Legislative

Update – July 18th, 2017

As many of you may be aware, during the legislative session, several school districts were directed to pay relief for school related claims. Although we can brush the events off as being extraordinary, they all have the commonality of human error. Though we cannot always predict or prevent these type of incidents, the constant reminder of safety first must be at the forefront of all we do. Any one of our districts could find themselves in this type of situation. The time and money you spend promoting safety in your district will pay off in the end. We may not see immediate results, but avoidance of a claim such as the ones described below, is a major accomplishment.

TRANSIT BUS INJURY: Jerry Cunningham, a 14-year-old, suffered a brain injury after his arm got caught in the doors of a Broward County Transit bus that he was boarding on May 10, 2013. Cunningham attempted to run alongside the bus, banging on the glass doors. But he ultimately fell on the road and was injured. Cunningham’s parents reached a settlement with the county. The bill (HB 6545) directs Broward County to pay $550,000.

PALM BEACH SCHOOL DISTRICT: The bill settles a pair of incidents involving high-school students in Palm Beach County. Altavious Carter, as a 14-year-old Summit Christian School student in 2005, suffered a broken neck and spinal injuries when the car he was a passenger in was struck from behind by a Palm Beach County school bus.

Dustin Reinhardt, a student at Seminole Ridge Community High School, suffered severe brain damage in 2013 when a large truck tire being inflated in an auto-shop class exploded. The bill (HB 6549) directs the school district to pay $790,000 to Carter and $4.7 million to Reinhardt.

SCHOOL BUS FATALITY: Aaron Beauchamp was riding in the back of a St. Lucie County school bus in March 2012, when the driver turned in front of a tractor-trailer rig. The boy, age 9, was wearing a seatbelt, but the impact of the crash caused him to be ejected from his seat and suffer fatal injuries. His mother, Lillian Beauchamp, a school principal, filed a lawsuit against the St. Lucie County school district. A jury found the district mostly at fault. The bill (HB 6529) directs the district to pay $1.5 million.

PAINT MACHINE INJURY: Sean McNamee, a football player at Tampa’s Wharton High School, was warming up before an October 2013 practice when he lost his balance and struck his head on a paint machine used to line the practice field. The machine had been improperly left in the practice area, and McNamee later had to be rushed to a hospital after his sister found him incoherent and acting strangely at home. He was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury that required multiple surgeries, and his family filed a lawsuit against the Hillsborough County School Board. The bill (HB 6503) directs the school board to pay $1.7 million.

As always your FSBIT Safety Team is available to help you. We will assist you in training, investigations, surveys or implementation of programs. Our contact information is Jackie Scott – jscott@fsbit.net, Tracy Wade at twade@fsbit.net and Scott Blaser at sblaser@fsbit.net


Update – March 6th, 2017

A Large Bill Introduced Late Friday that Includes Workers Comp Changes

The Bill is large and I am still reviewing to write the summary.  If you would like to look it over yourself, below is the link.

SB 1582: Workers’ Compensation Insurance

GENERAL BILL by Bradley

Workers’ Compensation Insurance; Requiring carriers to authorize or decline, rather than respond to, certain requests for authorization within a specified time; revising conditions under which the Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims must dismiss petitions for benefits; adding prospective loss costs to a list of reviewable matters in certain proceedings by appellate courts; requiring copies of prospective loss costs to be filed with the Office of Insurance Regulation, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2017
Last Action: 3/3/2017 Senate – Filed
Location: Filed
Bill Text: Web Page | PDF

Come back to this page soon for the FSBIT review.  If you have any questions, please contact me, Scott Blaser at sblaser@fsbit.net.


Update – March 3rd, 2017

The Quiet Before the Storm

This last week there were no Banking/Insurance Committee meetings and last week’s committee meetings did not discuss insurance topics affecting the Trust.  In fact, the Senate Banking/Insurance committee met for only 17 minutes.  But even the chairpersons from the House and Senate committees commented that the next few weeks will include major discussions on the possible changes to the Workers’ Compensation program of Florida.

There were also a limited number of insurance and safety bills that were introduced or updated this week that could be of interest to the Trust’s members.  Below are summaries of those bills and their status.

 

HB 493 – Enhanced Safety for School Crossings
General Bill by Toledo (CO-SPONSORS) Cortes, J.; Fischer

Enhanced Safety for School Crossings: Requires DOT to adopt uniform system of high-visibility markings & signage for designation of safe school crossing locations, to compile & distribute system manual, & to install & maintain certain safe school crossing locations under certain circumstances; requires markings & signage to be installed & maintained in conformity with such system; authorizes DOT to enter into maintenance agreements with counties/municipalities; requires county/municipality to maintain safe school crossings located therein; requires inspection for proper maintenance; requires DOT to establish standards for permanent & portable signs.

Effective Date: July 1, 2017.  Now in Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee.

 

SB 1064 – Student Discipline
General Bill by Powell

Student Discipline: Revising the duties of the district school boards relating to student discipline and school safety; revising the qualifications of a school resource officer and a school safety officer; requiring each district school board to adopt a policy on referrals to the criminal justice system or the juvenile justice system, rather than a policy of zero-tolerance for crime and victimization, etc.

Effective Date: 07/01/2017.   Filed February 20, 2017

 

HB 1155 – Child Safety
General Bill by Henry

Child Safety: Requires district school boards, nonpublic schools, or specified child care facilities to adopt specified policies; requires person to present picture identification before retrieving a student from such school or facility under certain circumstances; requires district school boards to provide policies to DOE; requires nonpublic school or child care facility to maintain policies on premises of each entity & be available for inspection.

Effective Date: July 1, 2017.  Filed March 2, 2017

 

HB 1197 – School Resource Officer Programs
General Bill by Geller

School Resource Officer Programs: Encourages school resource officer to be placed at each public school in district; authorizes part-time law enforcement officer to be school resource officer or school safety officer; provides requirements for funding certain school resource officers’ & school safety officers’ salaries.

Effective Date: July 1, 2017.  Filed March 2, 2017

 

SB 1364 – Child Safety
General Bill by Rouson

Child Safety: Requiring a person to present picture identification before retrieving specified students from a public school under certain circumstances; requiring policies to be provided to the Department of Education; requiring a person to present picture identification before retrieving specified students from a nonpublic school or specified child care facility under certain circumstances; requiring policies to be maintained on the premises of each entity and available for inspection, etc.

Effective Date: 07/01/2017.  Filed March 1, 2017

And as always, if you have any questions, please contact a FSBIT team member or me, Scott Blaser at sblaser@fsbit.net

 


Update – February 23, 2017

Federal House Bill – Three Point Seat Belts

This bill was Introduced in House late in the 2016 and has been assigned to the House Education and the Workforce Committee and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.  As of the time of this post, (2/23/2017), no other actions have been taken with the exception of lobbying efforts on both sides of the issue with each Representative in each committee.

Bring Enhanced Liability in Transportation for Students Act (BELT Act)

This bill authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to award grants to states to develop a school bus seat belt demonstration program to purchase type 1 school buses (weighing more than 10,000 pounds) equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts or equip existing type 1 buses with such belts.

DOT shall withhold 10% of a state’s apportionment of certain federal-aid highway funds if the state has not enacted a law that requires the employer to conduct background checks before hiring school bus drivers.

DOT shall also withhold 10% of a state’s apportionment of certain federal-aid highway funds if the state has not enacted and is not enforcing a law that imposes specified first offense and second offense civil and criminal penalties for motorists found guilty of illegally passing a stopped school bus.

The bill authorizes DOT to provide grants to states to equip school buses with motion-activated detection systems.

Update – February 17, 2017

The next meeting of the House Committee on Banking and Insurance is scheduled for February 22 at 3:30 PM.  So far the meeting is reviewing Life and Health Insurance Bills.

There is only one new bill posted in the House this week relative to Safety or Insurance that could affect our members.

HB 493 – Enhanced Safety for School Crossings

General Bill by Toledo (CO-SPONSORS) Fischer
Enhanced Safety for School Crossings: Requires DOT to adopt uniform system of high-visibility markings & signage for designation of safe school crossing locations, to compile & distribute system manual, & to install & maintain certain safe school crossing locations under certain circumstances; requires markings & signage to be installed & maintained in conformity with such system; authorizes DOT to enter into maintenance agreements with counties/municipalities; requires county/municipality to maintain safe school crossings located therein; requires inspection for proper maintenance; requires DOT to establish standards for permanent & portable signs.
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
Last Event: Now in Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Monday, February 06, 2017 2:16 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57113

The Senate’s Insurance and Banking Committee is meeting February 21st at 12:30 PM.  The agenda for this meeting so far appears to have little relative to our members, but we will monitor.

There were no new bills posted relative to Safety or Insurance relative to our members.


Update – February 10, 2017

This week the Florida House and Senate Banking & Insurance committees held meetings. The Senate’s meeting was directed more to Health Insurance and did not deal with commercial (public entity) insurance. For a full video or audio of the committee meeting, click on this link.

The House’s committee meeting dealt only with Workers Compensation. The committee set up a panel discussion on the NCCI rate filings, how they are done, the court case relative to Sunshine, rate approval process, the WorkComp opt out programs in other states and can it work in Florida, drug pricing and system for obtaining drugs in the WorkComp system and finally a short section on the system as a whole. The rate filings really don’t apply to the Trust, but it can be a great indicator of whether the costs of insurance are going to be going up or down. As pointed out in the committee meeting, “you may have problems with how NCCI comes up with the rates, but historically they have been on target as to when claim costs go up and when they go down.” NCCI and other auditors believe that because of current court cases, claim costs will be going up between 12% and 23%. For a full video or audio of the committee meeting, click on this link.

Any questions on the committee meetings, please contact Scott J. Blaser at sblaser@fsbit.net


The Florida House as of this post has 1171 bills currently filed. Of those there are 19 bills dealing with the different forms of insurance within Florida. None of those bills have an impact on the Trust or its’ members. The Banking & Insurance House Committee is very active in discussing rate change models and procedures and the Workers Compensation system changes but no bills have been filed for those changes yet.

The Florida House has 96 bills filed relative to safety that could affect the Trust or members. Below are the summaries of those bills and the link to each bill.

HB 85 – Students Remaining on School Grounds During School Hours

General Bill by Slosberg (CO-SPONSORS) Diaz, M.; McGhee
Students Remaining on School Grounds During School Hours: Provides short title; authorizes district school boards to adopt policies permitting students to leave school grounds during lunch period; prohibits schools in certain districts from permitting students to leave school grounds during lunch period without prior written parental consent.
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
Last Event: Now in PreK-12 Quality Subcommittee on Monday, January 09, 2017 2:26 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=56703

HB 147 – Skateboard and Scooter Regulations

General Bill by Stark
Skateboard and Scooter Regulations: Creates “Max’s Helmet Law”; requires child under 16 to wear helmet while riding skateboard or foot-propelled scooter; provides helmet standards; prohibits attachment of skateboard or scooter to vehicle; prohibits parent from authorizing violation; prohibits renting or leasing skateboard or scooter without helmet; provides for enforcement, penalties, exceptions, & disposition of fines.
Effective Date: October 1, 2017
Last Event: Now in Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:31 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=56794

HB 411 – Student Discipline

General Bill by Antone
Student Discipline: Revises duties of district school boards relating to student discipline & school safety & qualifications of school resource officer & school safety officer; requires district school board to adopt policy on referrals to criminal justice system or juvenile justice system, rather than policy of zero tolerance for crime & victimization.
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
Last Event: Now in PreK-12 Innovation Subcommittee on Monday, February 06, 2017 2:15 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57060

SB 438 – Out-of-school Suspension

General Bill by Baxley
Out-of-school Suspension: Authorizing a parent to give public testimony regarding a district school board’s out-of-school suspension policy at a specified meeting; requiring a district school board to review its rules authorizing out-of-school suspension during a specified timeframe at a district school board meeting; requiring the board to take public testimony at the meeting; providing that the rules expire under certain circumstances, etc.
Effective Date: 07/01/2017
Last Event: 02/01/17 S Referred to Education; Rules on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:30 AM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57033

HB 493 – Enhanced Safety for School Crossings

General Bill by Toledo (CO-SPONSORS) Fischer
Enhanced Safety for School Crossings: Requires DOT to adopt uniform system of high-visibility markings & signage for designation of safe school crossing locations, to compile & distribute system manual, & to install & maintain certain safe school crossing locations under certain circumstances; requires markings & signage to be installed & maintained in conformity with such system; authorizes DOT to enter into maintenance agreements with counties/municipalities; requires county/municipality to maintain safe school crossings located therein; requires inspection for proper maintenance; requires DOT to establish standards for permanent & portable signs.
Effective Date: July 1, 2017
Last Event: Now in Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee on Monday, February 06, 2017 2:16 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57113

SB 798 – Public Information of School Districts

General Bill by Baxley
Public Information of School Districts: Revising the duties of a district school board to include the administration of public information programs; providing for district school board policies that authorize advertisements on school buses, etc.
Effective Date: 07/01/2017
Last Event: 02/08/17 S Filed on Wednesday, February 08, 2017 12:13 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57722

SB 810 – Students with Disabilities in Public Schools

General Bill by Stewart
Students with Disabilities in Public Schools: Amending provisions relating to the use, prevention, and reduction of restraint and seclusion on students with disabilities; prohibiting the use of physical restraint by school personnel who are not certified to use district-approved methods for applying restraint techniques; requiring continuing education and inservice training for teaching students with emotional or behavioral disabilities, etc.
Effective Date: 07/01/2017
Last Event: 02/08/17 S Filed on Wednesday, February 08, 2017 3:09 PM

http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Bills/billsdetail.aspx?BillId=57754

SB 148: Students Remaining on School Grounds During School Hours

GENERAL BILL by Garcia

Students Remaining on School Grounds During School Hours; Citing this act as the “Mayra Capote Act”; requiring schools in certain districts to obtain written parental consent before permitting students to leave school grounds during the lunch period, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2017
Last Action: 12/20/2016 Senate – Referred to Education; Community Affairs; Rules
Location: In committee/council (ED)
Bill Text: Web Page | PDF

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0148

SB 266: Skateboard and Scooter Regulations

GENERAL BILL by Book

Skateboard and Scooter Regulations; Citing this act as the “Max’s Helmet Law”; requiring a child under 16 years of age to wear a helmet while riding a skateboard, scooter, or other similar foot-propelled wheeled vehicle; authorizing the issuance of a citation by a law enforcement officer to the child and the assessment of a certain fine for a specified violation; prohibiting a person from knowingly renting or leasing a skateboard, scooter, or other similar foot-propelled wheeled vehicle to be ridden by a child unless specified requirements are met, etc.

Effective Date: 10/1/2017
Last Action: 1/25/2017 Senate – Referred to Transportation; Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development; Appropriations
Location: In committee/council (TR)
Bill Text: Web Page | PDF

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0266

SB 438: Out-of-school Suspension

GENERAL BILL by Baxley

Out-of-school Suspension; Authorizing a parent to give public testimony regarding a district school board’s out-of-school suspension policy at a specified meeting; requiring a district school board to review its rules authorizing out-of-school suspension during a specified timeframe at a district school board meeting; requiring the board to take public testimony at the meeting; providing that the rules expire under certain circumstances, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2017
Last Action: 2/1/2017 Senate – Referred to Education; Rules
Location: In committee/council (ED)
Bill Text: Web Page | PDF

https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2017/0438

If you have any questions relative to this summary, please contact Scott J. Blaser, Director of Insurance Operations. sblaser@fsbit.net