“Don’t Say Blogger” Florida Bill Update

Florida Senator Jason Brodeur Photo Credit: Florida Politics.com

Yes, I am again using a made-up name for this bill proposed by a Florida senator. However, we have an official comment from Governor DeSantis about this “Don’t Say Blogger” bill that forces bloggers to register with the state if writing about certain governmental officials.


Florida Senator Jason Brodeur
Photo Credit: Florida Politics.com

As I wrote a few days ago, Florida Senator Jason Brodeur proposed a bill (SB 1316) entitled “Information Dissemination,” that places unrealistic restrictions on bloggers. This bill would demand that any blogger writing about the Governor, his cabinet, or state legislators must register with the state.

Proposed Bill (Don’t Say Blogger)

This proposed bill 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.

As reported when this news came out, Governor DeSantis had not commented on this bill. Once again, he did not propose this bill, nor do we have reason to believe he sanctioned this bill. However, his silence causes some to wonder.

As the New York Post and others reported, DeSantis distanced himself from this bill at a March 7 news conference. He said he did not support this legislation.

DeSantis also expressed some surprise with this bill being proposed. He stated that “lawmakers can introduce measures independently and said he was surprised he became associated with state Sen. Jason Brodeur’s proposal that would require bloggers who cover government to register with the state.” He also said, “I see these people filing bills and there are these articles with my face on the article saying that bloggers are going to have to register with the state and they’re attributing it to me.”

Don't Say Blogger

For the record, I did put DeSantis’s face on the cover of a previous blog. However, I never stated that DeSantis endorsed this bill. Like NBC News, I pointed out that DeSantis’ office had not commented on the bill.

Newt Gingrich

Also, as many news outlets have reported, Newt Gingrich took to Twitter after news of the blogger bill. He typed, “The idea that bloggers criticizing a politician should register with the government is insane. it is an embarrassment that it is a Republican state legislator in Florida who introduced a bill to that effect. He should withdraw it immediately.” Though not sure insane makes the best choice of words, DeSantis also stated he did not approve of the proposed blogger bill.

As of the time of writing, this proposed bill was referred to a Senate committee on Monday, March 6. The bill received an introduction to the senate on Tuesday, March 7.  Though some adjustments to the proposed bill have been made, the basic structure and regulations remain the same. With Governor DeSantis distancing himself from this bill, this seems unlikely to pass. Thankfully, i may never have to type the words “Don’t Say Blogger” again,

What do you think will happen to the “Information Dissemination” bill? Let us know in the comments below.


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