THE 1996 REVISED FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT: A SURVEY OF MAJOR PROVISIONS AFFECTING FLORIDA AGENCIES
In the spring of 1996, the Florida Legislature adopted a revised Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the first massive overhaul of Florida’s APA since its initial adoption over twenty years ago, in 1974. This Article examines the recent history of APA reform in Florida and surveys several provisions of the 1996 revised Florida APA that are likely to have a major effect on agency governance.
LOOSENING THE CHAINS THAT BIND: THE NEW VARIANCE AND WAIVER PROVISION IN FLORIDA’S ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT
Donna E. Blanton and Robert M. Rhodes
When Governor Lawton Chiles and Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay spoke about Florida’s revised Administrative Procedure Act (APA) at the bill signing ceremony last May, they emphasized the Act’s “flexibility,” its provisions for “good judgment,” and its opportunities for a “common sense approach” to rule application. The section of the Act prompting these comments is the variance and waiver provision, which directs state agencies to apply their own rules flexibly as long as the statutory criteria for granting variances and waivers are satisfied.
LEGISLATIVE CHECKS ON RULEMAKING UNDER FLORIDA’S NEW APA
F. Scott Boyd
Administrative Procedure Act (APA or the Act). The APA now includes provisions for uniform procedural rules, summary proceedings, and additional opportunities to challenge proposed rules. It includes new sections on mediation, negotiated rulemaking, and waiver of rules. The entire Act has been renumbered, reorganized, and simplified. But the most significant change ultimately may evolve from a series of amendments relating to legislative checks on the rulemaking process. Although these changes have drawn scant attention, they alone have the potential to substantially alter the structure of administrative law in Florida.
TOOTHLESS? THE ENDANGERED MANATEE AND THE FLORIDA MANATEE SANCTUARY ACT
Manatee populations have been decreasing for over one hundred years. In 1978, the Florida Manatee Sanctuary Act (MSA) was passed to stop that decline. While the MSA often takes a back seat to better-known species protection laws, such as the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), the MSA is critical to the effort to save the manatee.
THE ELECTRONIC SIGNATURE ACT OF 1996: BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS TO WIDESPREAD ELECTRONIC COMMERCE IN FLORIDA
William E. Wyrough, Jr. and Ron Klein
The current information revolution has seen an increasing number of people using computers to exchange all types of information. The rapid proliferation of affordable hardware and software, as well as affordable network connections, is making it more practical for people from all walks of life to take advantage of information technology. As a result, opportunities are being created to make information flow more efficiently and accurately between people.
THE 1996 FLORIDA ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE ACT’S ATTORNEY’S FEES REFORMS: CREATING INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS OR NEW PROBLEMS?
Elizabeth C. Williamson
In his 1995 inaugural address, Florida Governor Lawton Chiles proclaimed a war on red tape, urging legislators to streamline government rules and take power away from bureaucrats. In 1996, the Florida Legislature responded by amending the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Originally adopted in 1974, the APA establishes a framework that instructs state agencies how to promulgate and administer rules. Because the APA governs agency action ranging from environmental regulation to insurance rulemaking to overseeing professional conduct, its revision will have far reaching effects.
THE POLITICS OF ETHICS AND ELECTIONS: CAN NEGATIVE CAMPAIGN ADVERTISING BE REGULATED IN FLORIDA?
Cleveland Ferguson III
Negative campaign advertising has been a staple of American political tradition since John Adams’ victory over Thomas Jefferson in the 1796 presidential election. Citizens coolly received the handbills distributed to disparage Jefferson’s character. Observers could not deny the effectiveness of the negative advertising that helped catapult Adams into the Presidency. No accusation was too strong—“from drunkenness and gambling to impotence and adultery.” Even Abraham Lincoln was referred to in derogatory terms in nineteenth-century campaign literature. More recently, negative advertising has taken the form of anonymous telephone calls made to Floridians by Governor Chiles’ reelection campaign, which may have contributed to his victory over Republican challenger Jeb Bush.