Proposed Florida Bill Targets Bloggers Who Write About Ron DeSantis

DeSantis thinks Disney Feud will help him be President
Credit: ABC

Another day, another dramatic move in the state of Florida involving controversial governor Ron DeSantis and Florida Republicans. According to reports, Florida State Senator Jason Brodeur — a Republican — has proposed a bill that would require bloggers who write about certain politicians to register with the state. Brodeur’s bill also states that those bloggers would have to report how much they are being paid for those posts — positive or negative. Larger corporations, like newspapers, would be exempt from registering with the government.

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 9/21/21-Sen. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, during the Senate Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee, Tuesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee.

Credit: Florida Politics

According to the bill, a “blog” is defined as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content. The term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

Here is more on what the Florida bill would require, per Deadline:

Under the terms of the bill — read it here — “if a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that post, the blogger must register with the appropriate office” within “5 days after the first post by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer.”

It also requires that bloggers file monthly reports if a post is added to the blog. The reports must disclose the “individual or entity” that provided compensation for the blog post, the amount of compensation, the date of blog posts, and the website and website address. Fines are set at $25 per day per report for each day late, not to exceed $2,500.

Gov. DeSantis

Credit: Twitter/@GovRonDeSantis

The proposed legislation, if passed, would apply to those bloggers who write about the governor, the lieutenant governor, a cabinet official, or any member of the state legislature. Governor DeSantis and GOP lawmaker Jason Brodeur have not commented publicly on the bill.

Governor DeSantis has been in the headlines a lot recently, as he just signed a bill into law dissolving the Reedy Creek Special District, which operates Disney World. The state now controls the Board, and Disney will have to go through DeSantis’ appointees for anything they want to be done in Walt Disney World Resort. DeSantis has also said that the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board — the new name for Reedy Creek — may pull the purse strings in order to influence the content that Disney makes.

Reedy Creek Fire Department

Credit: RCFD

It is unlikely that the bill would pass, and, even if it does, many experts doubt that it would hold up in court as it could be seen as a direct attack on free speech. Republicans in the state have already been accused of trampling free speech when they went after Disney’s autonomy when now-fired CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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