Bill says people who blog about Ron DeSantis should register with State

  • A Florida senator has filed a bill requiring anyone who blogs about DeSantis to register with the state.
  • SB 1316 mandates that bloggers must register within five days of their first post.
  • The proposed legislation has not yet come up for a vote, and it’s unclear whether DeSantis supports it.

A new bill introduced in Florida would require any blogger who writes about Gov. Ron DeSantis to register with the state.

The bill was introduced in the Florida Senate on February 28 by GOP Rep. Jason Brodeur. SB 1316 requires any blogger who writes about DeSantis — and is paid for their work — to register with the state ethics commission or the Florida Office of Legislative Services. They must do so within five days of their first posting.

Bloggers would also have to register with the state if they write anything about Florida’s lieutenant governor, a cabinet officer or any member of the Florida Legislature, according to the bill.

SB 1316 would require bloggers to file monthly reports about their work if they write about elected officials, including the payment they received for their articles, rounded to the nearest $10, and the name of the “person or entity” who paid them. he paid.

Authors who do not submit their reports on time should be fined $25 a day, the bill suggests. A blogger can be fined up to $2,500, the bill says.

Brodeur’s proposed law does not appear to apply to news organizations, but instead would target individual bloggers who write about DeSantis and other officials.

The proposed legislation has not yet been put to a vote. It is unclear whether DeSantis personally supports Brodeur’s bill.

Brodeur told the website Florida Politics that he believes “paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk.”

Ron Kuby, a New York lawyer who specializes in free speech, told NBC News that Brodeur’s proposal would violate the First Amendment.

“We don’t register reporters. People who write can’t be forced to register,” Kuby told NBC News.

The proposal to place more restrictions on people writing about DeSantis directly contradicts the governor’s message that Florida should have as much freedom as possible. In July, Insider saw a fundraising page from DeSantis selling a gold “Freedom Squad Membership Card.”

Reps for Brodeur and DeSantis did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

The ACLU of Florida, the First Amendment Foundation and the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Program at the University of Florida did not immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment.

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