(1) It is the policy of the state that the purpose of regulation is to protect the public by attaining compliance with the policies established by the Legislature. Fines and other penalties may be provided in order to assure compliance; however, the collection of fines and the imposition of penalties are intended to be secondary to the primary goal of attaining compliance with an agency’s rules. It is the intent of the Legislature that an agency charged with enforcing rules shall issue a notice of noncompliance as its first response to a minor violation of a rule in any instance in which it is reasonable to assume that the violator was unaware of the rule or unclear as to how to comply with it.
(2)(a) Each agency shall issue a notice of noncompliance as a first response to a minor violation of a rule. A “notice of noncompliance” is a notification by the agency charged with enforcing the rule issued to the person or business subject to the rule. A notice of noncompliance may not be accompanied with a fine or other disciplinary penalty. It must identify the specific rule that is being violated, provide information on how to comply with the rule, and specify a reasonable time for the violator to comply with the rule. A rule is agency action that regulates a business, occupation, or profession, or regulates a person operating a business, occupation, or profession, and that, if not complied with, may result in a disciplinary penalty.
(b) Each agency shall review all of its rules and designate those for which a violation would be a minor violation and for which a notice of noncompliance must be the first enforcement action taken against a person or business subject to regulation. A violation of a rule is a minor violation if it does not result in economic or physical harm to a person or adversely affect the public health, safety, or welfare or create a significant threat of such harm.
(c)1. No later than June 30, 2017, and after such date within 3 months after any request of the rules ombudsman in the Executive Office of the Governor, each agency shall review its rules and certify to the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the committee, and the rules ombudsman those rules that have been designated as rules the violation of which would be a minor violation under paragraph (b), consistent with the legislative intent stated in subsection (1).
2. Beginning July 1, 2017, each agency shall:
a. Publish all rules that the agency has designated as rules the violation of which would be a minor violation, either as a complete list on the agency’s website or by incorporation of the designations in the agency’s disciplinary guidelines adopted as a rule.
b. Ensure that all investigative and enforcement personnel are knowledgeable about the agency’s designations under this section.
3. For each rule filed for adoption, the agency head shall certify whether any part of the rule is designated as a rule the violation of which would be a minor violation and shall update the listing required by sub-subparagraph 2.a.
(d) The Governor or the Governor and Cabinet, as appropriate, may evaluate the review and designation effects of each agency subject to the direction and supervision of such authority and may direct a different designation than that applied by such agency.
(e) Notwithstanding s. 120.52(1)(a), this section does not apply to:
1. The Department of Corrections;
2. Educational units;
3. The regulation of law enforcement personnel; or
4. The regulation of teachers.
(f) Designation pursuant to this section is not subject to challenge under this chapter.