September 19, 2020
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092735
  Amendment
Bill No. 1937
Amendment No. 092735
CHAMBER ACTION
Senate House
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1Representative(s) Gannon offered the following:
2     Amendment (with title amendment)
3     Between lines 124 and 125, insert:
4     Section 1.  Section 350.061, Florida Statutes, is
5transferred, renumbered as section 11.402, Florida Statutes, and
6amended to read:
7     11.402 350.061  Public Counsel; appointment; oath;
8restrictions on Public Counsel and his or her employees.--
9     (1)  The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee shall appoint
10a Public Counsel by majority vote of the members of the
11committee to represent the general public of Florida before the
12Florida Public Service Commission and the Office of Insurance
13Regulation. The Public Counsel shall be an attorney admitted to
14practice before the Florida Supreme Court and shall serve at the
15pleasure of the Joint Legislative Auditing Committee, subject to
16annual reconfirmation by the committee. Vacancies in the office
17shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
18     (2)  The Public Counsel shall take and subscribe to the
19oath of office required of state officers by the State
20Constitution.
21     (3)  No officer or full-time employee of the Public Counsel
22shall actively engage in any other business or profession; serve
23as the representative of any political party or on any executive
24committee or other governing body thereof; serve as an
25executive, officer, or employee of any political party,
26committee, organization, or association; receive remuneration
27for activities on behalf of any candidate for public office; or
28engage on behalf of any candidate for public office in the
29solicitation of votes or other activities in behalf of such
30candidacy. Neither the Public Counsel nor any employee of the
31Public Counsel shall become a candidate for election to public
32office unless he or she shall first resign from his or her
33office or employment.
34     Section 2.  Section 350.0611, Florida Statutes, is
35transferred, renumbered as section 11.403, Florida Statutes, and
36amended to read:
37     11.403 350.0611  Public Counsel; duties and powers.--It
38shall be the duty of the Public Counsel to provide legal
39representation for the people of the state in proceedings before
40the Public Service Commission and the Office of Insurance
41Regulation and in proceedings before counties pursuant to s.
42367.171(8). The Public Counsel shall have such powers as are
43necessary to carry out the duties of his or her office,
44including, but not limited to, the following specific powers:
45     (1)  To recommend to the Public Service Commission or the
46counties, by petition, the commencement of any proceeding or
47action or to appear, in the name of the state or its citizens,
48in any proceeding or action before the commission or the
49counties.
50     (2)  To recommend to the Office of Insurance Regulation, by
51petition, the commencement of, and to appear in the name of the
52state or its citizens in, any proceeding or action before the
53office relating to:
54     (a)  Rules governing residential property insurance; or
55     (b)  Rate filings for residential property insurance which,
56pursuant to standards determined by the office, request an
57average statewide rate increase of 10 percent or greater as
58compared to the current rates in effect or the rates in effect
5912 months prior to the proposed effective date.
60
61The Public Counsel may not stay any final order of the Office of
62Insurance Regulation.
63     (3)  To and urge in any proceeding or action to which he or
64she is a party therein any position that which he or she deems
65to be in the public interest, whether consistent or inconsistent
66with positions previously adopted by the commission, or the
67counties, or the office, and utilize therein all forms of
68discovery available to attorneys in civil actions generally,
69subject to protective orders of the commission, or the counties,
70or the office, which shall be reviewable by summary procedure in
71the circuit courts of this state.;
72     (4)(2)  To have access to and use of all files, records,
73and data of the commission, or the counties, or the office
74available to any other attorney representing parties in a
75proceeding before the commission, or the counties, or the
76office.;
77     (5)(3)  In any proceeding in which he or she has
78participated as a party, to seek review of any determination,
79finding, or order of the commission, or the counties, or the
80office, or of any hearing examiner designated by the commission,
81or the counties, or the office, in the name of the state or its
82citizens.;
83     (6)(4)  To prepare and issue reports, recommendations, and
84proposed orders to the commission or office, the Governor, and
85the Legislature on any matter or subject within the jurisdiction
86of the commission or office, and to make such recommendations as
87he or she deems appropriate for legislation relative to
88commission or office procedures, rules, jurisdiction, personnel,
89and functions.; and
90     (7)(5)  To appear before other state agencies, federal
91agencies, and state and federal courts in connection with
92matters under the jurisdiction of the commission or office, in
93the name of the state or its citizens.
94     Section 3.  Section 350.0612, Florida Statutes, is
95transferred, renumbered as section 11.404, Florida Statutes, and
96amended to read:
97     11.404 350.0612  Public Counsel; location.--The Public
98Counsel shall maintain his or her office in Leon County on the
99premises of the commission or, if suitable space there cannot be
100provided, at such other place convenient to the offices of the
101Public Service Commission or the Office of Insurance Regulation
102commissioners as will enable him or her to carry out
103expeditiously the duties and functions of his or her office.
104     Section 4.  Section 350.0613, Florida Statutes, is
105transferred, renumbered as section 11.405, Florida Statutes, and
106amended to read:
107     11.405 350.0613  Public Counsel; employees; receipt of
108pleadings.--The Joint Legislative Auditing Committee may
109authorize the Public Counsel to employ clerical and technical
110assistants whose qualifications, duties, and responsibilities
111the committee shall from time to time prescribe. The committee
112may from time to time authorize retention of the services of
113additional attorneys, actuaries, economists, or experts to the
114extent that the best interests of the people of the state will
115be better served thereby, including the retention of expert
116witnesses and other technical personnel for participation in
117contested proceedings before the Public Service Commission or
118Office of Insurance Regulation. The commission shall furnish the
119Public Counsel with copies of the initial pleadings in all
120proceedings before the commission. The office shall furnish the
121Public Counsel with copies of all filings that relate to the
122jurisdiction of the Public Counsel pursuant to s. 11.403(2).,
123and If the Public Counsel intervenes as a party in any
124proceeding he or she shall be served with copies of all
125subsequent pleadings, exhibits, and prepared testimony, if used.
126Upon filing notice of intervention, the Public Counsel shall
127serve all interested parties with copies of such notice and all
128of his or her subsequent pleadings and exhibits.
129     Section 5.  Section 350.0614, Florida Statutes, is
130transferred, renumbered as section 11.406, Florida Statutes, and
131amended to read:
132     11.406 350.0614  Public Counsel; compensation and
133expenses.--
134     (1)  The salaries and expenses of the Public Counsel and
135his or her employees shall be allocated by the committee only
136from moneys appropriated to the Public Counsel by the
137Legislature.
138     (2)  The Legislature hereby declares and determines that
139the Public Counsel is under the legislative branch of government
140within the intention of the legislation as expressed in chapter
141216, and no power shall be in the Executive Office of the
142Governor or its successor to release or withhold funds
143appropriated to it, but the same shall be available for
144expenditure as provided by law and the rules or decisions of the
145Joint Auditing Committee.
146     (3)  Neither the Executive Office of the Governor nor the
147Department of Management Services or its successor shall have
148power to determine the number, or fix the compensation, of the
149employees of the Public Counsel or to exercise any manner of
150control over them.
151     Section 6.  Paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of section
152112.3145, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
153     112.3145  Disclosure of financial interests and clients
154represented before agencies.--
155     (1)  For purposes of this section, unless the context
156otherwise requires, the term:
157     (b)  "Specified state employee" means:
158     1.  Public counsel created by chapter 11 350, an assistant
159state attorney, an assistant public defender, a full-time state
160employee who serves as counsel or assistant counsel to any state
161agency, the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims, a judge
162of compensation claims, an administrative law judge, or a
163hearing officer.
164     2.  Any person employed in the office of the Governor or in
165the office of any member of the Cabinet if that person is exempt
166from the Career Service System, except persons employed in
167clerical, secretarial, or similar positions.
168     3.  Each appointed secretary, assistant secretary, deputy
169secretary, executive director, assistant executive director, or
170deputy executive director of each state department, commission,
171board, or council; unless otherwise provided, the division
172director, assistant division director, deputy director, bureau
173chief, and assistant bureau chief of any state department or
174division; or any person having the power normally conferred upon
175such persons, by whatever title.
176     4.  The superintendent or institute director of a state
177mental health institute established for training and research in
178the mental health field or the warden or director of any major
179state institution or facility established for corrections,
180training, treatment, or rehabilitation.
181     5.  Business managers, purchasing agents having the power
182to make any purchase exceeding the threshold amount provided for
183in s. 287.017 for CATEGORY ONE, finance and accounting
184directors, personnel officers, or grants coordinators for any
185state agency.
186     6.  Any person, other than a legislative assistant exempted
187by the presiding officer of the house by which the legislative
188assistant is employed, who is employed in the legislative branch
189of government, except persons employed in maintenance, clerical,
190secretarial, or similar positions.
191     7.  Each employee of the Commission on Ethics.
192
193================ T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T =============
194     Remove line 2 and insert:
195An act relating to property insurance; transferring,
196renumbering, and amending ss. 350.061, 350.0611, 350.0612,
197350.0613, and 350.0614, F.S.; authorizing the Public
198Counsel to represent the general public before the Office
199of Insurance Regulation; including certain proceedings
200related to rules and rate filings for residential property
201insurance; authorizing the Public Counsel to have access
202to files of the office, to seek review of orders of the
203office, and to issue reports, recommendations, and
204proposed orders to the office; specifying where the Public
205Counsel shall maintain his or her office; authorizing the
206Joint Legislative Auditing Committee to authorize the
207Public Counsel to employ certain types of employees;
208requiring the Office of Insurance Regulation to provide
209copies of certain filings to the Public Counsel; amending
210s. 112.3145, F.S.; conforming a cross reference; creating
211s.


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