September 19, 2020
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893197
 (LATE FILED)Amendment
Bill No. 1937
Amendment No. 893197
CHAMBER ACTION
Senate House
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1Representative(s) Gannon offered the following:
2
3     Amendment (with title amendment)
4     Between lines 112 and 113, insert:
5     Section 1.  Section 350.061, Florida Statutes, is
6transferred, renumbered as section 11.402, Florida Statutes, and
7amended to read:
8     11.402 350.061  Public Counsel; appointment; oath;
9restrictions on Public Counsel and his or her employees.--
10     (1)  The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee shall appoint
11a Public Counsel by majority vote of the members of the
12committee to represent the general public of Florida before the
13Florida Public Service Commission and the Office of Insurance
14Regulation. The Public Counsel shall be an attorney admitted to
15practice before the Florida Supreme Court and shall serve at the
16pleasure of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, subject to
17annual reconfirmation by the committee. Vacancies in the office
18shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
19     (2)  The Public Counsel shall take and subscribe to the
20oath of office required of state officers by the State
21Constitution.
22     (3)  No officer or full-time employee of the Public Counsel
23shall actively engage in any other business or profession; serve
24as the representative of any political party or on any executive
25committee or other governing body thereof; serve as an
26executive, officer, or employee of any political party,
27committee, organization, or association; receive remuneration
28for activities on behalf of any candidate for public office; or
29engage on behalf of any candidate for public office in the
30solicitation of votes or other activities in behalf of such
31candidacy. Neither the Public Counsel nor any employee of the
32Public Counsel shall become a candidate for election to public
33office unless he or she shall first resign from his or her
34office or employment.
35     Section 2.  Section 350.0611, Florida Statutes, is
36transferred, renumbered as section 11.403, Florida Statutes, and
37amended to read:
38     11.403 350.0611  Public Counsel; duties and powers.--It
39shall be the duty of the Public Counsel to provide legal
40representation for the people of the state in proceedings before
41the Public Service Commission and the Office of Insurance
42Regulation and in proceedings before counties pursuant to s.
43367.171(8). The Public Counsel shall have such powers as are
44necessary to carry out the duties of his or her office,
45including, but not limited to, the following specific powers:
46     (1)  To recommend to the Public Service Commission or the
47counties, by petition, the commencement of any proceeding or
48action or to appear, in the name of the state or its citizens,
49in any proceeding or action before the commission or the
50counties.
51     (2)  To recommend to the Office of Insurance Regulation, by
52petition, the commencement of, and to appear in the name of the
53state or its citizens in, any proceeding or action before the
54office relating to:
55     (a)  Rules governing residential property insurance; or
56     (b)  Rate filings for residential property insurance which,
57pursuant to standards determined by the office, request an
58average statewide rate increase of 10 percent or greater as
59compared to the current rates in effect or the rates in effect
6012 months prior to the proposed effective date.
61
62The Public Counsel may not stay any final order of the Office of
63Insurance Regulation.
64     (3)  To and urge in any proceeding or action to which he or
65she is a party therein any position that which he or she deems
66to be in the public interest, whether consistent or inconsistent
67with positions previously adopted by the commission, or the
68counties, or the office, and utilize therein all forms of
69discovery available to attorneys in civil actions generally,
70subject to protective orders of the commission, or the counties,
71or the office, which shall be reviewable by summary procedure in
72the circuit courts of this state.;
73     (4)(2)  To have access to and use of all files, records,
74and data of the commission, or the counties, or the office
75available to any other attorney representing parties in a
76proceeding before the commission, or the counties, or the
77office.;
78     (5)(3)  In any proceeding in which he or she has
79participated as a party, to seek review of any determination,
80finding, or order of the commission, or the counties, or the
81office, or of any hearing examiner designated by the commission,
82or the counties, or the office, in the name of the state or its
83citizens.;
84     (6)(4)  To prepare and issue reports, recommendations, and
85proposed orders to the commission or office, the Governor, and
86the Legislature on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction
87of the commission or office, and to make such recommendations as
88he or she deems appropriate for legislation relative to
89commission or office procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel,
90and functions.; and
91     (7)(5)  To appear before other state agencies, federal
92agencies, and state and federal courts in connection with
93matters under the jurisdiction of the commission or office, in
94the name of the state or its citizens.
95     Section 3.  Section 350.0612, Florida Statutes, is
96transferred, renumbered as section 11.404, Florida Statutes, and
97amended to read:
98     11.404 350.0612  Public Counsel; location.--The Public
99Counsel shall maintain his or her office in Leon County on the
100premises of the commission or, if suitable space there cannot be
101provided, at such other place convenient to the offices of the
102Public Service Commission or the Office of Insurance Regulation
103commissioners as will enable him or her to carry out
104expeditiously the duties and functions of his or her office.
105     Section 4.  Section 350.0613, Florida Statutes, is
106transferred, renumbered as section 11.405, Florida Statutes, and
107amended to read:
108     11.405 350.0613  Public Counsel; employees; receipt of
109pleadings.--The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee may
110authorize the Public Counsel to employ clerical and technical
111assistants whose qualifications, duties, and responsibilities
112the committee shall from time to time prescribe. The committee
113may from time to time authorize retention of the services of
114additional attorneys, actuaries, economists, or experts to the
115extent that the best interests of the people of the state will
116be better served thereby, including the retention of expert
117witnesses and other technical personnel for participation in
118contested proceedings before the Public Service Commission or
119Office of Insurance Regulation. The commission shall furnish the
120Public Counsel with copies of the initial pleadings in all
121proceedings before the commission. The office shall furnish the
122Public Counsel with copies of all filings that relate to the
123jurisdiction of the Public Counsel pursuant to s. 11.403(2).,
124and If the Public Counsel intervenes as a party in any
125proceeding he or she shall be served with copies of all
126subsequent pleadings, exhibits, and prepared testimony, if used.
127Upon filing notice of intervention, the Public Counsel shall
128serve all interested parties with copies of such notice and all
129of his or her subsequent pleadings and exhibits.
130     Section 5.  Section 350.0614, Florida Statutes, is
131transferred, renumbered as section 11.406, Florida Statutes, and
132amended to read:
133     11.406 350.0614  Public Counsel; compensation and
134expenses.--
135     (1)  The salaries and expenses of the Public Counsel and
136his or her employees shall be allocated by the committee only
137from moneys appropriated to the Public Counsel by the
138Legislature.
139     (2)  The Legislature hereby declares and determines that
140the Public Counsel is under the legislative branch of government
141within the intention of the legislation as expressed in chapter
142216, and no power shall be in the Executive Office of the
143Governor or its successor to release or withhold funds
144appropriated to it, but the same shall be available for
145expenditure as provided by law and the rules or decisions of the
146Joint Auditing Committee.
147     (3)  Neither the Executive Office of the Governor nor the
148Department of Management Services or its successor shall have
149power to determine the number, or fix the compensation, of the
150employees of the Public Counsel or to exercise any manner of
151control over them.
152     Section 6.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
153112.3145, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
154     112.3145  Disclosure of financial interests and clients
155represented before agencies.--
156     (1)  For purposes of this section, unless the context
157otherwise requires, the term:
158     (b)  "Specified state employee" means:
159     1.  Public counsel created by chapter 11 350, an assistant
160state attorney, an assistant public defender, a full-time state
161employee who serves as counsel or assistant counsel to any state
162agency, the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims, a judge
163of compensation claims, an administrative law judge, or a
164hearing officer.
165     2.  Any person employed in the office of the Governor or in
166the office of any member of the Cabinet if that person is exempt
167from the Career Service System, except persons employed in
168clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
169     3.  Each appointed secretary, assistant secretary, deputy
170secretary, executive director, assistant executive director, or
171deputy executive director of each state department, commission,
172board, or council; unless otherwise provided, the division
173director, assistant division director, deputy director, bureau
174chief, and assistant bureau chief of any state department or
175division; or any person having the power normally conferred upon
176such persons, by whatever title.
177     4.  The superintendent or institute director of a state
178mental health institute established for training and research in
179the mental health field or the warden or director of any major
180state institution or facility established for corrections,
181training, treatment, or rehabilitation.
182     5.  Business managers, purchasing agents having the power
183to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for
184in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, finance and accounting
185directors, personnel officers, or grants coordinators for any
186state agency.
187     6.  Any person, other than a legislative assistant exempted
188by the presiding officer of the house by which the legislative
189assistant is employed, who is employed in the legislative branch
190of government, except persons employed in maintenance, clerical,
191secretarial, or similar positions.
192     7.  Each employee of the Commission on Ethics.
193
194================ T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T =============
195     Remove line 6 and insert:
196An act relating to property insurance; transferring,
197renumbering, and amending ss. 350.061, 350.0611, 350.0612,
198350.0613, and 350.0614, F.S.; authorizing the Public
199Counsel to represent the general public before the Office
200of Insurance Regulation; including certain proceedings
201related to rules and rate filings for residential property
202insurance; authorizing the Public Counsel to have access
203to files of the office, to seek review of orders of the
204office, and to issue reports, recommendations, and
205proposed orders to the office; specifying where the Public
206Counsel shall maintain his or her office; authorizing the
207Joint Legislative Auditing Committee to authorize the
208Public Counsel to employ certain types of employees;
209requiring the Office of Insurance Regulation to provide
210copies of certain filings to the Public Counsel; amending
211s. 112.3145, F.S.; conforming a cross reference; creating
212s.


CODING: Words stricken are deletions; words underlined are additions.
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