DeSantis signs bills expanding privacy protections for Florida public officials and contractors

by | Jun 14, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills into law enhancing the privacy of public officials and contractors in Florida by expanding public records exemptions for financial information of FDOT project bidders, personal information of county and city attorneys, and personal details of circuit court clerks and their families.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed three bills into law on Thursday to enhance the privacy of public officials and contractors in Florida by expanding public records exemptions.

The first measure, House Bill 379, addresses the confidentiality of financial information required from contractors bidding on Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) projects. Previously, only financial statements submitted by contractors prequalifying for projects over $250,000 were exempt from public disclosure. HB 379 extends the exemption to any additional financial information required by FDOT to verify a contractor’s financial adequacy.

House Bill 103 creates a public records exemption for the personal identifying and location information of current county and city attorneys, their assistants, deputies, and their families. These legal professionals handle sensitive issues such as land use, zoning, and eminent domain, according to the bill’s language, which can make them targets for threats and harassment. The legislation shields their home addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal details from public access.

“Both county and city attorneys have reported receiving violent threats, including death threats, via phone calls and emails, relating to their handling of code enforcement matters and other litigation,” a House legislative analysis states.

The third measure, House Bill 983, provides similar privacy protections for clerks of the circuit courts, deputy clerks, and their personnel. These officials manage court records, process child support payments, and assist with protective injunctions. The law exempts their home addresses, dates of birth, and other personal information from public records requirements, also covering the families of these officials.


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