Florida law authorizes counties (Section 125.5801, Florida Statutes), by ordinance, to require employment screening for any position which the governing body of the county finds is critical to security or public safety and for any private contractor, employee of a private contractor, vendor, repair person, or delivery person who has access to any public facility or publicly operated facility that the governing body of the county finds is critical to security or public safety. Significantly, the law does not permit a county to conduct criminal history checks on persons such as taxi drivers, tow truck operators, and other individuals likely to have close contact with persons in vulnerable situations. However, that loophole is about to be closed. Thanks to the help of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, HB 585 passed this session which amends ss. 125.5801, F.S., to specifically authorize counties to require state and national criminal history screening for “[a]ny private contractor, employee of a private contractor, vendor, repair person, or delivery person who has direct contact with individual members of the public or access to any public facility or publicly operated facility in such a manner or to such an extent that the governing body of the county/city finds that preventing unsuitable persons from having such contact or access is critical to security or public safety.” In order to take advantage of this change and to seek national criminal history checks it is expected that the FBI will require certain language be included in any such ordinance. As such, FAC is currently working with FDLE to get the necessary criteria to you just as soon as possible to help ensure your ordinance is in full compliance.