Secret recording bill, 19 others go to Scott

Gov. Rick Scott delivers 2015 State of the State address
Gov. Rick Scott delivers 2015 State of the State address

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The House on Monday sent 20 bills to Gov. Rick Scott, including a measure (HB 7001) that would allow children to secretly record conversations related to sexual abuse or other violent acts.

The bill stemmed from a Supreme Court decision last year that ordered a new trial for a man sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing his stepdaughter.

The court said recordings made by Richard R. McDade's stepdaughter should not have been allowed into his Lee County trial.

State law generally bars recording of conversations unless all parties agree, and it also prevents such recordings from being used as evidence in court.

The bill would create an exemption for children under 18 who have reason to believe that secretly recording a conversation "will capture a statement by another party to the communication that the other party intends to commit, is committing, or has committed an unlawful sexual act or an unlawful act of physical force or violence against the child."

Among the other bills that went to Scott's desk is a measure (HB 641) aimed at clearing up confusion created by a 2013 law that shut down Internet cafes. This year's bill would make clear amusement games can continue operating at businesses such as Dave & Busters and Chuck E. Cheese's.

Scott must act on the 20 bills by June 2, according to a list on his website.