Saturday night in NYC was one for the books with the double header of Soulive and Galactic bringing the funk to Terminal 5. The packed house was buzzing with excitement, ready for a double dose of funk provided by some of the best in the biz. The addition of the legendary Cyril Neville to Galactic’s set made for a particularly special show, highlighted by memorable covers of The Meters, Bob Dylan, Curtis Mayfield, the Pointer Sisters and more.Soulive opened strong with their classic “Hat Trick”, during which guitarist Eric Krasno channeled his inner Jerry Garcia vibe for a short measure. Drummer Alan Evans then took to the mic to introduce everyone before delving into a new tune, “Common”. The band weaved seamlessly through “Common” into an older classic “Shaheed” before crushing on another new one called “BB Gun”. The trio slipped the new songs in without throwing the crowd off with the newness, but the diehards who knew, knew. It was perfect placement and flawless.New Orleans staple Galactic was next on the docket and ready to bring the funk hard. The band got the crowd into the NOLA spirit from the start, entering the stage to Carnival tunes resemblant of a Mardi Gras morning. They kicked things off in high spirits with a track off their latest album, “Sugar Doosie”. Frequent guest singer Erica Falls joined on shortly after, leading the band through newer track “Right On” into a funky cover of Curtis Mayfield’s “Hard Times”. A powerful rendition of their “Dolla Diva” kept things grooving before delving into Rebirth Brass Band’s “AP Tureaud”. The energy in the room exploded as Cyril Neville took the stage, introduced as “the greatest soul singer alive” and ready to prove himself worthy of that title. The New Orleans legend came out grooving to a cover of The Meters’ “Gossip”, for which Neville provided vocals on the original. Continuing with the theme of keeping it in the family, he then busted out “Tell Me What’s On Your Mind”, a Neville Brothers throwback.Neville briefly departed from the stage as Soulive/Lettuce guitarist Eric Krasno joined on for the very funky “Cineramascope” off Galactic’s Ya-Ka-May. A soulful guitar solo quickly escalated into a rocking jam, prompting a massive dance party from the audience. Falls returned to the stage to aid on one of the band’s most well-known, feel-good tracks, “Hey Na Na”. As the band has cycled through several guest singers over the years, this song has been tested out by its fair share of vocalists from across a wide spectrum, including David Shaw of The Revivalists and Maggie Koerner on the studio version. While each of these contributors adds a little something different – Shaw more of an edge perhaps, and Koerner a softer feminine touch – Falls’ dominating stage presence and booming voice on this song really knocked it out of the park. In this moment it was clear that she has gotten into her groove with the band and established herself as a key member.Falls continued to shine with the highlight of the show, a powerful rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” that had everyone singing and dancing along. She then left the stage as the band was joined by saxophonist Ben Ellman’s cousin, Lucas Ellman of Chicago-based band The Heard, leading the funk army through a grooving rendition of Watts 103rd St Rhythm Band’s “65 Bars And A Taste Of Soul”. Neville rejoined the group for a heavy Meters double header, segueing into a cover of “No More Okey Doke” and following it up with “You’ve Got To Change (You’ve Got To Reform)”, all the while maintaining the good spirits and high energy in the room. Neville left the stage to make way for Falls to close out the show with a crushing version of the Pointer Sisters’ “Going Down Slowly”, her electrifying vocals filling over the room for one last time before the encore.After a short break, the quintet returned to the stage one last time to play an older original, “Funky Bird”. Finally, Falls and Neville both came out to bring things to a close with The Meters’ “Africa”. The combination of the two dynamic vocalists along with seasoned funk veterans Galactic was out of control, and funk levels were at an all time high with everyone vibing together on stage, raging properly and showing New York how NOLA does it.Setlist: Soulive at Terminal 5, New York, NY – 3/26/16Hat Trick, Common, Shaheed, BB Gun, One In Seven, Revolution, PJ’s, TuesdaySetlist: Galactic at Terminal 5, New York, NY – 3/26/16Set: Sugar Doosie, Right On, Hard Times, Dolla Diva, AP Tureaud, Gossip, Tell Me What’s On Your Mind, Cineramascope, Hey Na Na, Like A Rolling Stone, 65 Bars And A Taste Of Soul, No More Okey Doke, You’ve Got To Change (You’ve Got To Reform), Going Down SlowlyEncore: Funky Bird, AfricaPhotos by James Bell. Full Gallery: Load remaining images
Legislation of Interest to the Legal Profession 2002 The Florida Bar Governmental Affairs Office Legislation of Interest to the Legal Profession 2002 Governmental Affairs Staff Paul F. Hill General CounselRichard A. Gilbert Don L. Horn Louis Kwall AGING AND LONG-TERM CARE SB 1378 — Nursing Homes Staff/Union Organizing by Government Operations Oversight and Productivity Committee and Sen. Crist Prohibits nursing home employees from participating in an activity related to union organizing during any time that is counted toward minimum staffing requirements and directs that salaries paid to an employee for union organizing may not be an allowable cost for Medicaid cost reporting. Further it provides that any expenses incurred for activities directly relating to influencing employees with respect to unionization are not an allowable cost for Medicaid cost-reporting purposes. The bill specifies, however, that these prohibitions do not apply to protected labor activities, such as addressing grievances or negotiating collective bargaining agreements; performing activities required by federal or state law or by a collective bargaining agreement; or normal personnel management communication between employees and employers. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 3, 2002. Chapter 2002-231, Laws of Florida. SB 604 — Centralized Prescription Filling by Sen. Saunders Defines the term “centralized prescription filling” as “the filling of a prescription by one pharmacy upon the request by another pharmacy to fill or refill the prescription. The term includes the performance of one pharmacy for another pharmacy of other pharmacy duties such as drug utilization review, therapeutic drug utilization review, claims adjudication, and the obtaining of refill authorizations.” Authorizes Florida pharmacies to perform centralized prescription filling for another pharmacy when the pharmacies have the same owner, or the pharmacies have a written contract. It also requires each pharmacy participating in centralized prescription filling to include specific information in the policy and procedure manual relating to centralized prescription filling. Also provides rulemaking authority to the Board of Pharmacy to adopt rules necessary to implement centralized prescription filling. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-182, Laws of Florida. SB 962 – Veterans by Council for Smarter Government and Rep. Jordan Revises provisions relating to the administration of the state veterans’ homes and revises the duties and procedures for the appointment of the veterans’ homes’ administrators. Eliminates a residency requirement for veterans’ homes’ administrators. Also provides for the accounting of certain funds and eliminates requirements for the deposit of certain interest into the Grants and Donations Trust Fund, in response to an Auditor General report. Modifies present law to provide authorization for more than one veterans’ nursing home. Provides that the Bay County nursing home be named the “Clifford Chester Sims State Veterans’ Nursing Home”, and the Charlotte County nursing home be named the “Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans’ Nursing Home”. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-298, Laws of Florida. AGRICULTURE CS/SB 1926 – Citrus canker by Committee on Criminal Justice and Sen. Posey Redefines the term “exposed to infection” to mean a citrus tree located within 1900 feet of an exposed tree. This definition will be repealed effective July 1, 2005. Clarifies that the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, through a county-wide search warrant, is authorized to look for citrus canker disease. Provisions regarding the warrant are provided for in the bill. And lastly, provides for the department to remove and destroy all infected or exposed citrus trees, providing notice of removal to property owners by means of an Immediate Final Order (IFO). Provisions regarding the IFO are included. These provisions became law upon approval by the governor on March 18, 2002. Chapter 2002-11, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1772 – Agriculture/Crop Damage/Destruction by Agriculture and Consumer Services Committee and Sen. Smith Current law provides to a grower or producer of agricultural products a civil cause of action for double damages, plus costs and attorneys’ fees, against any person who willfully and knowingly destroys those agricultural products. Adds agricultural production systems to this civil cause of action; and increases the damages award from double to triple the amount of the value of the product or system damaged or destroyed. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-83, Laws of Florida. BUSINESS LAW CS/SB 2262 – The Florida Fair Lending Act by Committee on Banking and Insurance and Sen. Meek Creates specific state regulation by the Department of Banking and Finance for high-cost home loans providing parameters for the sub-prime market that mirror safeguards found in the federal Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act (HOEPA). The bill also: • Provides direct authority for the department to examine any person for compliance with this Act. • Gives the department authority to impose on a person who violates the Act a $5,000 fine for each violation of the act, not to exceed $250,000 in the aggregate, and also provides statutory cross-section violation provisions for persons licensed under Chapters 494 (Mortgage Brokers and Lenders), 516 (Consumer Finance), 520 (Retail Installment Sales), 655 (Financial Institutions, generally), 657 (Credit Unions), 658 (Trust Business), 660 (International Banking), 665 (associations), and 667 (Savings Banks). This amendment also provides very broad rulemaking authority to the department. • Provides a list of prohibited acts. • Clarifies that a “high–cost home loan” is a loan as defined in 15 U.S.C. 1602 (Consumer Credit Protection Act). • Provides for an opportunity for borrowers to cure a default before foreclosure. • Provides local ordinance preemption but clarifies that the preemption shall not prohibit a local government body from requiring compliance with this act as a condition precedent to doing business with the government unit. • Provides an effective date of October 2, 2002. The effective date of this bill is October 2, 2002. Chapter No. 2002-57, Laws of Florida. HB 585 – Fla. Uniform Principal & Income Act by Reps. Goodlette, Joyner and Bullard Enacts the 1997 Uniform Principal and Income Act, with Florida modifications primarily written to assist trustees in minimizing tax consequences. A trustee of a trust and the personal Rep. of a decedent’s estate are fiduciaries that have special duties toward those who benefit from their administration. The trustee and the personal Representatives satisfy their obligations in part by making the proper allocations of assets to either principal or to income. Generally, assets allocated to principal serve the interests of remainder beneficiaries of a trust, and the interests of the final distribution of the assets in an estate. Assets allocated to income meet the requirements of income beneficiaries during the life of a trust, and those beneficiaries who must be paid out of the income derived during administration of an estate. The identification of principal and income, its allocation, and apportionment of assets between income and principal have always been tricky. Distinguishing income from principal is not always self-evident. Therefore, the law has provided trustees with statutory help for a very long period of time. The Uniform Law Commissioners promulgated the first Uniform Principal and Income Act in 1931. A revision was promulgated in 1962, which Florida subsequently adopted. The 1997 revision once again was promulgated by the Uniform Law Commissioners. The most significant non-uniform provisions in this Florida legislation are the ability to convert between an income trust and a total return unitrust, and the right of beneficiaries of a trust in existence on January 1, 2003, to opt out of the provision giving a trustee a discretionary right to allocate between principal and income. The effective date of this bill is January 1, 2003. Chapter 2002-42, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 787 – Limited Liability Companies by Council for Smarter Government and Rep. Rubio Continues Florida’s adoption, begun in 1999, of the Uniform Limited Liability Company Act. This bill provides for a third form of limited liability company (“LLC”) management; namely, by a member or committee of members elected by the membership as a whole to be “managing members.” Reduces restrictions on what may be included in an LLC operating agreement, specifies the time frame within LLC operating agreements may be entered into, and specifies a default effective date for an operating agreement. In addition, the requirements for registered agents of domestic and foreign LLC’s identical; and requires that, in addition to current requirements, the LLC also keep copies at its principal office of “any other documents filed with the Department of State concerning the [LLC].” The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-272, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1066 – Uniform Commercial Code by Judiciary Committee; Sens. Campbell and Crist Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code governs the process of establishing and foreclosing liens against personal property. Article 9 is found at ch. 679, F.S., entitled “Uniform Commercial Code: Secured Transactions”. In the 2001 legislative session, the Revised Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, as prepared by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, with Florida modifications, passed and was subsequently enacted into law. This bill corrects errors in that enactment and clarifies the relationship between fixtures filings and Florida real property law. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-242, Laws of Florida. CRIMINAL LAW CS/CS/SB 1974 – Crime Victims’ Rights by Judiciary Committee; Criminal Justice Committee and Sen. Crist Victims of crime have a number of rights in Florida, provided both by statute and in the state constitution. Requires a court to provide crime victims with information on these rights, either by listing them on a prominently displayed poster or announcing a specified advisement when conducting an arraignment, sentencing, or case management hearing. The text of the poster or oral advisement is provided for in the bill. Further provides that failure to comply with this requirement to advise crime victims of their rights does not invalidate a conviction, sentence or hearing. Instructs circuit court administrators to coordinate efforts to ensure that victims’ rights informational brochures are provided to the clerks of courts for the benefit of crime victims, and instructs clerks of courts to provide information to victims on pursuing orders of criminal restitution that have been converted to civil liens. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-56, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1916 – Bail Bond Agencies & Agents by Banking & Insurance Committee and Sen. Silver Chapter 648, Florida Statutes, provides for the licensing of bail bond agents and runners and for the regulation by the Department of Insurance (DOI) of the business of issuing bail bonds. The bill addresses numerous regulatory provisions of the bail bond statutes. The DOI estimates that any increase in administrative costs to the agency will be absorbed within existing resources. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-260, Laws of Florida. SB 626 — Laser Lighting Devices by Sen. Saunders Defines the term “laser lighting device” as a hand-held device, not affixed to a firearm, which emits a laser beam that is designed to be used by the operator as a pointer or highlighter to indicate, mark, or identify a specific position, place, item, or object. Provides that any person who knowingly and willfully shines, points or focuses the beam of a laser lighting device at a law enforcement officer, engaged in the performance of his or her duties and in such a way that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a firearm is pointed at him or her, is guilty of a noncriminal violation. Violation of this provision is punishable by a fine of up to $500. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-80, Laws of Florida. HB 1393 — Sentencing by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Fasano and others Reenacts section 5 of chapter 99-188 which amends s. 784.08 to create a three-year minimum mandatory sentence for aggravated assault or battery of a person 65 years of age or older. The bill also reenacts section 12 of chapter 99-188 which requires the Executive Office of the Governor to “place public service announcements in visible local media throughout the state explaining the penalties provided” in the act. The reenactment of these provisions will close the window period for challenge of the act in the event that the Florida Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal by finding that chapter 99-188 is a violation of the single subject requirement. The bill also provides that “[t]he provisions reenacted by this act shall be applied retroactively to July 1, 1999, or as soon thereafter as the Constitution of the State of Florida and the Constitution of the United States may permit.” These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 29, 2002. Chapter 2002-208, Laws of Florida. HB 1397 — Sentencing by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Fasano Reenacts sections 1, 3 and 6 of chapter 99-188. Section 1 of chapter 99-188 provides that the act may be cited as the “Three-Strike Violent Felony Offender Act”. Section 3 of chapter 99-188 creates penalties for three-time violent felony offenders. Section 6 of chapter 99-188 corrects a statutory cross-reference. Section 3 also provided that the mandatory penalties authorized by the three-strikes provision do not prevent a court from imposing a greater sentence as authorized by law. Thus, the greater penalties authorized by the habitual felony offender, habitual violent felony offender, and the career criminal enhancements are not thwarted by the mandatory minimum penalties imposed by the three-strikes enhanced penalty. The bill also reenacts section 12 of chapter 99-188 which requires the Executive Office of the Governor to “place public service announcements in visible local media throughout the state explaining the penalties provided” in the act. The reenactments of these provisions will close the window period for challenge of the act in the event that the Florida Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal by finding that chapter 99-188 is a violation of the single subject requirement. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 29, 2002. Chapter 2002-210, Laws of Florida. HB 1399 — Sentencing by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Fasano Reenacts section 2 of chapter 99-188 which makes clarifying changes to the prison releasee reoffender statute and creates enhanced penalties for repeat sexual batterers. The bill reenacts section 8 of chapter 99-188 which corrects several statutory cross-references. The bill also reenacts section 12 of chapter 99-188 which requires the Executive Office of the Governor to “place public service announcements in visible local media throughout the state explaining the penalties provided” in the act. The reenactment of these provisions will close the window period for challenge of the act in the event that the Florida Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal by finding that chapter 99-188 is a violation of the single subject requirement. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 29, 2002. Chapter 2002-211, Laws of Florida. HB 1401 — Sentencing by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Fasano Reenacts section 9 of chapter 99-188 which amends the drug trafficking statutes. The bill also reenacts section 10 of chapter 99-188 which in turn reenacts several sections of Florida Statutes to incorporate the amendments contained in section 9. The bill also reenacts section 12 of chapter 99-188 which requires the Executive Office of the Governor to “place public service announcements in visible local media throughout the state explaining the penalties provided” in the act. The reenactment of these provisions will close the window period for challenge of the act in the event that the Florida Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal by finding that chapter 99-188 is a violation of the single subject requirement. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 29, 2002. Chapter 2002-212, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/CS/SB 90 — Career Offenders by Appropriations Committee; Judiciary Committee; Criminal Justice Committee and Sen. Laurent Creates a system and process for the registration of certain career offenders and authorizes community and public notification of certain registration information. A “career offender” is any person who is designated as a habitual violent felony offender, a violent career criminal, or a three-time violent felony offender under s. 775.084, F.S., or as a prison releasee reoffender under s. 775.082(9), F.S. The bill appropriates $172,800 from nonrecurring general revenue to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles for fiscal year 2002-2003. Also appropriates 5 full-time equivalent positions and $338,134 from recurring general revenue and $244,100 from nonrecurring general revenue to the Department of Law Enforcement for fiscal year 2002-2003 to implement the provisions of the bill. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-266, Laws of Florida. HB 219 — Open House Parties by Rep. Ball Current law prohibits a person 21 years of age or older, who is in control of a premises, from having an “open house party” at which the person knowingly allows an underage person to consume or possess alcoholic beverages or drugs on the premises. Lowers the applicable age from 21 to 18. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-60, Laws of Florida. SB 612 — Controlled Substances/Carisoprodol by Sen. Peaden Places the drug carisoprodol, a prescription muscle-relaxant, under Schedule IV of the drug schedules, therefore making the drug a “controlled” substance. Placement under Schedule IV will effect restrictions on the number of allowable refills within specific time frames (no more than 5 refills within 6 months). Schedule IV placement will also make it a third degree felony to do any of the following: purchase, sell, manufacture, or deliver (or have intent to do any of the aforementioned activities) or to be in possession of the drug without a doctor’s prescription. Enhanced penalties can also be assessed if any of the above activities occur in specific locations, including public housing sites, religious buildings, and school grounds. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-78, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 306 – Driver’s Licenses & ID Cards by Criminal Justice Committee and Sen. Burt Makes it a third-degree felony to knowingly sell, manufacture, or deliver, or knowingly to offer to sell, manufacture or deliver, any blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued driver’s license or identification card or any instrument similar to a driver’s license or identification card unless such person has been duly authorized by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Any of these violations may be investigated by any law enforcement agency, including the Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-178, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/SB 640 — Criminal Offenses by Judiciary Committee; Health, Aging and Long-Term Care Committee and Sen. Burt Addresses the issue of drug diversion. Creates four new, third degree felony offenses (ranked at Level 3 on the offense severity ranking chart of the Criminal Punishment Code) that prohibit health care practitioners from: • Knowingly assisting a patient or owner of an animal in obtaining a controlled substance through deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations; • Employing a trick or scheme in the practice of the practitioner’s professional work to assist a patient, or the owner of an animal, in obtaining a controlled substance; • Knowingly writing a prescription for a controlled substance for a fictitious person; • Writing a prescription for a controlled substance for a patient, or an animal, if the sole purpose of writing the prescription is to provide a monetary benefit to the prescribing practitioner. The aforementioned offenses are reclassified as second-degree felonies if:• The practitioner committed any of the offenses and received $1,000 or more in payment for writing one or more prescriptions, or • The practitioner has written one or more prescriptions for a quantity of a controlled substance that, individually or in the aggregate, meets the threshold for the offense of trafficking in a controlled substance under s. 893.15, F.S. Enhances the penalty from a first-degree misdemeanor to a third-degree felony for the offense of “doctor-shopping,” seeking to obtain controlled substances, or prescriptions for controlled substances, from multiple health care practitioners within a 30-day period, without disclosing such information to the practitioner from whom the person is seeking the substance or prescription. Provides for representatives of the Department of Health (DOH) to appear before the court in criminal proceedings involving practitioners licensed by DOH for the purpose of the providing the court with pertinent information, making recommendations regarding specific conditions of probation, or providing any other assistance required by the court. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-81, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/HB 1057- Driving & Boating Under Influence by Healthy Communities Council; Crime Prevention, Corrections & Safety Committee and Rep. Simmons Amends various statutes relating to driving under the influence (DUI) and boating under the influence (BUI) laws as follows: • Currently, a fourth DUI or BUI conviction is a third degree felony. CS/CS/HB 1057 makes a third conviction for DUI or BUI which occurs within 10 years of a prior conviction a third degree felony. • The council substitute also requires that an ignition interlock device be installed in vehicles of persons convicted of a second DUI. With an interlock device, a vehicle will not start if the operator’s blood alcohol level is in excess of 0.05 percent. • The council substitute requires a police officer to order a breath or blood test of persons involved in accidents involving death or serious bodily injury if the officer has probable cause to believe the driver who caused the crash is driving under the influence. • The council substitute makes the refusal to submit to a breath or blood alcohol test a first degree misdemeanor if a person’s driver’s license has previously been suspended for a refusal to submit to a breath, urine or blood test. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-263, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1225 — Motor Vehicle Racing Contests by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Arza Currently, “racing” or “drag racing” is punishable as a moving violation. CS/HB 1225 makes the offense a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail. A second or subsequent conviction within five years will be a first degree misdemeanor. The council substitute also requires the Department of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles to suspend an offender’s driver’s license for one year for a first violation and for two years for a second or subsequent violation. Further, the council substitute allows a court to impound a vehicle used in a race or a drag race. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-251, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1447— Arrest Without Warrant by Council for Healthy Communities and Rep. Harrell Authorizes a law enforcement officer to make an arrest without a warrant when there is probable cause to believe that the person has committed an assault upon a law enforcement officer, a firefighter, an emergency medical care provider, public transit employees or agents, or certain other officers or has committed assault or battery upon any employee of a receiving facility. Additionally, the bill requires a law enforcement officer to arrest an offender whom the officer has probable cause to believe has committed a felony while on release supervision or parole. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-255, Laws of Florida. SB 1568 — Capital Collateral Proceedings by Sen. Burt Requires private attorneys who represent capital defendants in post conviction collateral proceedings as a member of the statewide registry to annually attend a continuing legal education course of at least 10 hours’ duration that is specifically devoted to the defense of capital cases. Provides for payment of registry counsel in the active death warrant stage of a case. Deletes the statutory provision for payment of registry counsel to represent a capital defendant before the United States Supreme Court. Also clarifies that the use of state funds for compensation of a registry attorney in excess of the statutory limit is not authorized. Authorizes the executive director of the Commission on Capital Cases to permanently remove from the registry any attorney who seeks compensation for an amount in excess of the statutory limit. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-31, Laws of Florida. SB 1636 — Prisoner Defined / Corrections Code by Sen. Crist Recently the First District Court of Appeal held that an alien being civilly detained at a county jail did not qualify as a “prisoner” under Chapter 944, F.S., and therefore could not be charged with the crime of escape. Current law does not classify a person as a prisoner unless he or she has been convicted and sentenced by a court and committed as provided by law, or arrested and in the lawful custody of any law enforcement official. Amends the definition of prisoner by removing the requirement that a person be convicted and sentenced by a court, and also by clarifying that a person is considered a prisoner if he or she is under arrest, regardless of whether it is a civil or criminal arrest. As a result, the new definition of “prisoner” would apply to a person who: • is under arrest, either civil or criminal, and in the lawful custody of any law enforcement official, or • has been committed or detained, pursuant to lawful authority, to any municipal or county jail, state prison, prison farm, or penitentiary, regardless of whether the commitment resulted from conviction and sentence by a court, or • has been committed, pursuant to lawful authority, to the custody of the Department of Corrections. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-32, Laws of Florida. HB 1935 — Controlled Substances by Crime Prevention, Corrections & Safety Committee and Rep. Bilirakis Overturns a Florida Supreme Court case [ Scott v. State, 808 So.2d 166 (Fla. 2001)] which held that for purposes of a prosecution relating to possession of a controlled substance, the state must prove that the defendant knew of the illicit nature of the controlled substance found in his or her possession. The bill provides legislative findings that knowledge of the illicit nature of a controlled substance is not an element of any offense contained in Chapter 893, F.S. Lack of knowledge of the illicit nature of a controlled substance is an affirmative defense to the offenses of the chapter. The bill provides that when a defendant asserts an affirmative defense based on lack of knowledge of the illicit nature of the substance, the possession of the controlled substance, whether actual or constructive, will give rise to a permissive presumption that the possessor knew of the illicit nature of the substance. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-258, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1002 – Cruelty to Animals by Criminal Justice Committee; Sens. King and Posey Amends the current statute prohibiting cruelty to animals to require a person convicted of felony animal cruelty to pay a minimum mandatory fine of $2,500, and complete an anger management treatment program or psychological counseling, if the finder of fact determines that the violation includes the knowing and intentional torture or torment of an animal that kills, mutilates, or injures the animal. A repeat violator of the felony animal cruelty statute is subject to a minimum mandatory sentence of 6 months incarceration and a minimum mandatory fine of $5,000. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 18, 2002. Chapter 2002-51, Laws of Florida. SB 2158 – Sexually Violent Offenders by Sen. Crist Amends the “Jimmy Ryce Act” (“Act”), relating to the involuntary civil commitment of sexually violent predators, to provide that persons detained must file habeas corpus petitions in proceedings outside of the commitment case and not as part of the commitment case. Under the Act, if a court finds probable cause that a person should be detained under the Act, it must hold a commitment trial. Current law allows persons to raise issues outside of the narrow issue of whether the person should be committed, such as whether he or she is being held in an appropriate facility pursuant to statute, during the course of a commitment trial. This bill provides that a person who has been detained may raise claims that his or her state or federal constitutional rights are being violated or that he or she is not being held in an appropriate secure facility by filing a petition for habeas corpus in the circuit where he or she is being detained. These claims cannot be raised during a commitment proceeding. The bill requires the court to narrowly draw any relief granted so that it corrects, in the least intrusive manner possible, the violation of state or federal constitutional rights. This bill also provide civil immunity to employees and officers of the Department of Legal Affairs for good faith actions under the Act. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-36, Laws of Florida. HB 1395 — Sentencing by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Fasano Reenacts section 4 of chapter 99-188 which amends s. 784.07, F.S. to create a three-year minimum mandatory sentence for aggravated assault of a law enforcement officer and a five-year minimum mandatory sentence for aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer. The bill also reenacts section 12 of chapter 99-188 which requires the Executive Office of the Governor to “place public service announcements in visible local media throughout the state explaining the penalties provided” in the act. The reenactment of these provisions will close the window period for challenge of the act in the event that the Florida Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal by finding that chapter 99-188 is a violation of the single subject requirement. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-209, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 163 – Sexual Offenses by Crime Prevention, Corrections & Safety Committee and Rep. Paul Section 825.1025(2), F.S. prohibits the offense of lewd or lascivious battery on an elderly person or disabled adult. The committee substitute amends this section to apply the offense to a disabled “person” rather than a disabled “adult.” The committee substitute ranks the offense in level 8 of the offense severity ranking chart (rather than in level 7). This will increase the lowest permissible sentence for the offense to correspond to the offense of sexual battery. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-159, Laws of Florida. HB 835 – Theft From Persons Age 65 or Older by Rep. Gardiner Creates a new section of statute which provides penalties for theft from a person 65 years of age or older. Also requires the offender to make restitution to the victim and to perform up to 500 hours of community service work. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-162, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 952 – Elderly/Disabled Adults/Exploitation by Criminal Justice; Sens. Sanderson and Cowin Under Florida criminal law, “abuse, aggravated abuse, or neglect of an elderly person or disabled adult” is a felony. The present statute of limitations for this crime is four years. This bill extends the statute of limitations for this crime to five years. Current criminal law also prohibits “exploitation of an elderly person or disabled adult.” The present statute of limitations for this crime varies from three to four years depending on the value of the assets stolen. This bill extends the statute of limitations for this crime to five years, regardless of offense level. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-168, Laws of Florida. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SB 716 — Domestic Violence by Sen. Peaden Amends the definitions for “domestic violence” and “family or household member” in four sections of the Florida Statutes to include individuals who have or have had a dating relationship and to require present or prior co-residency between the victim and the family or household member, with the exception of when the victim and perpetrator are parents of a child in common or when there has been a dating relationship. Cross-references to the domestic violence definitions in s. 741.28, F.S., are amended to reflect the revised numbering of paragraphs in the sections. Clarifies the circumstances in existing law under which a person can petition the court for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. A set of factors is provided that, if alleged in the petition, can be considered by the court in determining whether a petitioner is in imminent danger of becoming a victim of domestic violence. The venue for a protective injunction against domestic violence is specifically defined to allow for filing in the circuit where the petitioner currently or temporarily resides, where the respondent resides or where the domestic violence occurred. Provides that in a cause of action for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, the full hearing must be recorded. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002 and January 1, 2003. Chapter 2002-55, Laws of Florida. ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS AND SPORTS LAW SB 332 – Athlete Agents by Sen. King Revises various regulatory provisions of part IX of chapter 468, F.S., governing athlete agents. Among other provisions, the bill: • expands the definition of athlete agent to include all employees and other persons acting on behalf of the athlete agent; • excludes from the definition of athlete agent specified relatives and persons acting solely for a professional sports team or a professional sports organization; eliminates the licensure requirements for examination, payment of associated fees and bond; • allows an unlicensed agent to practice under specified circumstances; • provides for temporary licensure pending the application process under certain circumstances; • allows for licensure application reciprocity under specified circumstances; • modifies mandatory contract provisions and disclosure and notice requirements; • increases the administrative penalty from $5,000 to $25,000 for prohibited acts; • provides for additional criminal penalties for certain acts; • expands the scope of recoverable damages by educational institutions by holding former student athletes and athlete agents severally liable and by extending the time to initiate action; • revises business records requirements and extends record keeping from four to five years; • repeals continuing education and licensure display requirements; and • creates second degree felony offenses for specified acts by an athlete agent. • The bill does not have a significant fiscal impact on state or local government. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-24, Laws of Florida. HB 145 – Florida Golf License Plate by Rep. Wishner & others Requires the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) to issue a Florida Golf specialty license plate. In addition to the usual specialty license plate fees, a $25 annual use fee will be charged. DHSMV will distribute proceeds from the plate to the Florida Sports Foundation, a direct support organization of the Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development. Proceeds are to be distributed in the form of grants to non-profit organizations for the operation of youth golf programs. Establishes a seven-member advisory committee to advise the Florida Sports Foundation on distribution of the funds and grant awards. In addition, the bill authorizes the Florida Sports Foundation to establish a Florida Youth Golf Program designed to assist other organizations in encouraging youth participation in golf. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-249, Laws of Florida. EVIDENCE SB 196 – HSMV/Exclusionary Rule by Sen. Villalobos Creates a statutory exception to the exclusionary rule for situations where a law enforcement officer effects an arrest based on objectively reasonable reliance on information obtained from the Division of Driver Licenses or the Division of Motor Vehicles. With regard to such cases, the bill providesthat evidence shall not be suppressed on the grounds that an arrest is subsequently determined to be unlawful due to erroneous information obtained from the Division of Motor Vehicles or the Division of Driver Licenses. Makes specific Legislative findings with respect to the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the Division of Driver Licenses, the Division of Motor Vehicles and the exclusionary rule. Provides that records created and maintained by the divisions pursuant to chapter 320 or chapter 322 shall not be regarded as law enforcement functions of agency record keeping. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-215, Laws of Florida. SB 1832 – Powered Shopping Carts/Negligence by Peaden General tort law provides that the operator of any instrumentality is liable in tort for the negligent operation of that instrumentality. The dangerous instrumentality doctrine is a tort law concept which provides that the owner of a “dangerous instrumentality” is also liable in tort for all injuries caused by the negligent operation of that instrumentality. In practice, reference to the doctrine is unnecessary when the owner of the instrumentality is also the negligent operator of the instrumentality. The doctrine thus is primarily applicable to loaned or rented property. For example, a rental car company is liable in Florida for the negligent operation of its rental cars by its customers. Increasingly, retail stores have been providing powered shopping carts for use by disabled patrons. Defines “powered shopping cart”, and provides that where a powered shopping cart is provided to a person gratuitously for use solely on the premises of the owner of such powered shopping cart, the dangerous instrumentality doctrine is not applicable. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 16, 2002. Chapter 2002-33, Laws of Florida. FAMILY LAW HB 161 – Children/Relative Caregiver Program by Rep. Garcia Expands eligibility for assistance under the Relative Caregiver Program to include half-brothers or half-sisters who are adjudicated dependent by the courts and placed with relatives for their care. This will help keep families together and allow for children who might otherwise have to be placed in foster care, to be cared for by relatives. The current Relative Caregiver Program provides cash and medical assistance to a relative who would not otherwise be able to care for the child. The child must be placed with the relative by the dependency court pursuant to ch. 39, F.S., and related within five degrees of relationship by blood or marriage (i.e., a grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, niece or nephew, whether related by whole or half blood, by affinity or by adoption). Also provides that children in the program are to receive priority for placement in the school readiness program for pre-kindergarten children and also to be exempt from the payment of fees for a workforce development, community college or vocational technical education program, as is already provided for foster care children. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-38, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 245 – Road-to-Independence Act by Healthy Communities Council and Rep. Detert The Act targets the nearly one-third number of children in foster care who are teenagers and no longer likely candidates for adoption. It enhances integration and access to services that provide life management, employment and education skills that teens need for a successful transition from foster care to young adulthood. Takes advantage of new opportunities provided by federal law and expanded federal funding. For young adults who were formerly in foster care at age 18, the bill provides a “Road to Independence Scholarship.” Participants will get a flat stipend while they attend school full time to get a college education or technical training. Provides clearer financial support, a reinstatement and appeals process, and more independence for participants taking responsibility in their daily lives, than what is provided by the current subsidized independent living program in s. 409.145, F.S. After-Care Support will be available at any time up to age 23 to provide assessment and referral to community resources and temporary assistance. Young adults will be able to get short-term Transitional-Support, such as housing assistance and counseling, when they need critical help in their efforts to achieve self-sufficiency. For children under age 18 who are still in foster care, HB 245 provides new Pre- Independent Living services to help 13-15 year olds begin to prepare for independence from foster care. Life skills, such as life management training, educational support and employment training are provided to youth ages 15 to 18. Also provides for an interagency workgroup to address improved access to existing supports for older youth in foster care and young adults who leave foster care. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-19, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 288 – Children/Continuances/Case Plans by Judiciary Committee and Sen. Campbell Expands to all parties in child dependency court proceedings the ability to request a continuance due to lack of material evidence. This includes the parents, legal custodians and guardian ad-litem of the child—not just the attorney for the Department of Children and Families, or petitioner as currently provided for. Emphasizes the need to adhere to time frames and to limit extensions in order to preserve the rights of the child. Limits the total amount of time allowed for continuances to 60 days per year, and removes the required 15-day shelter placement review. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-216, Laws of Florida. SB 592 — Adoption Assistance by Sen. Peaden Creates the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance and authorizes the Department of Children and Families to enter into interstate compacts with other states to provide for interstate protection of adoption assistance and medical assistance for children with special needs. The interstate compacts provide an agreed upon process for facilitating an immediate and smooth re-establishment of Medicaid eligibility for families with special needs children under adoption assistance programs who move into or out of Florida. Stipulates the provisions of the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance. These provisions include authorizing the department to enter into supplemental agreements, stipulating required components of the interstate compacts, limiting the special needs children covered to those from other states where an interstate compact with Florida exists, allowing Florida to add additional procedures and social services, and requiring that the provisions of this compact be included in appropriate state plans required by applicable federal laws. Also prohibits the department from expanding the financial commitment of Florida beyond its current obligation for the adoption assistance agreements and Medicaid in its interstate agreements with other states for the implementation of the compact. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-16, Laws of Florida. HB 1283 – Parents’ and Children’s Day by Rep. Ausley Amends s. 683.17, F.S., by renaming “Children’s Day” as “Parents’ and Children’s Day” and changing the date to first Sunday in April, with the intent that Florida’s “Parents’ and Children’s Day” becomes the model for a National Parents’ and Children’s Day. It also encourages observation of this day by wearing a white ribbon and with appropriate activities, ceremonies, public awareness materials, and programs. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-10, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 549 – Child Custody Jurisdiction/Enforcement by Council for Smarter Government and Reps. Cantens and Kallinger Provides that a court may provide specified remedies to either party in a proceeding related to custody or visitation, including the posting of a bond or other security, upon the presentation of competent substantial evidence that there is a risk that one party may violate the court’s order of visitation or custody by removing a child from this state or country or by concealing the whereabouts of the child, or upon stipulation of the parties. Provides a list of factors for the court to consider in assessing the need for a bond or other security. These provisions do not apply in cases where there is evidence of domestic violence. If a bond is forfeited, uses for the proceeds are specified. Also repeals the provisions of the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (UCCJA) and replaces that act with the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA). The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-65, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1236 – Marital Assets & Liabilities by Judiciary Committee; Sens. Jones and Crist This bill provides that a liability incurred through forgery or unauthorized signature is a nonmarital liability, thereby removing the debt from consideration of the equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities. This makes payment of the liability solely the responsibility of the offending spouse. Further provides that the court must consider the forgery or unauthorized signature when awarding attorney’s fees to the spouse whose signature was forged or used without authorization. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-244, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 1272 – Child Support/Health Care Coverage by Children and Families Committee and Sen. Peaden Amends the procedures for enforcing health care coverage obligations contained within a child support order through the use of the national medical support notice. The duties and responsibilities of the Department of Revenue, the obligor, the obligor’s union or employer, and health plan administrators related to the national medical support notice are specified. Establishes a minimum threshold for requesting a modification of the amount of a child support obligation in cases being reviewed under the three-year review requirement. Also, direction is provided to persons who have possession or control of securities for liquidating those securities levied upon by the Department of Revenue for payment of a past due or overdue child support obligation. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 24, 2002. Chapter 2002-173, Laws of Florida. HB 1689 – Child Support by Judicial Oversight Committee; Reps. Crow and Sobel Provides for the statewide implementation of administrative proceedings to establish child support orders. Requires additional information to be included in the notice to parents of a proceeding for administrative establishment of a support order, and provides that an administrative order has the same force and effect as a court order. Also clarifies that neither the Department of Revenue nor the Division of Administrative Hearings has jurisdiction over custody or visitation issues, and provides for OPPAGA to evaluate the statewide implementation of administrative process for establishing support orders. Contains provisions for the Department of Revenue to work with all other stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the Court Child Support Process Improvement Project and to study the feasibility of using administrative process for paternity establishment. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 8, 2002. Chapter 2002-239, Laws of Florida. HEALTH LAW CS/SB 1276 – Fla. Health & Human Services Access by Appropriations Committee and Sen. Silver Creates s. 408.911, F.S., the “Florida Health and Human Services Access Act.” The Act requires the Agency for Health Care Administration to establish a comprehensive, automated health and human services access system. The Agency must submit a plan for phased-in implementation to the Governor and Legislature by January 1, 2004. The first phase is the development and implementation of a pilot project for eligibility determination and information and referral services. To guide the implementation of the pilots, the bill establishes a steering committee, whose work is to be completed by June 30, 2004. This bill also amends s. 430.205, F.S., requiring the Department of Elderly Affairs and the Agency for Health Care Administration to develop a managed, integrated long-term care delivery system pilot under a single entity. The Agency and the Department are required to integrate all funding for services to individuals over the age of 65 on a prepaid or fixed-sum basis. Creates s. 430.041, F.S., to establish the Office of Long-Term-Care Policy in the Department of Elderly Affairs, which is required to evaluate the state’s long-term care service delivery system, make recommendations to increase the availability and the use of noninstitutional settings for services to the elderly, and ensure coordination among the agencies responsible for the long-term care continuum. To provide direction and assistance to the Office, and to make sure the appropriate state agencies are properly implementing recommendations, the bill also establishes an advisory council. The Office of Long-Term-Care Policy is required to submit a preliminary report to the advisory council by December 1, 2002. Also creates s. 409.221, F.S., the “Florida Consumer-Directed Care Act,” which requires the Agency for Health Care Administration to establish a consumer-directed care program based on the principles of consumer choice and control for persons who are enrolled in one of the Medicaid home and community-based waiver programs and wish to participate. Participants will receive monthly budget allowances to choose providers and direct delivery of services to best meet their long-term care needs. Requires the Agency for Health Care Administration and Department of Elderly Affairs to submit a plan prior to December 1, 2002, to the Governor and Legislature for reducing nursing home bed days funded under the Medicaid program. CS/SB 1276 creates s. 430.7031, F.S., requiring the Department of Elderly Affairs and the Agency for Health Care Administration to implement a nursing home transition program to assist individuals living in nursing homes to regain independence and to move to less costly settings. Amends s. 20.41 and several sections of ch. 400, F.S., related to the State Long Term Care Ombudsman Council. Revises the administration of the Council, the location of the Office, the appointment of the ombudsman, the duties of the Council, the procedure related to complaints, and training requirements for Council staff and its volunteers. Finally, it amends ss. 400.141, 400.179, 430.80, 477.025 and 627.9408, F.S. These changes authorize state-designated teaching nursing homes to demonstrate certain proof of financial responsibility and specifies the minimum proof, provide an exemption from certain requirements that the transferring entity of a nursing facility maintain a bond, exempt nursing homes and assisted living facilities from licensing as a cosmetology salon, and authorize the Department of Insurance to adopt by rule the provisions of the Long Term Care Insurance Model Regulation approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners not in conflict with the Florida Insurance Code. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 23, 2002. Chapter 2002-269, Laws of Florida. HB 615 — Federally Qualified Health Centers by Rep. Bilirakis Establishes the federally qualified health center access program in the Department of Health. The bill: • Provides a short title, the “Community Health Center Access Program Act.” • Provides Legislative findings and intent, which provide justification as to the need for this program. • Directs the Department of Health to develop a program for the expansion of the provision of comprehensive primary and preventive health services by federally qualified health centers, via the provision of financial assistance to those centers that apply, and demonstrate a need, for assistance. Factors to be included in applications and used in selecting centers for financial assistance are specified. For projects which involve capital expenditure projects, contracts are required to specify a state security interest in such projects. • Specifies the establishment of a review panel of specified membership, to review center applications. Applicant funds may be used for expansion of caseloads and services, or for capital improvement projects specific to patient facilities. Elements to be used in reviewing proposals, which are to be weighted in scoring and evaluating proposals, are specified. • Authorizes the Department of Health to contract with the Florida Association of Community Health Centers, Inc., to administer the program and provide technical assistance to centers selected to receive financial assistance. While the bill does not contain a specific appropriations amount, it should be noted that the Governor’s Legislative Budget Request for FY 2002-2003 contains a request of $4.6 million for purposes of this program. Iffunded, $1 million of this amount will be state General Revenue; $1 million, local matching funds; and $2.6 million, federal Medicaid matching funds. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-289, Laws of Florida. INSURANCE CS/SB 1822 – Insurance by Banking and Insurance Committee and Sen. Holzendorf The bill: • Extends Cat Fund coverage to collateral protection insurance policies. • Excludes payment of “return premium” under a retrospective rating plan from the definition of a “covered claim” under the Florida Workers Compensation Insurance Guaranty Association. • Requires workers’ compensation insurers to report only those Special Disability Trust Fund assessments due within the current calendar year as a liability on their financial statements. • Extends to HMOs the authority enjoyed by insurers to invest excess funds without limitation in any otherwise authorized investments. • Extends the period of tax and assessment exemptions for minority-owned property and casualty insurers licensed prior to 2002. • Prohibits the dissolution of the new residual market insurer -— Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) — while it has financial obligations outstanding unless adequate provision has been made for meeting these obligations. (This would prevail over any conflicting provisions in SB 1418 — the bill creating CPIC.) • Revise requirements for proving responsibility under the Financial Responsibility Law by increasing the maximum allowable amount an owner or lessee of for-hire passenger transportation vehicles is permitted to self-insure and increasing the minimum limits for required excess insurance coverage for any person (other than a natural person) choosing to prove financial responsibility by posting a surety bond or deposit. • Permit a surplus lines insurer to cancel a policy when the premium is financed and the surplus lines insurer or agent does not receive the premium. Under current law, receipt by the agent is deemed to be receipt by the insurer and the insurer is liable to the insured for covered losses. Vetoed by the governor on May 29, 2002. HB 1841 – Insurance company Rep.s by Competitive Commerce Council, Rep. Alexander, Rep. Waters and others In 1999, Congress passed the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Act calls on States to achieve uniformity or reciprocity in insurance producer licensing by November of 2002 or face preemption of certain regulatory authority. The bill: • Defines terms and classifies certain laws as “consumer protections;” • Requires Department of Insurance use of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ Uniform Application for nonresident agents; • Permits the department to issue one temporary license covering multiple lines and extend the duration for certain lines; eliminate the “solicitor” license; • Exempts nonresident agent applicants from the exam requirement when they hold certain professional designations; • Grants departmental rulemaking authority to establish waiting periods and penalties for applicants for certain violations, and • Allows those becoming residents to transfer their license from other states. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-206, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 2192 – Solvency of insurers and health maintenance organizations by Banking and Insurance Committee and Sen. Sanderson The bill: • Expands the definition of “unsound condition” when an insurer is placed under administrative supervision. An insurer is authorized to seek review of a Department of Insurance order placing the insurer under administrative supervision under the Administrative Procedure Act. The order is stayed during the pendency of the review. • Requires workers’ compensation insurers to report only those Special Disability Trust Fund assessments due within the current calendar year as a liability on their current financial statements. • Reduces the required surplus of 25 percent of reserves to 10 percent of reserves by changing the method for calculating reserves to require a corporation or trust to hold more reserves. • Increases the allowable market value of stock investments made by a corporation or trust from 10 percent to an amount not to exceed more than 50 percent of the corporation’s or trust’s required reserves and surplus. No more than 10 percent of the total fair market value of stock can be in any one corporation or trust. • No longer requires a health maintenance organization (HMO) to file a 4th Quarter report in favor of the required Annual Report. HMOs would be required to include in the actuarial certification included in their annual report an assurance that they have adequately reserved for liabilities associated with transfers of payment obligations to downstream entities through capitation or other agreements. HMOs would not be permitted to exclude liabilities associated with these transfers for which the provider has not received payment, unless the payment obligations are secured by a financial instrument. • Prohibits HMOs from paying dividends or distributions if payment would create negative retained earnings. Dividends equal to or less than the greater of 10 percent of retained earnings or prior year net income are permitted if surplus is 115 percent of the minimum requirement, and the department is notified 30 days prior to payment. Criteria are included for the department to consider before approving a dividend or distribution payment by an HMO in excess of the maximum amount. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-247, Laws of Florida. JUDICIARY AND ATTORNEYS HB 27-E — General Appropriations by Fiscal Responsibility Council and Rep. Lacasa. Public Safety and Judiciary • The Public Safety and Judiciary budget includes an increase of $132.7 million for the coming fiscal year reflecting a 4.8 percent increase above FY 2001-2002 expenditures. The new funding provided builds upon last year’s improvements to criminal justice and judiciary programs by adequately funding those agencies charged with protecting state and local communities. • The budget contains more than $25 million for Florida’s correctional institutions to address the forecasted prison population increase and to provide for inmate health service needs. The Department of Correction’s budget also contains an additional $10.4 million to implement a close management plan within the prison system to enhance physical and mental health care services provided to inmates under close supervision as well as to protect the safety and well-being of Florida’s correctional officers. • To help reduce the incidence of juvenile crime and delinquency, the budget provides $10.5 million for juvenile crime prevention services and more than $14 million in new funds for commitment and treatment programs to rehabilitate juvenile offenders. Over $4 million in new funding and 75 new positions are provided to restore last year’s cuts to the juvenile probation program and also to provide funding for probation and detention officer training and purchase staff uniforms. • The budget for juvenile delinquency programs and services includes nearly $12 million in state and federal funds for both state-operated and private contractor-operated programs for critical facility maintenance and repairs, price level increases, and funds to construct new classrooms for education and delinquency rehabilitation purposes. • The budget provides a significant funding increase totaling nearly $31 million for Justice Administration and includes additional funding for the State Court System, the Offices of the Public Defenders and State Attorneys, and the Capital Collateral Regional Counsels. • Over $7.5 million dollars have been added to expand and enhance the Guardian Ad Litem program and to provide legal support when a judge determines that it is in the best interests of a child to be represented by an attorney in dependency proceedings. The new funding will also support at least 100 additional professional guardians and will more than double the current amount of resources devoted to the Guardian Ad Litem program which protects our most vulnerable citizens, Florida’s children in foster care, by providing “best interests” representation and support. • Over $1.7 million is provided for 18 additional circuit court judges and support staff in the State Court System. These new judges will work to address civil, family and criminal court caseload increases due to Florida’s continued growth. One-half of the new judges will be elected in November and shall take office January 1, 2003; the Governor will appoint the remainder, for terms beginning May 1, 2003. • The budget for the State Court System also increases funding by over $15 million for several critical operations and capital outlay issues identified by the court. One of these critical issues includes $3.3 million to integrate Florida’s justice-related databases and information systems to enhance courtroom efficiency by improving the flow of information needed by judges to more effectively and efficiently process court cases of all types. The information systems integration project will be accomplished through a unique partnership between the Courts and the Governor’s State Technology Office (STO) with the STO providing critical project planning, development and implementation support. • And finally, the budget for Justice Administration restores all but $500,000 of last year’s $15.1 million funding reduction to the State Attorney’s and Public Defender’s Offices. These provisions take effect July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-394, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 491 – Civil Legal Assistance Act by Council for Smarter Government; Rep. Goodlette and others Creates the “Florida Access to Civil Legal Assistance Act”. The intent of the bill is to “establish an administrative framework whereby public funds may be used in an effective and efficient manner to enhance the availability of civil legal assistance” to the poor. Funds received may be used to provide legal assistance and education relating to family law, juvenile law, entitlements to federal government benefits, protections from domestic violence, elder and child abuse, and immigration. Funds cannot be used in criminal or post-conviction proceedings, in noncriminal traffic infractions, in actions against the state, in suits against colleges or universities, in actions to contest certain regulatory decisions, in actions relating to terms or conditions of employment, in class actions, or for lobbying activities. This bill provides that if any part of the Act is declared unconstitutional or otherwise unenforceable, the entire Act is null and void. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) will administer the program. The DCA is to contract with a statewide not-for-profit organization that provides funding for civil legal assistance to the poor to allocate funds to not-for-profit legal aid organizations. A funding formula, provided in the bill, is to be used in the contract, requires the DCA to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately, and requires the DCA to conduct an annual audit. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 30, 2002. Chapter 2002-288, Laws of Florida. SB 528 – Attorney’s Fees by Campbell This bill is similar to a provision currently found in Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. A court may impose sanctions on a party to a lawsuit for filing a frivolous pleading. A prevailing party may file a motion for attorney’s fees in situations where the opposing party takes action designed to unreasonably delay the proceeding or raises claims or defenses that the opposing party knew or should have known were not supported by the facts or would not be supported by application of the law to those facts. In some situations, the opposing attorney may also be sanctioned for such actions. A party may seek sanctions against the opposing party or the opposing attorney by filing a motion for sanctions with the court and contemporaneously serving a copy on the opposing party. Requires a party that intends to file a motion to seek sanctions to first serve the motion on the opposing party. The opposing party has 21 days to withdraw or correct the claim or defense before the motion for sanctions can be filed with or presented to the court. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-77, Laws of Florida. SB 32-E — Circuit Judges/Numbers Increased by Senator Burt Authorizes the creation of 18 new circuit court judgeships. Half of the new judicial offices will be filled by election and the other half through gubernatorial appointment. The judges filling the new offices would take office March 1, 2003. The bill creates elected judicial offices in the following judicial circuits: Sixth (1); Seventh (1); Eighth (1); Ninth (1); Tenth (1); Twelfth (1); Thirteenth (1); Fifteenth (1), and; Seventeenth (1). The bill creates appointed judgeships in the these circuits: Fifth (2); Ninth (1); Tenth (1); Eleventh (2); Seventeenth(1); Eighteenth (1), and; Twentieth (1). Chapter 2002-388, Laws of Florida. PREMISES LIABILITY SB 1946 – Premises Liability/Burden of Proof by Sebesta and Brown-Waite In response to the Florida Supreme Court opinion in Owens v. Publix Supermarkets, Inc., 802 So.2d 315 (Fla. 2001), adds a new section to Florida’s negligence statutes. Provides that a person or entity in control of business premises owes a duty of reasonable care to maintain the premises in a reasonably safe condition and make reasonable efforts to keep the premises free from transitory foreign objects or substances. Accordingly, in a civil action arising out of injury, death, or other loss to a business invitee as a result of a dangerous condition involving a transitory foreign object on business premises, the plaintiff must prove: (1) that the person or entity in possession or control of the business premises owed a duty to the claimant; (2) that the person or entity in possession or control of the business premises acted negligently by failing to exercise reasonable care in the maintenance, inspection, repair, warning, or mode of operation of the business premises; and (3) the failure to exercise reasonable care was a legal cause of the loss, injury, or damage. Further provides that proof of actual or constructive notice is not an element of the negligence claim but notice or lack of notice may be considered together with other evidence presented. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 30, 2002. Chapter 2002-285, Laws of Florida. PUBLIC INTEREST LAW HB 1289 – HIV Testing of Inmates by Rep. Wilson Requires the Department of Corrections (DOC) to test inmates for HIV infection not less than 60 days prior to release from prison. Also requires the DOC to provide HIV positive inmates who are about to be released with the following transitional assistance: 1) education on preventing the spread of HIV and the importance of treatment; 2) an individualized discharge plan with referrals and contacts to health care services in the community; and 3) a 30-day supply all HIV/AIDS-related medications the inmate is taking at the time of release. If the inmate is HIV positive, the DOC is required to notify the Department of Health as well as the county health department in the community where the inmate is to reside upon release. Adds inmates about to be released to the list of situations where informed consent is not required for HIV testing. Provides an exception to confidentiality requirements to permit the DOC to transfer HIV status information to the Department of Health and local health departments. The bill also requires the DOC to report to the Legislature on the implementation of the bill, and it limits the state’s liability with regard to death or personal injury as a result of compliance with the act. Provides for an appropriation of $793,244 to the DOC for FY 2002-03 for the purposes of implementing the act. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-292, Laws of Florida. PUBLIC RECORDS SJR 1284 – Public Records/Public Meetings by Latvala This joint resolution proposes a constitutional amendment to require a two-thirds vote of each house to pass a general law creating an exemption from Florida’s open records or open public meetings requirements. The joint resolution provides that the proposed constitutional amendment will be submitted to the electors of Florida for approval or rejection at the general election to be held in November of 2002. CS/HB 1355 – Public records/insurer’s workpapers by State Administration Committee and Rep. Mealor Creates a public records exemption for work papers and other information held by the Department of Insurance, and work papers and other information received from another governmental entity or the National Association of Insurance Commissioners for use by the department in the performance of its examination or investigation duties pursuant to certain sections of law. The bill includes a public necessity statement as required by the Florida Constitution. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 25, 2002. Chapter 2002-185, Laws of Florida. SB 140 – Public Records/Criminal Use by Sen. Burt This bill makes it a criminal offense to knowingly use a public record or public information obtained from a public record in the commission of a crime. When the record or information is used in the commission of a misdemeanor of the first degree, the person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree. When the record or information is used in the commission of a felony, the person commits a felony of the third degree. This bill provides for fines and imprisonment commensurate with the severity of the crime, and amends the Criminal Punishment Code to provide for the inclusion of the felony crime in the offense severity ranking chart. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-284, Laws of Florida. HB 279 – Health Care Practitioners by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill repeals the public records exemption for information concerning participation in the impaired practitioner treatment program, disciplinary complaints, and related investigative information and the public meetings exemption for the proceedings of the probable cause panel for health care professionals under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Health. Those exemptions are duplicative of public records and public meetings exemptions found in chapter 456, F.S. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-199, Laws of Florida. HB 281 – Public records and meetings exemption by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill reenacts the public records exemption for the initial risk-based capital report, any adjusted risk-based capital report, any risk-based capital plan, any revised risk-based capital plan, working papers, and reports of examination or analysis of an insurer performed pursuant to a plan or corrective order, or regulatory action level, subsequently filed at the request of the Department of Insurance, with respect to any domestic insurer or foreign insurer, held by the department. This bill also reenacts the public meetings exemption for hearings relating to the department’s actions regarding any insurer’s risk-based capital report. Transcripts of those hearings are confidential and exempt from public disclosure. This bill provides that the exemptions terminate either one year following the conclusion of any risk-based capital plan or revised risk-based capital plan, or on the date of entry of an order of seizure, rehabilitation, or liquidation. Additionally, the bill removes duplicative language, makes editorial changes, adds clarifying language, adds a cross-reference, and removes the sentence that directs the repeal of the exemptions. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-39, Laws of Florida. HB 283 – Public Records & Meetings Exemption by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill reenacts the public records and meetings exemptions for patient records and certain identifying information for district managed care ombudsman committees and repeals such exemptions for the state managed care ombudsman committee. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-200, Laws of Florida. HB 285 – Public Records / Victim and Witness Information by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill reenacts the public records exemption for information held by any state or local law enforcement agency, state attorney, the statewide prosecutor, the Victim and Witness Protection Review Committee, or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement which discloses the identity or location of a victim or witness who has been identified or certified for protection or relocation by the state attorney or statewide prosecutor; the identity or location information of victim or witness family members; the relocation sites, techniques, or procedures; and permanent relocation information. This bill also removes duplicative language and the sentence that requires the repeal of the public records exemption. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-40, Laws of Florida. HB 287 – Public Records and Meetings Exemptions by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill reenacts the public meetings exemption for any portion of a Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council meeting wherein active criminal investigative information or active criminal intelligence information is discussed, and the public records exemption for a tape recording of, and any minutes and notes generated during the closed portion of a Council meeting. The bill also removes duplicative language and the sentence that requires repeal of the exemptions. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-61, Laws of Florida. HB 543 – Public Records by Rep. Detert Creates a public records exemption for social security numbers and financial account numbers contained in unclaimed property reports held by the Department of Banking and Finance. This bill provides for exceptions to the exemption; retroactive application of the exemption; and future review and repeal of the exemption. Additionally, this bill provides a finding of public necessity for the exemption. The effective date of this bill is upon becoming law. Chapter 2002-64, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1487 – Public Records / Telecommunications by Council for Smarter Government; Rep.s Attkisson and Ritter Creates a public records exemption for any information received by a taxing authority or its agent in connection with an audit of a telecommunications service provider collecting a public service tax. Provides for retroactive application of the exemption and future review and repeal of the exemption. This bill also provides a finding of public necessity. The effective date of this bill is upon becoming law. Chapter 2002-47, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1673 – Public Records / Social Security Numbers by Council for Smarter Government; State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Creates a public records exemption for social security numbers held by an agency; establishes certain exceptions; restricts agency collection of social security numbers; and requires all agencies to file a yearly report. Allows a person to provide a signed written request to the clerk of the court requesting that his or her social security number be redacted from pleadings in court files, and allows a person to provide a signed written request to the county recorder requesting that his or her social security number be redacted from an image or a copy of an official record placed on that county recorder’s publicly available Internet Web site. Provides that persons preparing or filing documents for recording in the official records may not include social security numbers, unless expressly required by law. The county recorder must publish and post signs and notices stating that social security numbers should not be included in documents filed for recording, unless required by law, and how to request that a social security number be redacted. Creates penalty provisions; allows for petition of the court; provides for future review and repeal of the exemption; and provides a finding of public necessity. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-391, Laws of Florida. HB 1675 – Public Records Exemption by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer This bill creates a public records exemption for bank account numbers and debit, charge, and credit card numbers held by an agency. This bill provides for retroactive application of the exemption and for future review and repeal of the exemption. This bill also provides a finding of public necessity. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 13, 2002. Chapter 2002-257, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1679 – Study Committee on Public Records by Council for Smarter Government; State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Prohibits any county recorder or clerk of the court from placing on a publicly available Internet Web site military discharges; death certificates; or any court file, record, or paper relating to matters or cases governed by the Florida Rules of Family Law, the Florida Rules of Juvenile Procedure, or the Florida Probate Rules. If any such records were placed on the Internet prior to the effective date of this bill, the affected party may request their removal. The county recorder or clerk of the court must provide notice of an individual’s right to request removal of such documents. In addition, any affected person may petition the circuit court for an order directing compliance with these provisions. Lastly, this bill creates a Study Committee on Public Records to address particular issues regarding court records, official records, privacy, and public access. The committee must submit a report to the Legislature by January 1, 2003. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on June 5, 2002. Chapter 2002-302, Laws of Florida. REAL PROPERTY CS/CS/SB 1360 – Property Tax Administration by Finance & Taxation Committee, Comprehensive Planning, Local and Veterans Affairs Committee and Sen. Pruitt Specifically, the bill: • Amends the Property Taxpayers Bill of Rights to add special districts to the TRIM notice and provide a cross reference to s. 213.015, F.S. It authorizes the Department of Revenue to specify the form used to petition the Value Adjustment Board, bringing uniformity to this proceeding. • Establishes a uniform time line for petitioners and property appraisers to exchange information used in Value Adjustment Board hearings. • Requires the Department of Revenue to establish, by rule, uniform procedures for Value Adjustment Board hearings. • Increases from 15 to 20 the number of calendar days before a hearing the Clerk of the Value Adjustment Board must notify petitioners of their scheduled appearance. • Grants taxpayers the right to reschedule a value adjustment board hearing one time. • Requires counties with populations over 75,000 to use special masters for their petitions to the value adjustment board. • Subject to the $45,000 appropriation which is contained in the bill, it instructs the Department of Revenue to reimburse counties under 75,000 in population for the cost of using special masters. • Revises the qualifications for serving as a special master. • Precludes employees or officials of the state or a taxing authority from serving as a special master. • In limited circumstances, it authorizes the Department of Revenue to update the guidelines for tangible personal property assessments upon the approval of the executive director, rather than by administrative rule. • Establishes procedures and a schedule for processing property tax refund claims. • Provides the Department of Revenue with flexibility in format when printing TRIM forms in order to accommodate the needs of individual counties. • Amends the TRIM notice to advise taxpayers that they should contact the property appraiser about errors in exemptions. • Revises the list of public bodies exempt from the tax-increment financing requirement of a community redevelopment agency. • Provides for exemptions to the assessment of property for back taxes when sold to a bona fide purchaser. • Allows an error in the notice of proposed taxes to be corrected by an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation, if the error involves only the date and time of public hearings. • Expands requirements regarding the assessment of low income housing that has received tax credits under federal and state housing programs. • Provides that liens of special districts and community development districts survive tax deeds. It provides for an entitlement to the agriculture exemption for any property which received the exemption in the previous year, providing that use or ownership has not changed. • Provides for a one-year waiver of mandatory charges and interest for delinquent 2001 taxes, and an extension of the date of tax certificate sales, for certain tourism, public lodging, and restaurant facilities that were harmed by the events of September 11. The effective date of this bill is January 1, 2003. Chapter 2002-18, Laws of Florida. HB 165 – Ad Val Tax/Disabled Ex-service by Rep.s Paul and Fasano The bill increases from $500 to $5,000 the reduction in taxable value to any resident, ex-service member, who has been disabled to a degree of 10 percent or more while serving during a period of wartime service or by misfortune. The effective date of this bill is January 1, 2003. Chapter 2002-271, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/HB 313 – Homestead Exemption/Elderly Housing by Council for Smarter Government; Local Government & Veterans Affairs; Rep. Gibson & others Implementing language for CS/HJR 317, which proposes an amendment to Article VII, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution. Provides that counties may allow a reduction in assessed value for the construction of living quarters for the parent or grandparent of a property owner or owner’s spouse if the parent or grandparent is 62 years of age or older. The reduction in value is limited to the lesser of the following: The increase in value resulting from the construction or reconstruction; or 20 percent of the total assessed value of the property as improved. The bill provides limitations, sets forth application procedures, provides penalties for making a willfully false statement in the application, and provides for the previously excluded just value of the improvements to be added back to the assessed value of the property when the owner no longer qualifies for the reduction in assessed value. Subject to the Governor’s veto powers, the effective date of this bill is upon the effective date of an amendment to Section 4 of Article VII of the State Constitution which allows counties to provide for a reduction in assessed value of living quarters constructed for parents or grandparents. Chapter 2002-226, Laws of Florida. CS/HJR 317 – Homestead Property/Elderly Housing by Local Government & Veterans Affairs; Rep. Gibson & others House Joint Resolution to amend Article VII, Section 4, of the Florida Constitution. The measure authorizes counties to provide for a reduction in the assessed value of homestead property where there has been an increase in the assessed value of that property due to construction or reconstruction to provide living quarters for the natural or adoptive parents or grandparents of the owner. At least one of the parents or grandparents must be age 62 or older. The reduction in value is limited to the lesser of the following: The increase in value resulting from the construction or reconstruction; or 20 percent of the total assessed value of the property as improved. If the proposed amendment is approved by vote of the electors, it shall be effective on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January following the election. CS/SB 2014 – Homestead Exemption/Persons 65/Older by Comprehensive Planning, Local and Military Affairs Committee and Sen. Futch Revises the requirements with respect to the taxpayer’s statement of household income and supporting documents required to obtain the additional homestead exemption for persons 65 and older in counties and municipalities that grant the exemption. Also provides for penalties and a lien on property for taxpayers who improperly take this exemption. Provides that submission of supporting documentation is not required for the renewal of an exemption unless the property appraiser requests such documentation. In addition, the bill adds additional information to the list of supporting documentation; deletes the date the supporting documentation must be submitted to the property appraiser for inspection; requires the statement of household income to grant permission to allow review of the supporting documentation if requested by the property appraiser; requires the documents to be returned to the taxpayer or otherwise destroyed; authorizes random audits of sworn statements of household income; provides requirements with respect to the release of tax information to the property appraiser; and provides that the property appraiser may not grant or renew the exemption if the required documentation requested is not provided. The effective date of this bill is January 1, 2003. Chapter 2002-52, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 148 – Homeowners’ Associations/U.S. Flag by Comprehensive Planning, Local and Military Affairs Committee and Sen. Geller Allows a homeowner to display one portable, removable United States flag in a respectful manner regardless of any declaration rules or requirements dealing with flags or decorations. Applies retroactively. The effective date of this bill is upon becoming a law. Chapter 2002-50, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 29 – Land Trusts by Council for Smarter Government and Rep. Kyle The term “real estate broker” has been the focus of extensive litigation. Nevertheless, confusion or disagreement can arise under certain, usually complicated circumstances, as to the application of the provisions of chapter 475, F.S., relating to real estate brokers and salespersons, to particular brokerage relationships. This bill is partially designed to further clarify the application of the term “real estate broker.” Specifies that a real estate broker acting as a trustee is subject to the statutory provisions regulating real estate brokers. Clarifies that financial institutions operating with trust powers are excluded from the requirements of the real estate statutes. Chapter 689, F.S., relates to conveyances of land and declarations of trust. Amends s. 689.071, F.S., to include the term “other entity” to recognize the ability of limited partnerships and limited liabilities companies to act as trustees of land trusts. The change clarifies the existing law and conforms the statute to current practice. Further amends chapter 689, F.S., to allow a surviving co-owner of a joint tenancy with rights of survivorship or tenancy by the entirety to make a tax-qualified disclaimer within nine months of the co-tenant’s death and thus could apply under section 2518 of the IRS Code. Clarifies that a disclaimer does not cause the disclaimed interest to become homestead property for the purposes of descent and distribution under the law. Also clarifies that the disclaimed interest is equal to one-half of the property interest. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 6, 2002. Chapter 2002-233, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/SB 694 – Condominiums & Cooperatives by Judiciary Committee; Regulated Industries Committee and Sen. Geller Amends various provisions in Chapter 718, F.S., relating to condominiums, to: recognize a court decision that provides a properly enacted amendment to a declaration of condominium binds all unit owners; clarify a 2000 enactment regarding the limited right of a condominium unit owner to transfer appurtenances to another condominium unit; extend from 90 to 120 days the time that a condominium association has to prepare the annual financial statement that is provided to unit owners; require that mandatory arbitration of controversies regarding condominium association election of a director of the board of administration must be resolved on an expedited basis; remove the requirement for a nondeveloper unit owner to provide a question and answer sheet as a part of the transaction documents; and make grammar and style changes to the condominium statutes. In the 2001 legislative session, two related acts regarding mobile home park tenancies passed. This bill corrects an error that resulted from differences in those two related bills. Also further specifies the application of those acts to create a 30-day time limit for convening a required meeting between a park owner and the committee representing park tenants, extend the time for payment from the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation from 15 to 45 days, and specify that payments are made to and from the Florida Mobile Home Relocation Corporation and not to and from the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-27, Laws of Florida. SECURITY CS/SB 520 – Driver’s Licenses/ID Cards by Transportation Committee and Sen. Brown-Waite Revises the application for Florida identification cards and driver licenses to include country of birth. The bill authorizes the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to incorporate fingerprints and other unique biometric means of identity into the application for identification cards and driver licenses. In addition, the bill limits reciprocity for purposes of establishing proof of identity to those jurisdictions whose proof of identity requirements are at least as stringent as Florida’s requirements. The bill provides that driver licenses issued to foreign nationals relying on certain United States Department of Justice documents for proof of identity shall expire 4 years from the date of issuance or upon the expiration of the applicable Department of Justice document, whichever occurs first. Licensees subject to this provision may not renew their license except in person and upon submission of the appropriate identification documentation. Non-immigrant foreign nationals submitting certain documents are subject to a shorter period of validity of two years or the date cited on the documents, whichever occurs first. The bill also provides it is unlawful to sell, manufacture, or deliver any blank, forged, stolen, fictitious, counterfeit, or unlawfully issued driver’s license or similar document. Violation of this provision would constitute a third-degree felony. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-259, Laws of Florida. HB 727 – Disaster Preparedness by Select Committee on Security; Rep. Goodlette & others Revises the process for coordination and approval of disaster preparedness plans and directs each agency to complete a revised plan by July 1, 2003. Requires all state agencies to plan for the potential extended disruption of operations and to establish contingencies for alternative operations to provide essential services. Establishes minimum elements that must be included in each disaster preparedness plan. Further requires agencies to coordinate their plans with local emergency management officials and requires the Department of Community Affairs to provide technical assistance and planning guidelines. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 16, 2002. Chapter 2002-43, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 735 – Public Records/Building Plans by Council for Smarter Government; Select Committee on Security; Rep. Gelber & others Creates a public records exemption for building plans, blueprints, schematic drawings, and diagrams that depict the internal layout and structural elements of a building, arena, stadium, water treatment facility, or other structure owned or operated by an agency. The act includes a public necessity statement that states the exemption is necessary in order to ensure the safety of government infrastructures and to ensure public safety. Also provides for retroactive application of the public records exemption. Additionally, this exemption is made subject to the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995 and will repeal on October 2, 2007, unless reenacted by the Legislature. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 22, 2002. Chapter 2002-67, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 811 – Seaport Security Infrastructure by Council for Ready Infrastructure; Select Committee on Security; Rep. Bense & others Extends eligibility for the Florida Seaport Transportation and Economic Development (FSTED) program funds to be used for seaport security. Security measures that are eligible for the program are those that are prescribed by security plans that have been approved by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Security infrastructure, such as equipment, is exempt from the 50-50 match requirement. However, seaports must meet the 50-50 match for funds that are used for personnel. Security projects at sea ports whose operating revenues are less than $14 million will be given additional consideration and will be eligible for grants not to exceed $350,000. Eligibility for seaport security projects under the FSTED program expires June 30, 2004. Provides that seaports receiving federal funds for infrastructure security improvements must reimburse the state. These reimbursed funds must be used for other non-security projects in the FSTED program. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 25, 2002. Chapter 2002-190, Laws of Florida. SB 954 – Local Government Employees and Contractors by Smith Authorizes counties and municipalities to enact ordinances requiring state and federal criminal history record checks on county and municipal employees in positions deemed critical to security or public safety. The positions must be deemed critical by the governing body of the county or municipality. Gives such entities authority to require security background investigations on any private contractor or private contractor’s employee, vendor, repair person, or delivery person with access to any public facility that is deemed to have critical security or public safety status by the municipality’s or county’s governing body. Provides that the exceptions in s. 112.011, F.S., removing certain disqualifications for employment are not applicable to the hiring practices of any county or municipality for positions that are critical to security or public safety. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 24, 2002. Chapter 2002-169, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 998 – Criminal Justice by Criminal Justice Committee and Sen. Smith Amends the crime of false reporting about planting bombs and the crime of false reporting of bombs on state property to include false reporting of weapons of mass destruction. Also amends the elements of planting a hoax bomb and increases the crime from a third-degree felony to a second-degree felony. Amends the definition of weapons of mass destruction to include death or serious bodily injury to any human or animal, severe emotional or mental harm to any human, any device or agent involving a biological component, and any device intended to release radiation at a level that is dangerous to animals. Also clarifies what are not considered weapons of mass destruction. Creates a second-degree felony offense for the possession, display, or threat to use a hoax weapon of mass destruction during the commission or attempted commission of a felony. For those convicted of false bomb reports, using hoax bombs, making false reports of the use of weapons of mass destruction, or using hoax weapons of mass destruction, the bill authorizes the sentencing court to order the defendant to pay restitution for the costs of mobilizing law enforcement agencies and all other state or local agencies. Additionally, adjudication of guilt or suspension of sentences for these crimes are precluded. The prosecuting attorney may, however, request the court to reduce or suspend the sentence if the defendant provides substantial assistance in the identification, arrest, or conviction of others involved in the crime. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-28, Laws of Florida. HB 1427 – Relating to Sheriffs by Kendrick Provides an exemption from the statutory bonding requirements in s. 30.09, F.S., for special deputy sheriffs mobilized in response to an act of local terrorism or a national terrorism alert. Changes the format of the annual budget proposals by sheriffs’ prescribed in s. 30.49, F.S., to conform with other county and statewide accounting practices. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-193, Laws of Florida. HB 1439 – Communications Interception by Rep. Gelber Changes Florida’s wire tap laws to conform them with changes in federal wire tap laws brought on with the passage of the USA PATRIOT Act on October 26, 2001. The changes address advances in technology and the emergence of new crimes, e.g., identity theft and acts of terrorism. Amends sections relating to pen registration and trap and trace devices applying them to a broad variety of relatively new communication technologies (such as cellular telephones and Internet user accounts). Clarifies that law enforcement personnel may seek court authorization to use pen registration and trap and trace devices to trace communications on the Internet and other computer networks. Law enforcement can use these devices to obtain information about dialing, routing, addressing, and signaling information utilized in the processing and transmitting of wire and electronic communications. The devices cannot be used to intercept the content of communications. Permits Florida state judges to issue orders authorizing the interception of wire communications throughout the state provided there is some criminal activity within the jurisdiction of the court initially authorizing the order. Additionally, the bill allows courts to order the interception of wire communications for the criminal investigation of the use or threat to use bombs and weapons of mass destruction. Defines the concept of a computer trespasser and a protected computer consistent with federal law. Allows victims of computer attacks to authorize law enforcement officers to monitor trespassers on their computer systems. Under certain circumstances, the bill authorizes law enforcement officers to intercept the communications of a computer trespasser transmitted to, through, or from a protected computer. Additionally, this bill requires law enforcement officers to maintain, and file with the court whenever they use a court order to install their own monitoring device on computers belonging to a public provider. Authorizes the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to utilize resources effectively to investigate acts of terrorism. Allows FDLE to use personnel from other agencies that would be acting at the direction of FDLE to investigate acts of terrorism. Develops a method to bring FDLE into local agencies’ wire interception investigations when evidence of terrorism-related crimes are uncovered. Authorizes emergency wire intercepts when there is evidence that communications relate to activities threatening national or state security. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 22, 2002. Chapter 2002-72, Laws of Florida. HB 275 – Public Records/Deepwater Ports by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this bill reenacts the public records exemption for any proposal or counterproposal exchanged between a nongovernmental entity and a deepwater port, or any financial records submitted by a nongovernmental entity to a deepwater port, relating to the sale, use, or lease of land or of port facilities. Removes the repeal language. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-5, Laws of Florida. HB 277 – Public Records / Practitioner Profiles by State Administration Committee and Rep. Brummer Pursuant to a review conducted by the Legislature in accordance with the Open Government Sunset Review Act of 1995, this reenacts the public records exemption for any patient name or other information that identifies a patient obtained by the Department of Health for the purpose of compiling a practitioner profile or other data received by the Department of Health or its agent as a result of its duty to compile and promulgate practitioner profiles. Also adds cross-references and clarifying language and removes the language that requires repeal of the exemption. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-198, Laws of Florida. TAXATION SB 2028 – Corporate Income Tax by Sen. Pruitt Florida’s Corporate Income Tax Code follows the Federal Internal Revenue Code by using federal rules and starting with federal taxable income as the tax base for the Florida income tax. This bill updates the Florida Income Tax Code to reflect the changes Congress has made to the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The effective date of this bill was May 30, 2002 upon signature of the governor, and this act shall operate retroactively to January 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-283, Laws of Florida. SB 1104 – Certified Audits by Sen. Sullivan Extends the expiration date of the Certified Audit Program 4 additional years, to July 1, 2006, including the confidentiality and penalty compromise provisions. This program allows a taxpayer to hire a private Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firm to perform a compliance audit. Taxpayers reporting a liability under this program receive a waiver of penalties and of the first $25,000 in interest and of 25 percent of any interest in excess of $25,000. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-171, Laws of Florida. HB 173 – Excise Tax on Documents by Rep. Goodlette and Rep. Flanagan The state collects a documentary stamp tax applicable to certain types of documents. The amount of the tax on documents transferring title to real property is calculated based on the sales price plus the value of any indebtedness assumed. If property is sold by judicial sale (typically by foreclosure), the clerk of court issues the winning bidder a certificate of title. The documentary stamp tax is applicable to certificates of title. This act provides that the documentary stamp tax on a certificate of title is calculated solely on the final bid amount and regardless of any indebtedness assumed. A clerk of court is required to sign every recorded document certifying that the documentary stamp tax applicable to that document was paid or collected. This act allows a clerk to use initials or a stamp in lieu of the signature. The effective date of this act was March 14, 2002. Chapter 2002-8, Laws of Florida. CS/SB 462 – Excise Tax on Documents by Finance and Taxation Committee and Sen. Pruitt Provides that the documentary stamp tax shall not exceed $2,450 on promissory notes, non-negotiable notes, written obligations to pay money, and assignments of salaries, wages, or other compensation made, which are executed, delivered, sold, transferred, or assigned in the state, including those documents made in connection with sales made under retail charge account services. The sum of $2,450 is the amount of documentary stamp tax that would be owned on a promissory note or other unsecured obligation in the amount of $700,000. The bill caps the documentary stamp tax in order to reduce the avoidance of the tax by conducting the execution of the note outside of Florida. Eliminates the discriminatory exemption to the equalization excise tax for products made with domestically grown citrus in order to comply with a recent federal lawsuit on the application of the foreign commerce clause. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-218, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/HJR 833 – Tax Exemption & Exclusions by Fiscal Responsibility Council; Local Government & Veterans Affairs Committee and Rep. Carassas Proposes an amendment to Section 3 of Article VII of the State Constitution to create a Legislative review of the tax on sales, use, and other transactions. The proposed constitutional amendment creates a joint committee consisting of six Senators appointed by the President of the Senate and six Rep.s appointed by the Speaker of the House of Rep.s. The committee is required to conduct a review of all exemptions from the tax on sales, use, and other transactions imposed by law and all exclusions of sales of services from such taxation. The committee will be governed by joint rules adopted by the legislature no later than the 2003 regular session. Such rules must establish a schedule for review of such exemptions and exclusions over a three-year period and must provide criteria to be considered by the committee in conducting its review. No later than March 1 of 2004, 2005, and 2006, the committee must submit its findings and recommendations to the presiding officers of each house of the legislature. Any decision to deauthorize an exemption or exclusion must be approved by seven members of the committee and must be in the form of a resolution adopted by the committee, which must be submitted to the legislature. The resolution must set forth the specific changes to the statutes necessary to effectuate the deauthorization, which resolution shall have the force of law and shall become effective July 1 following the second regular session occurring after submission to the legislature, except for those exemptions or exclusions expressly rescinded by joint resolution of the legislature prior to that date. The proposed amendment provides that this section does not operate to deauthorize any exemption or exclusion not expressly deauthorized in such resolution, nor does it prohibit subsequent reenactment by law of any exemption or exclusion that was deauthorized. The joint committee is dissolved July 1, 2006. TRUSTS & ESTATES CS/SB 720 – Probate & Trusts by Judiciary Committee and Sen. Burt Allows wills to more closely anticipate contingent events and the possible effects of exercisable powers of revocation. Specifies minimum requirements for the form and content of trust accountings, and makes liability for receiving improper trust distributions identical to current statutory liability for receiving improper probate distributions. Clarifies that the presumption of undue influence by an actively involved substantial beneficiary under a will, who is in a fiduciary or confidential relationship with the testator, is a policy-based shifting of the burden of proof. Specifies that an early claim against an estate is not time-barred; and provides validity to, and a framework for, trusts for the care of animals. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 23, 2002, except as otherwise specified. Chapter 2002-82, Laws of Florida. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CS/CS/SB 108 – Workers’ compensation by Appropriations Committee; Banking and Insurance Committee and Sen. Smith The bill: • extends workers’ compensation coverage to off-duty firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics in certain circumstances for injuries occurring outside of their employer’s jurisdiction or area of responsibility. • includes state and local correctional officers in the presumption of work-related cause (i.e., presumptive eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits) currently benefitting firefighters and state law enforcement officers who suffer certain health conditions. • limits the applicability of coverage exemptions or exclusions on certain “commercial building” projects. • addresses workers’ compensation fraud, both generally and specifically to construction industry exemptions, by creating additional enforcement measures and penalties. • requires a study of the availability of workers’ compensation coverage in the construction industry to be submitted to the Legislature by February 1, 2003. • directs the Three-Member Panel to collect data concerning the availability and accessibility of health care delivery systems for injured workers, the adequacy of the workers’ compensation fee schedule and alternative methods of reimbursement, the estimated financial impact on carrier costs and premium rates resulting from changes to the reimbursement schedule and utilization trends in the workers’ compensation health care delivery system. • requires the Panel to submit recommendations for improvement to the Legislature biennially by January 1. • specifies that carriers and self-insured employers may choose to deliver workers’ compensation medical benefits through a method other than an Agency for Health Care Administration approved workers’ compensation managed care arrangement without regard to the injured workers’ date of accident. • revises the time frames for resolving disputes when a petition for benefits is filed. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-236, Laws of Florida. SB 264 – Drug-free workplaces by Sen. King To receive a workers’ compensation premium discount for a drug-free workplace program, the bill requires an employer to implement drug testing of employees and job applicants. The bill also requires construction contractors, electrical contractors, and alarm system contractors, performing construction work under state contract for educational facilities, public property, publicly owned buildings, and state correctional facilities to implement a drug-free workplace program. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-14, Laws of Florida. CS/CS/HB 319 – Self-insurers by the Competitive Commerce Council; Insurance Committee and Rep. Clarke The bill transfers authority over individual employers that self-insure for purposes of workers’ compensation coverage from the Division of Workers’ Compensation within the Department of Labor and Employment Security to the Department of Insurance and to the Florida Self-Insurers Guaranty Association. The effective date of this bill is October 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-262, Laws of Florida. WORKFORCE/EMPLOYMENT HB 565 – Farm labor contractors by Rep. Peterman Prohibits a farm labor contractor from making charges or deductions from an employee’s wages for tools, equipment, etc. which are for the benefit of the employer. The state law now mirrors the federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-161, Laws of Florida. CS/HB 1643 – Labor & Employment Security Department by Smarter Government Council and Rep. Clarke Dissolves the Department of Labor and Employment Security and transfers the personnel and resources of the department, by Type Two transfer, to several departments. Most of the Division of Workers’ Compensation is transferred to the Department of Insurance. The Bureau of Rehabilitation and Medical Services relating to the oversight of medical services and the rehabilitation and re-employment of injured workers is transferred to the Agency for Health Care Administration and the Department of Education. The Farm Labor and Crew Chief and Child Labor programs are transferred to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. The Office of Information Systems is transferred to the State Technology Office. The Unemployment Appeals Commission program is transferred to the Agency for Workforce Innovation. Amends several sections of the statute to conform to the transfers and to correct cross references. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-194, Laws of Florida. WRONGFUL DEATH CS/HB 795 – Wrongful Death/Surviving Spouse by Council for Smarter Government; Rep. Seiler and others The wrongful death act provides, in part, that the minor children of the deceased, and all children of the deceased if there is no surviving spouse, may recover damages for the wrongful death of a parent. If both parents die in the same incident, however, recovery is only available for the wrongful death of the later to die. Amends the wrongful death statute to permit recovery for the wrongful death of both parents when they die within 30 days of each other as a result of the same wrongful act or acts arising out of the same incident. The provisions are limited only to the wrongful death statute so they do not apply in other situations where the time of a spouse’s death might be relevant. Applies to causes of action accruing on or after the bill becomes law. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on April 16, 2002. Chapter 2002-44, Laws of Florida. MISCELLANEOUS SB 358 – Motor Vehicle Accidents/Distractions by Sen. Sebesta Expressly preempts to the state the regulation of the use of cellular phones and other electronic communications devices by drivers and passengers of a motor vehicle. In addition, the bill requires the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to report data on driver distractions to the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Rep.s for the years 2002 and 2003. The first report to the Legislature is due in February 2003. These provisions became law upon approval by the governor on April 25, 2002. Chapter No. 2002-179, Laws of Florida. HB 65-E — Constitution/Amendments/Initiatives by Reps. Goodlette, Pickens, and others (CS/SB 68-E by Ethics and Elections Committee and Senators Pruitt and Sanderson) Requires a fiscal impact statement to be placed on the ballot for all proposed amendments to the State Constitution, with exceptions for certain joint resolutions and citizen-sponsored initiatives for the 2002 election. The State Revenue Estimating Conference is charged with drafting a short, clear, and unambiguous fiscal impact statement for each proposed constitutional amendment. A majority of the conference must agree on the fiscal impact statement. If a majority of the conference cannot agree, the following statement is placed on the ballot: “The fiscal impact of this measure, if any, cannot be reasonably determined at this time.” Beginning in July 2003, the Florida Supreme Court is vested with original jurisdiction to review all fiscal impact statements. If the Court strikes down the statement, it must remand to the Revenue Estimating Conference for re-drafting within 15 days. These provisions became law upon approval of the governor on May 24, 2002, except as otherwise specified. Chapter 2002-390, Laws of Florida. HJR 1987 – Legislative Redistricting by Rep. Byrd This House Joint Resolution consists of the state House plan that contains 120 contiguous districts as well as the state Senate plan that contains 40 contiguous districts for the State of Florida. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. HB 1993 – Congressional Redistricting by Rep. Byrd This House Bill consists of the state Congressional plan that contains 25 contiguous districts for the State of Florida. The effective date of this bill is July 1, 2002. Chapter 2002-12, Laws of Florida. Roxanne Siko Legislative AssistantSharon L. Langer Henry Latimer Included in this report is a brief summary of selected bills passed by the House and Senate that may be of interest to Florida Bar members. This compilation reflects pending and final action by the governor as of June 15, and references the Year 2002 Laws of Florida where applicable. Information for these summaries was extracted from “End of Session Reports” prepared by House and Senate committees, and are categorized under broad subject headings consistent with official bill summary or title language.Complete bill text –— as filed and in final form, plus legislative history and other information — may be found through Online Sunshine via the Internet at www.leg.state.fl.us/. The new 2002 general laws available online one day after action by the governor. The laws may be found on the Department of State’s website, accessed via the URL location http://election.dos.state.fl.us/laws/laws_proced.shtml#GL. You may also call The Florida Bar Governmental Affairs Office at (850) 561-5662, or access bill text and other legislative information through links on The Florida Bar’s Web site www.FLABAR.org. Members desiring a copy of particular legislation in its final form also may contact: Session Law Chapter Numbers, Department of State, Bureau of Administrative Code Elliott Building, 401 South Monroe Street, Tallahassee 32399-0250, (850) 488-8427; Senate Bills, Senate Documents, Room 303, The Capitol, Tallahassee 32399-1100, (850) 487-5285; House Bills, House Documents, Room 325, The Capitol, Tallahassee 32399-1300, (850) 488-7475. Terry Russell President 2001-2002Steven E. Chaykin Thomas M. Ervin, Jr. July 1, 2002 Regular News Miles A. McGrane III President 2003-2004Chair Jesse H. Diner Chair-elect The Florida Bar Tod Aronovitz President 2002-2003Legislation Committee 2001-2002 Henry M. Coxe III
12SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John San Filippo John is the co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, Inc., a company that specializes in B2B marketing to community financial institutions. He started out in the savings and loan industry, but wisely … Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Details (For all you youngsters, that’s the opening narration to The Six Million Dollar Man.)As I write this, I’m one day away from the total replacement of my left knee. It blew the first time during Hell Week of my senior year in high school in 1979, and has been scope-cleaned a couple of times since. And while my new knee probably won’t enable me to jump over buildings, I doubt it will cost anyone $6 million either. I know I don’t have a co-pay.Pondering my own date with the orthopedic surgeon, I got to wondering about what things credit unions still do that make about as much sense as holding onto my 55-year-old arthritic knee. Here are my top three. Buying Computer HardwareWould you buy and maintain your own car if it were cheaper and safer to have Jimmie Johnson drive you everywhere in the #48 car? I know I wouldn’t.It’s the same with computer hardware. Buying it is expensive. Updating it is expensive. Maintaining it is a hassle. Securing it is an increasingly complex specialty. The list of reasons to not be in the hardware business is extensive.When you move everything to the cloud, that entire list vanishes. Back in a previous life, I championed the idea of a paperless credit union. Today I’m telling you that every credit union should be a serverless credit union. It just doesn’t make sense any other way. Developing Software InternallyA few years ago, it was en vogue for the more technologically sophisticated credit unions to develop their own applications. I’m talking about things like online and mobile banking. I didn’t think it was a great idea then, and I’m not afraid to call it what it is now: dumb.To be clear, I’m not talking about CUSOs, i.e., separate entities that have the time and resources to stay focused on such things and develop them for the betterment of multiple credit unions. I’m talking about that lone wolf credit union that thinks it’s so special, no mere software company could ever give it what it needs.These credit unions are falling hopelessly behind. If I’m describing your credit union, please, for the sake of your members, as well as the sake of your own sanity, stop this madness today. Not Hiring Technology ConsultantsMany years ago, I read a book co-authored by Donald Trump in which he said, if you need to hire a consultant, it means you don’t understand your own business. I believed this for many years, thinking credit unions that used consultants were getting duped.Maybe that was never true, but I’m certain it’s not true today. For the same reasons you need to jettison all your computer hardware, and the same reasons you’re dumb to develop your own software, you need to consider a consultant for all your major technology projects. You’re not in the technology business, and you shouldn’t be in the technology business. Getting it right the first time is so, so critical today, why wouldn’t you want a team of skilled professionals on your side?It all comes down to a saying (one of many sayings, actually) that I try to live by: Pay the experts to do what they’re trained to do, and don’t be cheap about it.
35 Cope Street, Stuart is one of Townsville’s best bargains at $248,000TOWNSVILLE’S buyer’s market continues to prevail throughout the first quarter of the year with plenty of bargains to be had in both the house and unit market.Fringe city suburbs still offer plenty of bargains under $250,000, which allows first home buyers to enter the market for an average mortgage repayment of $324 a week.That is despite the average median house price across Townsville rising 4.6 per cent.At a median sale price of $186,500, Stuart is Townsville’s cheapest suburb for houses, followed by Balgal Beach ($230,000) and Heatley ($239,000). This property is the perfect retirement home or beach getaway with large veranda’s front and back to capture the cool ocean breezes. Best of all,15 Tracey Street in Balgal Beach will only cost you in the mid $200,000“We’re seeing a real good cross-section of people buying,” he said. “We’re seeing more first home buyers in the established housing market but there are also downsizes, home buyers that are upgrading and a lot of renovators. In that sense it makes sense that the older, fringe suburbs are popular.“A lot of renovators want raw houses and our market allows them to pick them up for around $200,000 or less.“They then renovate to sell for a profit once the market picks up.”Townsville’s unit market also continues to be a buyer’s domain with the quarterly median price steady at $260,000, no change from the September quarter.Listings have dropped 4.2 per cent for the 12 months to November, representing the largest fall in unit listings throughout the state. More from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 202037 Weaver Street, Heatley is the ideal home for those looking to join the property market and are not afraid to get their hands dirty. Listed in the low $200,000s, home sits in a handy location and comes with a great size yard, powered shed, storage under the house and spacious living for the family.Those looking to acquire a unit will find the cheapest offerings in Hermit Park with a median sale price of $160,000.West End follows with a median unit sale price of $173,000 and Garbutt $192,500.Real Estate Institute of Queensland Townsville zone chair Damien Keyes said people from all walks of life were buying into the market.
According to Spanish outlet El Desmarque, Mourinho has personally contacted Real Madrid president Florentino Perez about Eder Militao’s availability in the case Jan Vertonghen leaves the club in the summer. The Belgium international is out of contract at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the end of the season and there have been no developments regarding a breakthrough in talks between player and club. Militao, meanwhile, joined Real from Porto last summer, the Bernabeu side paying a reported €50million (£43million) for the Brazil international’s services, according to Goal. He has struggled in his maiden season for Real, however, failing to win Zinedine Zidane over, and has made just 13 appearances all season, with a mere seven starts in La Liga, according to Transfermarkt.Advertisement Despite his struggles at the Bernabeu, Militao has been given the Messi stamp of approval, the Barca talisman naming him in his 15 “youth on the rise” players for Topps Champions League cards. “A phenomenal talent and fierce competitor,” Messi wrote about Militao, as quoted by Give Me Sport. While Militao may be out of favour at Real Madrid, he is certainly a talented player who has impressed throughout most of his senior career – indeed, Mourinho was said to have monitored the defender while he was at Manchester United (Manchester Evening News). The 23-year-old is confident playing out from the back, comfortable with the ball, isn’t afraid to dribble forward from defence, rarely makes mistakes, and is superb with passes and deliveries, courtesy of his stints at right-back in Brazil. Read Also:Messi: We have accepted club’s proposal on pay-cuts However, Militao’s aerial presence has been questioned, and Mourinho could nonetheless have a tough transfer battle on his hands, given the Real board has reportedly placed a £70million price tag on his head. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Promoted Content5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks8 Fascinating Facts About CoffeeCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable WayWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?12 Flicks That Almost Ended Their Stars’ Careers5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme Parks9 Facts You Should Know Before Getting A TattooSuper Recognizable Outfits That Actors Wore In The Famous Movies7 Non-Obvious Things That Damage Your PhoneWorld’s Most Famous Ceilings That Are Actually Works Of ArtEverything You Need To Know About Asteroid ArmageddonThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More A player who is reportedly sought after by Tottenham Hotspur head coach, Jose Mourinho, has been praised by Barcelona legend Lionel Messi.
Laurel, IN—On Sunday, September 8th, at 1:49 a.m., Deputies with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene of a motorcycle accident on Stipps Hill Road at its intersection with Davison Road. Upon arrival, Deputies found a 1999 Yamaha YZF motorcycle off of the south side of the roadway and in a ditch.Through the course of the investigation, Deputies determined that Devin Bryce Bennington, age 24 of Laurel, was operating the motorcycle eastbound on Stipps Hill Road. Bennington lost control of the motorcycle, causing it to lay over onto its side before traveling off of the south side of Stipps Hill Road and into a ditch. Bennington was ejected from the motorcycle.Bennington was flown from the scene by Stat Flight medical helicopter to St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis for treatment of multiple injuries sustained in the accident. Bennington was not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Batesville, IN—2020 was a record-setting year for the Cherry Thing-a-ling. Schmidt’s Bakery reports that they sold 160,716 Thing-a-lings. That comes to 13,393 dozen of the sweet fritters.
Press Association England international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a certainty to miss out after suffering a serious knee injury in the defeat to Villa, with some reports suggesting the 20-year-old could be ruled out for up to six months. Qualification to Europe’s elite club competition is seen as a must for a club like Arsenal, and having as strong a squad as possible for the match at the Sukru Saracoglu stadium on Wednesday night gives Wenger’s side the best chance of getting a positive result ahead of the second leg at the Emirates next Tuesday. If Arsenal do reach the group stages there will be even more calls for new faces in north London, after a bid for Newcastle midfielder Yohan Cabaye was rejected on Monday. The move for the France international is the latest failed transfer attempt during a frustrating summer for Wenger, who has also looked at signing the likes of Wayne Rooney, Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain with no success to date. The home fans were vocal during the Villa game in their suggestions that new players are required, with Arsenal believed to have enough funds available to try and attract marquee names such as Rooney or Suarez. Arsenal have been handed a number of fitness boosts ahead of the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce on Wednesday evening. The Gunners were consigned to a 3-1 home defeat by Aston Villa on the opening day of the Barclays Premier League season at the weekend, but manager Arsene Wenger would have been delighted to see Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky all train on Tuesday morning. There had been fears over the fitness of those individuals, especially full-back Sagna who landed awkwardly towards the end of the game on Saturday, but they could all play some part in Turkey as Arsenal look to seal a place in the lucrative group stages of the Champions League.
“Euroleague and the participating clubs cannot ask from players to put their health and that of their families at risk,” the Euroleague Players Association said.The players’ union asked for the season to be suspended “until health, safety and freedom of movement can be guaranteed.”___10 a.m.The Juventus player who tested positive for the coronavirus says he’s “OK” and wants “to reassure everyone who is worrying about me.” 9:55 a.m.The season-ending men’s World Cup ski races were canceled Thursday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, giving Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde his first overall title.Giant slalom and slalom races were scheduled for this weekend in Kranjska Gora, near Slovenia’s border with Italy.The cancellations mean Henrik Kristoffersen, another Norwegian, becomes the season champion in both disciplines by tiny margins.A four-race finals week in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, was canceled last week by the International Ski Federation. The International Basketball Federation says it is suspending all competitions indefinitely from Friday.FIBA says the decision was made “in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans.”The suspension includes games in the Basketball Champions League, which is a rival competition to the better known Euroleague, and the second-tier FIBA Europe Cup. The Champions League is part-way through its playoffs.Men’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics is expected to resume in June with a series of qualifying tournaments overseen by FIBA. Women’s qualifying has already concluded.___ Juventus announced late Wednesday that defender Daniele Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated. It also said Rugani is not showing any symptoms of the disease.Rugani sent a post on Twitter overnight in Italian.“You’ll have read the news and that’s why I want to reassure everyone who is worrying about me. I’m OK. I want to remind everyone to respect the rules, because this virus doesn’t make distinctions! Let’s do it four ourselves, for those dear to us and for those around us,” he wrote.Rugani is the first player in the country’s top soccer division to test positive for the virus.___ 10:25 a.m.The hockey-like game of bandy has postponed its world championships in Russia because of the spreading coronavirus.The Swedish Bandy Association says the tournament, scheduled to be played from March 29-April 5 in Irkutsk, has been postponed until October.International Bandy Association president Boris Skrynnik says “we know that there are concerns in other countries when it comes to travel and spending time with larger groups.”The under-15 world championships in Arkhangelsk, Russia, at the end of the month will also be played at a later date. “The health and welfare of the athletes and all other participants, as well as the general public are in the forefront and the priority of FIS and all stakeholders,” the governing body said Thursday.Kilde’s runner-up finish in what proved to be the season-ending race — a downhill last Saturday in Kvitfjell, Norway — lifted him to the overall title above French rival Alexis Pinturault.Pinturault also finished runner-up to Kristoffersen in giant slalom. Another Frenchman, Clement Noel, was runner-up to Kristoffersen for the season-long slalom title by only two points, 552-550.Kristoffersen had an outside chance of winning the overall title if the final two races had gone ahead.Kilde succeeds Austrian great Marcel Hirscher, who won eight straight overall titles before retiring in the offseason. ___10:15 a.m.Denmark’s top soccer leagues are shutting down for at least two weeks because of the spreading coronavirus.The Danish league made the move a day after the national government announced a lockdown. The small Scandinavian country has 514 cases of people testing positive.“We will look at exactly what this will mean for the running of the tournaments for the weeks to come,” said Danish league director Claus Thomsen, adding more information on what will happen with the postponed matches and the rest of the season will be announced later. ___10:10 a.m.The Swiss hockey league has ended the season in the top two divisions before the playoffs because of the spreading coronavirus.The league’s decision comes less than two months before Switzerland is due to host the world championships in Zurich and Lausanne.The league says decisions on awarding titles, and promotion and relegation places, will be decided at a special meeting on Friday. Associated Press The Swiss soccer leagues have been suspended through March, and Basel is unable to host a Europa League game next week against Eintracht Frankfurt.___10:05 a.m.After the NBA suspended its season, the Euroleague is considering doing the same.The league says it is consulting with clubs about a suspension, something which its players are demanding. The Latest: FIBA suspends some international basketball March 12, 2020 ___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times local):___10:30 a.m.
Kyle Lightbourne believes his side can be among the last eight teams in the Gold Cup. SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (CMC) – National coach Kyle Lightbourne believes Bermuda can reach the quarter-finals as they prepare to make their debut in the CONCACAF Gold Cup against Haiti at the weekend.But 50-year-old Lightbourne, currently enjoying his second stint at the helm after he led the team from 2005 to 2007, admits a positive result against Haiti is key if Bermuda is to achieve their goal of advancing to the quarter-finals.Bermuda, who arrived here on Monday ahead of their opening game against Haiti today, must finish in the top two in Group B, which also includes Costa Rica and Nicaragua.Although Lightbourne’s side finished a lofty fifth in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers, ahead of Nicaragua, whom they play in their final group game, Bermuda are the lowest ranked of the four teams.Haiti finished top of the standings while Costa Rica qualified automatically as participants in the final round of the World Cup qualifiers in 2018.“The boys are confident and we feel like we can match most teams,” Lightbourne told Bermuda’s Royal Gazette newspaper.“We want to try our best to get through to the next stage. We definitely want to make it hard for teams to play against us. We saw a lot of the things we’ve been working on in training against Guyana – on the ball in the first half and defensively in the second. It’s on the day that we need to get it right.”Bermuda beat Guyana, who are also making their Gold Cup debut, 1-0 at home in a friendly last week.Bermuda showed they are made of sterner stuff these days, fighting back from a goal down in their must-win match away to the Dominican Republic in their final Nations League qualifier, and Lightbourne believes it will be a huge mistake if Haiti take his side lightly.“Since the Nations League started we’ve really grown into a good unit,” he added. “We showed we can come from behind against the Dominican Republic, but now we’re going to be tested at a different level.”Bermuda have qualified in League A of the Nations League and have home and away ties in Group B against Mexico and Panama in the autumn.“We want to be able to stay at this level,” Lightbourne said. “However, we’re going to have to learn and learn quickly, if we are to build off this. There are opportunities for us to grow as a foot-balling nation.”The Gold Cup has been extended from 12 teams to 16 teams, split into four groups. The final is scheduled to be played on July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago. BERMUDA… Caption: