Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Tuesday formally disavowed the controversial Florida bill that would require compensated bloggers who write about the governor or members of his cabinet to register with the state, stating clearly that he does not support it.
The bill in question — Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur’s SB 1316: Information Dissemination — would require compensated bloggers writing about a member of the Legislature, the Office of Legislative Services, or a member of the executive branch to register with the “appropriate office,” whether that be the Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics. Notably, the legislation does not apply to members of the mainstream media.
The bill reads in part:
Upon registering with the appropriate office, a blogger must file monthly reports on the 10th day following the end of each calendar month from the time a blog post is added to the blog, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the report must be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday. If the blogger does not have a blog post on a blog during a given month, the monthly report for that month does not need to be filed.
It also notes that a blogger must provide the “individual or entity that compensated the blogger for the blog post” as well as the total compensation:
If the compensation is for a series of blog posts or for a defined period of time, the blogger must disclose the total amount to be received upon the first blog post being published. Thereafter, the blogger must disclose the date or dates additional compensation is received, if any, for the series of blog posts.
Failure to report could result in fines of $25 per day, up to $2,500 per report.
Breitbart News reached out to DeSantis’s office on Friday, inquiring whether the governor — who has tasked the legislature to tackle issues related to falsehoods touted by the legacy media — supported the bill. His press secretary, Bryan Griffin, stated at the time that the office was reviewing the proposal and that the governor would “consider the merits of a bill in final form if and when it passes the legislature.” He also noted that “over 3,000 bills are filed each year in Florida.”
DeSantis, however, overtly stated on Tuesday that he does not support the bill, reiterating that anyone in the legislature can file bills, but that does not automatically mean he supports them.
“It’s like, you know, every person in the legislature can file bills, right? I see these people filing bills and then there’s articles with my face on the article saying that ‘Oh, they’re gonna have to — bloggers are gonna have to register for the state’ and it’s like attributing it to me,” DeSantis said.
“And I’m like, okay, that’s not anything that I’ve ever supported. I don’t support, I’ve been very clear about what we’re doing and so people have a right to file legislation. They have a right to do different types of amendments and all that other stuff, but … they [members of the legislature] have independent agency to be able to do things. I don’t control every single bill that has been filed,” he added.