INTRODUCTION TO THE REVIEW OF LEGISLATION HEALTH CARE REFORM IN FLORIDA: PROMOTING IMPROVED ACCESS, COST, AND QUALITY
I am pleased to introduce this edition of the annual Review of Florida Legislation. In accord with the Review’s mission of highlighting issues which need legislative attention, I will outline the challenges we face in health care reform. Access to quality health care is the right of every Floridian—not the luxury of a privileged few. That’s why we have taken steps to make Florida a national leader in health care reform. Our effort to increase health care access is giving more people the opportunity to afford quality care for themselves and their families. Our reforms are strengthening our businesses and protecting our state budget from the spiraling cost of health care. Today, a record number of consumers are embracing managed care as a high-quality, more affordable health care option. More than 60,000 Floridians—fifty-four percent who were previously uninsured—now have health care coverage through the state’s new Community Health Purchasing Alliances. In 1994, Florida employers saw worker’s compensation premiums drop nearly ten percent and health care costs decrease for the first time in six years by 10.6 percent. Growth in Florida’s Medicaid program has been cut in half, resulting in savings of $206.8 million since 1990, and industry priorities are shifting toward establishing quality as the first measure of success.
FLORIDA’S NEW PARTNERSHIP LAW: THE REVISED UNIFORM PARTNERSHIP ACT AND LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIPS
John W. Larson
The 1995 Florida Legislature dramatically transformed Florida’s partnership law by enacting the Florida Revised Uniform Partnership Act (FRUPA or the Revised Florida Act) and by authorizing registered limited liability partnerships (known as RLLPs or LLPs) in Florida. In 1994, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) approved a final revision of the Uniform Partnership Act (RUPA or the Revised Uniform Act). Although dramatically different in many ways from the original Uniform Partnership Act (UPA), RUPA is an evolution of traditional partnership law rather than a radical departure from the past. Florida was the fifth state to adopt RUPA, to which it made relatively few changes
A MEASURED STEP TO PROTECT PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS
David L. Powell, Robert M. Rhodes, and Dan R. Stengle
On May 18, 1995, Governor Lawton Chiles signed into law landmark private property rights legislation enacted during the 1995 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. The measure includes a new cause of action providing judicial relief to landowners who suffer inordinate burdens on the use of their land and a new nonjudicial settlement and expedited hearing procedure promoting compromise solutions for disputes between landowners and regulators.
FLORIDA’S PROPERTY RIGHTS ACT: A POLITICAL QUICK FIX RESULTS IN A MIXED BAG OF TRICKS
Sylvia R. Lazos Vargas
They say the third time around is the charm. For backers of Florida’s “property rights” bill this was true. After two close tries in as many years, the 1995 Florida Legislature passed the Property Rights Act to protect landowners who have been denied reasonable use of their property due to governmental regulatory actions. The Act, although passed on the next to the last day of the session, represented a compromise painstakingly crafted over weeks of intense negotiations among an ad hoc group of Senators and Representatives who were longtime property rights activists, key executives representing land use agencies, lobbyists for developers and small and large agricultural interests, environmentalists, and state and local governments. The brilliance of this political feat was evidenced by the vote—a unanimous voice vote in the House and only one dissenting vote in the Senate—and the pithiness of the floor debates. On May 18, 1995, Governor Lawton Chiles proudly signed into law the property rights legislation consisting of the Bert Harris, Jr., Private Property Protection Act of 1995 and the Florida Land Use and Environmental Dispute Resolution Act. The Act became effective on October 1, 1995 and applies only prospectively.
USING LEADING QUESTIONS DURING DIRECT EXAMINATION
Charles W. Ehrhardt and Stephanie J. Young
Historically, limitations upon a party’s impeaching its own witness and upon using leading questions during direct examination have been intertwined. This interplay continued longer in Florida than in most jurisdictions because Florida was slow to abandon the general rule against impeachment of a party’s own witness. Underlying policies created confusion concerning the permissible use of leading questions during direct examination. Adding to the terms, similar terms defined impeachment and the exceptions to prohibitions on leading questions.
Clarification of this area began in 1990, when the Florida Legislature amended section 90.608, Florida Statutes, to adopt the Federal Rules of Evidence view, permitting impeachment of a party’s own witness. In 1995, the Florida Legislature amended section 90.612(3), Florida Statutes, to adopt Federal Rule of Evidence 611(c) providing for the use of leading questions during direct examination. The Legislature thereby completed the clarification process.
This Article traces the development of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and the Florida Statutes from before the adoption of the Florida Evidence Code to the present as they affect the use of leading questions. The Article focuses particularly on the significance of the 1995 action of the Florida Legislature in amending section 90.612(3), Florida Statutes.
CITIZEN INITIATIVE IN FLORIDA: AN ANALYSIS OF FLORIDA’S CONSTITUTIONAL INITIATIVE PROCESS, ISSUES, AND STATUTORY INTITIATIVE ALTERNATIVES
P. K. Jameson & Marsha Hosack
Lawmaking by initiative differs significantly from America’s traditional form of representative government. Initiatives are best described as procedures instituted and controlled by voters to make new laws via the constitution, or, alternatively, by enacting statutes. The use of initiatives to amend constitutions or enact statutes frequently is termed “direct democracy” as opposed to “representative democracy.” Initiatives generally allow the public to bypass the Legislature and reserve direct lawmaking power in the voters of the state. Citizens propose constitutional amendments by initiative, and the general electorate adopts or rejects the proposed amendment at the polls.
FLORIDA’S CAPITAL SENTENCING JURY OVERRIDE: WHOM SHOULD WE TRUST TO MAKE THE ULTIMATE ETHICAL JUDGMENT?
La Tour Rey Lafferty
Perhaps the most controversial statutory provision in Florida’s capital sentencing scheme is the provision permitting a judge to override a jury’s recommendation of life imprisonment and impose the death penalty. Only three other states permit jury overrides in capital sentencing; for the most part, their statutes are modeled after Florida’s trifurcated capital sentencing scheme. For more than a decade, legal critics have asserted that the jury override violates the United States Constitution, the Florida Constitution, and public policy. However, the United States Supreme Court continues to uphold the validity of the jury override.
DISPELLING THE NEGATIVE MYTHS OF MANAGED CARE: AN ANALYSIS OF ANTI-MANAGED CARE LEGISLATION AND THE QUALITY OF CARE PROVIDED BY HEALTH MAINTENANCE ORGANIZATIONS
Bruce D. Platt and Lisa D. Stream
Over the last several years, Florida and other states have made great strides toward improving the availability and quality of health care coverage for their citizens. Many of these improvements result from an increased use of managed care health plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs). Health maintenance organizations are beginning to occupy a greater share of the health insurance market, and studies indicate that the enrollment growth in these managed care plans is a primary factor in the rate of decline in the spiraling costs of health care coverage.
REVEALING THE CONSTITUTIONAL INFIRMITIES OF THE “CRIME VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT,” FLORIDA’S NEW PRIVACY STATUTE FOR SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS
Brett Jarad Berlin
More than a century ago, American jurisprudence began recognizing the sociological concept of privacy as a legal right. As privacy law developed, real-life scenarios revealed that many fundamental theories of privacy directly clashed with theories underlying the modern interpretation of the First Amendment, such as the freedom of the press. The conflict between press freedoms and individuals’ privacy rights has not yet been settled satisfactorily. Both values are cherished and “plainly rooted in the traditions and significant concerns of our society.” Few people would deny that “[p]rivacy has always played a central role in the affairs of mankind and probably always will,” but neither would many deny that “the news media [cannot] survive if they are not vigorous advocates of openness and citizen participation.”