“Don’t Say Blogger” Bill Proposed in Florida Senate


Okay, that blog post title, Don’t Say Blogger Bill Proposed in Florida Senate, might be forced. Still, one Florida senator has introduced a bill that could be titled “Don’t Say Blogger.” Well, at least if you blog about Governor Ron DeSantis, as reported by Deadline.

Blogger Bill Proposed

Senator Jason Brodeur’s bill (SB 1316), actually entitled “Information Dissemination,” applies to bloggers of all shapes and sizes. An oversimplified explanation of this bill would demand that any blogger writing about Gov. Ron DeSantis, his cabinet, or state legislators must register with the state.

In addition, this blogger bill proposed would require bloggers to disclose who’s paying them for their posts on certain elected officials. Also, bloggers must report their income amounts and their employers. “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 five days of the post, the proposed legislation says. Reports are that the fine for failing to register would be $25/day with a maximum penalty per post of $2500.

More details from the blogger bill proposed start defining a blog and bloggers. For example, the statement says the bloggers’ reports to the state “must include” the “individual or entity that compensated the blogger for the blog post and “the amount of compensation received from the individual or entity.” The bill also defines a blog as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content,” but says the “term does not include the website of a newspaper or other similar publication.”

Requests For Comment on Blogger Bill Proposed

NBC News requested comments from DeSantis’s office. His office has yet to reply as of late Thursday, March 2. NBC News also asked for a statement from Senator Brodeur. He failed to respond immediately. Nevertheless, he told the Florida Politics website, which first reported this story in a blog, that “Paid bloggers are lobbyists who write instead of talk. They both are professional electioneers. If lobbyists have to register and report, why shouldn’t paid bloggers?”

Though I still need to be fully qualified in first amendment law, that sounds like some interesting logic. The final decision will be whether bloggers are considered journalists, which clearly do not have to be registered by law.

This site has written a few blogs about Governor DeSantis lately. In fairness, the Governor wanted people to write about him with press conferences and ceremonies about things like Reedy Creek and battles with the CDC. Oh, there was this battle with Disney over a don’t say something bill that I feel confident his office wanted everyone to write about.

In fairness, this article might be self-serving as a part-time blogger. Nevertheless, if this “Don’t Say Blogger” bill moves within Florida’s political system, it will be interesting to see how this power gets used by the dominant political party.  We will have to wait and see if this bill holds up or not.

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