DeSantis rejects blogger registration bill: “I Don’t Support It”

by | Mar 7, 2023

  • Gov.Ron DeSantis voiced disapproval of Senate Bill 1316, referred to as the “blogger registration” bill, which would require bloggers paid to write about elected officials to register with the state and provide monthly reports or face financial penalties.
  • The bill has raised concerns about potential First Amendment violations and has been “categorically opposed” by Florida House Speaker Paul Renner.
  • As of now, the bill has no sponsors and is expected to be dead on arrival after DeSantis’ opposition.

Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke out against Senate Bill 1316 on Tuesday, stating that he offers no support for the measure. Colloquially referred to as the “blogger registration” bill, the legislation drew nationwide scorn amid concerns over Constitutional violations.

Filed by Sen. Jason Brodeur, the bill would require bloggers who are paid to write about elected officials, including DeSantis and his cabinet, to register with the state. The legislation would also require bloggers to provide monthly reports detailing their work, including their earnings and sources of revenue.

Failure to comply, according to the bill’s language, would result in daily financial penalties being issued to the blogger, with a maximum cumulative penalty of $2,500.

Former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich referred to the bill as “insane,” while Florida House Speaker Paul Renner stated on Tuesday that the bill is one that he “categorically opposes,” adding that it serves as a violation of the first amendment.

DeSantis remained quiet on the matter before he gave Tuesday’s remarks, delivering a strong disavowment of Brodeur’s bill and denying any form of support.

“That’s not anything I’ve ever supported. I don’t support [it],” said the governor. “I’ve been very clear about what we’re doing.”

As of Tuesday, the legislation hasn’t received any sponsors nor has a companion bill been filed in the state House. While the bill has been referred to three committees – Judiciary, Criminal and Civil Justice Appropriations, and Fiscal Policy — it is expected to be dead on arrival.

In an interview with Florida’s Voice last week, Brodeur claimed that the media was mischaracterizing the bill, telling the publication that it only serves to publicize “bloggers who are paid compensated to influence or advocate on state elections.” Moreover, Brodeur asserted that his filing “promotes transparency.”


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