Important changes to the Jessica Lunsford Act under sb 988 Exempt school grounds are defined to include buildings and grounds where students are not permitted




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Important changes to the Jessica Lunsford Act under SB 988
Exempt school grounds are defined to include buildings and grounds where students are not permitted access…

Background checks will be done every 5 years and costs limited to 130% of cost…

One check required and other districts shall use the share system…

Offending criminal offenses listed and limited to eight criminal acts…

48 hour notification by employee and/or employer as it becomes aware…

Exempting from screening are people who are physically under the supervision of those who have been checked…

Workers behind a 6 foot chained link fence are exempt…

Workers who deliver or pick up at schools are exempt…

Only one check is required…
Below are key paragraphs taken from SB 988. The full text of the bill can be found at http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2007/Senate/bills/billtext/pdf/s0988c1.pdf

Words in Red are ABC’s interpretations of the paragraph(s) which follow. Words UNDERLINED are in the text of the bill and are emphasized by ABC as important to the construction industry.

This is the language as of March 9 2007 and subject to change through the legislative process at any time. The final language of this or any bill which is ultimately passed by the House and/or Senate and/or signed by the Governor may be found at http://www.flsenate.gov
Beginning on page 8, line 11 of SB 988:

Section 7. Section 1012.467, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
1012.467 Noninstructional contractors who are permitted access to school grounds when students are present; background screening requirements.—

(1) As used in this section, the term:

(a) "Noninstructional contractor" means any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or with the school board who receives remuneration for services performed for the school district or a school, but who is not otherwise considered an employee of the school district. The term also includes any employee of a contractor who performs services for the school district or school under the contract and any subcontractor and its employees.

(b) "Convicted" has the same meaning as in s. 26 943.0435.

(c) "School grounds" means the buildings and grounds of any public prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, or secondary school, or any combination of grades prekindergarten through grade 12, together with the school district land on which the buildings are located. The term does not include:
Exempt school grounds are defined to include buildings and grounds where students are not permitted access…
1. Any other facility or location where school classes or activities may be located or take place;

2. The buildings and grounds of any public prekindergarten, kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, high school, or secondary school, or any combination of grades prekindergarten through grade 12, or contiguous school district land, during any time period in which students are not permitted access; or

3. Any building described in this paragraph during any period in which it is used solely as a career or technical center under part IV of chapter 1004 for postsecondary or adult education.
Background checks will be done every 5 years and costs limited to 130% of cost…

(2)(a) A fingerprint-based criminal history check shall be performed on each noninstructional contractor who is permitted access to school grounds when students are present, whose performance of the contract with the school or school board is not anticipated to result in direct contact with students, and for whom any unanticipated contact would be infrequent and incidental. Criminal history checks shall be performed at least once every 5 years. For the initial criminal history check, each noninstructional contractor who is subject to the criminal history check shall file with the Department of Law Enforcement a complete set of fingerprints taken by an authorized law enforcement agency or an employee of a school district, a public school, or a private company who is trained to take fingerprints. The fingerprints shall be electronically submitted for state processing to the Department of Law Enforcement, which shall in turn submit the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for national processing. The results of each criminal history check shall be reported to the school district in which the individual is seeking access and entered into the shared system described in subsection (7). The school district shall screen the results using the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (g). The cost of the criminal history check may be borne by the district school board, the school, or the contractor. A fee that is charged by a district school board for such checks may not exceed 30 percent of the total amount charged by the Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

(b) As authorized by law, the Department of Law Enforcement shall retain the fingerprints submitted by the school districts pursuant to this subsection to the Department of Law Enforcement for a criminal history background screening in a manner provided by rule and enter the fingerprints in the statewide automated fingerprint identification system authorized by s. 943.05(2)(b). The fingerprints shall thereafter be available for all purposes and uses authorized for arrest fingerprint cards entered into the statewide automated fingerprint identification system under s. 943.051.
(c) As authorized by law, the Department of Law Enforcement shall search all arrest fingerprint cards received under s. 943.051 against the fingerprints retained in the statewide automated fingerprint identification system under paragraph (b).
(d) School districts may participate in the search process described in this subsection by paying an annual fee to the Department of Law Enforcement.
(e) A fingerprint retained pursuant to this subsection shall be purged from the automated fingerprint identification system 5 years following the date the fingerprint was initially submitted. The Department of Law Enforcement shall set the amount of the annual fee to be imposed upon each participating agency for performing these searches and establishing the procedures for retaining fingerprints and disseminating search results. The fee may be borne as provided by law. Fees may be waived or reduced by the executive director of the Department of Law Enforcement for good cause shown.
One check required and other districts shall use the share system…

(f) A noninstructional contractor who is subject to a criminal history check under this section shall inform a school district that he or she has completed a criminal history check in another school district within the last 5 years. The school district shall verify the results of the contractor's criminal history check using the shared system described in subsection (7). The school district may not charge the contractor a fee for verifying the results of his or her criminal history check.


Offending criminal offenses listed and limited to eight criminal acts…

(g) A noninstructional contractor for whom a criminal history check is required under this section may not have been convicted of any of the following offenses designated in the Florida Statutes, any similar offense in another jurisdiction, or any similar offense committed in this state which has been redesignated from a former provision of the Florida Statutes to one of the following offenses:

1. Any offense listed in s. 943.0435(1)(a)1., relating to the registration of an individual as a sexual offender.

2. Section 393.135, relating to sexual misconduct with certain developmentally disabled clients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct.

3. Section 394.4593, relating to sexual misconduct with certain mental health patients and the reporting of such sexual misconduct.

4. Section 775.30, relating to terrorism.

5. Section 782.04, relating to murder.

6. Section 787.01, relating to kidnapping.

7. Any offense under chapter 800, relating to lewdness and indecent exposure.

8. Section 826.04, relating to incest.

9. Section 827.03, relating to child abuse, aggravated child abuse, or neglect of a child.
(3) If it is found that a noninstructional contractor has been convicted of any of the offenses listed in paragraph (2)(g), the individual shall be immediately suspended from having access to school grounds and shall remain suspended unless and until the conviction is set aside in any postconviction proceeding.
(4) A noninstructional contractor who has been convicted of any of the offenses listed in paragraph (2)(g) may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present unless the contractor has received a full pardon or has had his or her civil rights restored. A noninstructional contractor who is present on school grounds in violation of this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
(5) If a school district has reasonable cause to believe that grounds exist for the denial of a contractor's access to school grounds when students are present, it shall notify the contractor in writing, stating the specific record that indicates noncompliance with the standards set forth in this section. It is the responsibility of the affected contractor to contest his or her denial. The only basis for contesting the denial is proof of mistaken identity or that an offense from another jurisdiction is not disqualifying under paragraph (2)(g).
48 hour notification by employee and/or employer as it becomes aware…

(6) Each contractor who is subject to the requirements of this section shall agree to inform his or her employer or the party to whom he or she is under contract and the school district within 48 hours if he or she is arrested for any of the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (2)(g). A contractor who willfully fails to comply with this subsection commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083. If the employer of a contractor or the party to whom the contractor is under contract knows the contractor has been arrested for any of the disqualifying offenses in paragraph (2)(g) and authorizes the contractor to be present on school grounds when students are present, such employer or such party commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.


(7)(a) The Department of Law Enforcement shall implement a system that allows for the results of a criminal history check provided to a school district to be shared with other school districts through a secure Internet website or other secure electronic means. The Department of Law Enforcement may adopt rules under ss. 120.536(1) and 120.54 to implement this paragraph.

(b) An employee of a school district, a charter school, a lab school, a charter lab school, or the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind who requests or shares criminal history information under this section is immune from civil or criminal liability for any good-faith conduct that occurs during the performance of and within the scope of responsibilities related to the record check.


Section 8. Section 1012.468, Florida Statutes, is created to read:

1012.468 Exceptions to certain fingerprinting and criminal history checks.--


(1) As used in this section, the term "noninstructional contractor" means any vendor, individual, or entity under contract with a school or with the school board who receives remuneration for services performed for the school district or a school, but who is not otherwise considered an employee of the school district. The term also includes any employee of a contractor who performs services for the school district or school under the contract and any subcontractor and its employees.
Exempting from screening are people who are physically under the supervision of those who have been checked…

(2) A district school board shall exempt from the screening requirements set forth in ss. 1012.465 and 1012.467 the following noninstructional contractors:


(a) 1. Noninstructional contractors who are under the direct supervision of a school district employee or contractor who has had a criminal history check and meets the screening requirements under s. 1012.32, s. 1012.465, s. 1012.467, or s. 1012.56. For purposes of this paragraph, the term "direct supervision" means that a school district employee or contractor is physically present with a noninstructional contractor when the contractor has access to a student and the access remains in the school district employee's or the contractor's line of sight.

2. If a noninstructional contractor who is exempt under this subsection is no longer under direct supervision as specified in subparagraph 1., the contractor may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present until the contractor meets the screening requirements in s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.467.


(b) Noninstructional contractors who are required by law to undergo a level 2 background screening pursuant to s. 435.04 for licensure, certification, employment, or other purposes and who submit evidence of meeting the following criteria:

1. The contractor meets the screening standards in s. 435.04;

2. The contractor's license or certificate is active and in good standing, if the contractor is a licensee or certificate holder; and

3. The contractor completed the criminal history check within 5 years prior to seeking access to school grounds when students are present.


(c) A law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10, who is assigned or dispatched to school grounds by his or her employer.
(d) An employee or medical director of an ambulance provider, licensed pursuant to chapter 401, who is providing services within the scope of part III of chapter 401 on behalf of such ambulance provider.
Workers behind a 6 foot chained link fence are exempt…

(e) Noninstructional contractors who remain at a site where students are not permitted if the site is separated from the remainder of the school grounds by a single chain-link fence of 6 feet in height.


Workers who deliver or pickup at schools are exempt…

(f) A noninstructional contractor who provides pick-up or delivery services and those services involve brief visits on school grounds when students are present.


(3) (a) A noninstructional contractor who is exempt under this section from the screening requirements set forth in s. 1012.465 or s. 1012.467 is subject to a search of his or her name or other identifying information against the registration information regarding sexual predators and sexual offenders maintained by the Department of Law Enforcement under s. 943.043 and the national sex offender public registry maintained by the United States Department of Justice. The school district shall conduct the search required under this subsection without charge or fee to the contractor.

(b) A noninstructional contractor who is identified as a sexual predator or sexual offender in the registry search required in paragraph (a) may not be permitted on school grounds when students are present. Upon determining that a noninstructional contractor may not be permitted on school grounds pursuant to this subsection, the school district shall notify the vendor, individual, or entity under contract within 3 business days.


Only one check is required…

(4) A school district may not subject a contractor who meets the requirements in subsection (2) to an additional criminal history check. Upon submission of evidence and verification by the school district, the school district must accept the results of the criminal history check for the contractor.

(5) This section and ss. 1012.465 and 1012.467 do not create or imply any private cause of action for a violation of these sections and do not create any new duty of care or basis of liability.
Section 9. Section 1012.321, Florida Statutes, is created to read:
1012.321 Exceptions for certain instructional personnel from background screening requirements.--Instructional personnel who are required to undergo level 2 background screening under s. 393.0655 or s. 402.305 and who meet the level 2 screening standards in s. 435.04 are not required to be rescreened in order to satisfy the screening requirements in s. 1012.32 if the instructional personnel:

(1) Have completed the criminal history check within 5 years prior to having direct contact with students;

(2) Are rescreened every 5 years and meet the level 2 screening standards; and

(3) Have their fingerprints retained by the Department of Law Enforcement.


Section 10. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2007.


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