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Bill Summary Details

Fiduciary Duty of Care for Appointed Public Officers and Executive Officers (Oppose – Mandate)

CS/CS/HB 573 (Beltran) and CS/SB 758 (Diaz) create a new statute establishing standards and mandatory five hours of training for the fiduciary duty of care for appointed local public officers and executive officers of local government entities. In addition, the bills impose restrictions on legal representation by government attorneys. The fiduciary duty and training requirements apply to appointed officials of various local boards and committees, including code enforcement boards, planning and zoning boards, land use boards, community redevelopment agency boards and pension boards. CS/SB 758 was amended to remove pension and retirement boards from the bill. CS/HB 573 was amended to remove certain municipal boards from the bill, such as code enforcement, planning and zoning, CRA and pension boards. The bills provide that each appointed public official and executive officer has a fiduciary duty of care to the governmental entity served and has a duty to act in accordance with laws and terms governing the office or employment, act with the care and competence normally exercised by private business professionals, act only within the scope of authority and refrain from conduct likely to damage the economic interests of the governmental entity. Further, such persons must become reasonably informed in connection with any decision-making function and keep reasonably informed concerning the performance of a governmental entity’s officers, agents and employees. The bills impose training requirements on appointed public officers and executive officers that require completion of at least five hours of board governance training per term served. The bills specify the minimum content of such training programs, including board governance best practices and fiduciary duty of care and liabilities imposed by the new law. The bills provide that all legal counsel employed by a governmental entity must represent the legal interest and position of the governing body of the governmental entity and not the interest of any individual or employee of the governmental entity. (O’Hara)