Florida bill removing anonymity from code enforcement reports takes effect July 1 unless DeSantis vetoes

Florida

The old Florida State Capitol building as seen from Monroe St and Apalachee Parkway with the New Capitol in the background

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Among the hundreds of bills that have made it through both chambers of Florida’s Legislature and are set to be signed or vetoed by Gov. Ron DeSantis is a bill removing anonymity from code enforcement reports.

A Senate analysis of the potential impacts says the bill, if signed into law, would likely lead to a small operations cost increase at the local level for municipal governments as they update codes and ordinance enforcement mechanisms.

There could also be a potential reduction of complaints. Explicitly, the analysis says the reduction would be a result of individuals not wanting to provide their personal information when reporting a facility to local code enforcement agencies. The reduction of complaints is described as having the potential to “lead to less resources being utilized by local code enforcement.”

If the bill is signed by DeSantis, all code enforcement reports would need to include the person’s name, address and phone number and have those provided to the enforcement agency.

While it removes anonymity of those filing complaints, there are some exceptions to the removal of anonymity. Specifically, in cases where a violation “presents an imminent threat to public health, safety or welfare or imminent destruction of habitat or sensitive resources,” callers may be allowed to remain anonymous, but only if the code inspector believes it so.

A person designated as a code inspector may not initiate an investigation of a potential violation of a duly enacted code or ordinance by way of an anonymous complaint. A person who reports a potential violation of a code or an ordinance must provide his or her name and address to the
governing body of the respective board of county commissioners before an investigation occurs. This paragraph does not apply if the person designated as a code inspector has reason to believe that the violation presents an imminent threat to public health, safety, or welfare or imminent destruction of habitat or sensitive resources.

CS/SB 60: County and Municipal Code Enforcement

The law will take effect July 1 if it isn’t vetoed by the governor.

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