professional structural engineer to the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology.
Reduces the maximum Citizens’ policy limit from $2 million to $1 million and further reduces this amount by $100,000 a year for 3 years to $700,000. Allows for an exemption in certain counties in which the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) determines do not have a reasonable degree of competition.
Prohibits Citizens from covering structures commencing construction after July 1, 2014, seaward of the coastal construction control line.
Allows the Governor of Florida to appoint a consumer representative to the Citizens Board of Governors in addition to the current two appointments.
Clarifies a private company’s offer within 15 percent of Citizens’ rate for a new policy and no greater than the current rate for a renewal makes the policy ineligible for coverage with Citizens.
Requires that Citizens disclose potential surcharge and assessment liabilities with each renewal notice.
Allows insurers who take policies out of Citizens to use Citizens’ policy forms for 3 years without approval from the OIR to use the forms.
Establishes an office of Inspector General at Citizens to be appointed by the Financial Services Commission.
Requires Citizens to prepare an annual report on Citizens’ loss ratio for non-catastrophic losses on a statewide and county basis.
Subjects Citizens to the purchasing of commodities restrictions under s. 287.057, F.S. 2013 Summary of Legislation Passed Committee on Banking and Insurance
Establishes the Citizens clearinghouse by January 1, 2014.
Requires the establishment of a process to divert commercial residential policies.
Requires that companies participating in the clearinghouse must either appoint the agent of record or offer a limited servicing agreement.
Requires that agents are to be paid Citizens commission or the company’s standard commission, whichever is greater.
Clarifies that the 45-day notice of nonrenewal applies to policies submitted to the clearinghouse.
Provides that independent and captive agents are granted and must maintain ownership of records including policies placed in Citizens.
Allows captive companies to approve their agents limiting servicing agreements with each participating company.
Requires Citizens to submit to the Legislature and Financial Services Commission an annual PML report for the upcoming storm season.

Public Adjusters

Prohibits a public adjuster from receiving compensation from any source over the statutory fee cap. Applies disciplinary provisions in current law to public adjusters who violate the statutory fee caps through any maneuver, shift, or device.
Repeals the current provision that for any claim filed with Citizens, a public adjuster cannot charge more than 10 percent of the difference between Citizens’ initial offer and the amount actually paid.
Requires a public adjuster to meet or communicate with the insurer to try to settle. Prohibits a public adjuster from acquiring any interest in salvaged property, without the written consent of the policyholder.

PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSIONS:

SB 458 (HB 1399) / DIED: Relating to Firefighter and Police Officer Pension Plans by Sen. Ring (Rep. Rooney)
Status: Passed by Senate; Died in House messages (04/30/13) / Vote Count: House (N/A)/Senate (34-5)
SB 458 substantially amends provisions specifying how insurance premium tax revenues must be used in police and firefighter pension plans. Premium tax revenues equal to the amount received in 1997 must be used to fund benefits in existence in 1999. The increase in additional premium tax revenues between 1997 and 201 . Plans with a long-term funde