TALLAHASSEE – Governor Ron DeSantis on Tuesday clarified his stance on a bill which would require bloggers to register with the state if they covered him, cabinet officials, or legislators. DeSantis stated that he did not agree with the bill, effectively killing its chances of becoming law on the spot.
The legislation was filed by Republican State Representative Jason Brodeur, a Daytona Beach native who now represents Seminole and some of Orange counties. It was immediately met with intense backlash from First Amendment advocates, who accused the bill of violating its Freedom of the Press provision.
If passed, the bill would mandate that bloggers inform the government if they’d been paid for writings covering the aforementioned officials. Failure to comply would result in fines up to $2,500.
Brodeur resisted claims that the bill impeded on free speech, saying addressed issues of electioneering and fostered accountability. He had few notable allies in his brief push to get it through the legislature. Even high profile Republicans such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were sharply critical.
“That’s not anything I’ve ever supported,” DeSantis said when asked about the bill. “I don’t support it.” The Governor took exception to some news outlets which have tied his likeness to the bill in the absence of an official stance. News Daytona Beach reached out to DeSantis’s press office on Friday to inquire, and were informed he hadn’t yet formed an opinion.
BREAKING— @GovRonDeSantis just struck down the ‘Blogger Bill’ that forces Bloggers to Register With State
— Javier Manjarres (@JavManjarres) March 7, 2023