This week a new bill was proposed by a Republican state senator in Florida which would require all bloggers who wanted to write about Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), his Cabinet officers, and members of the Florida legislature to be registered with the state.
Bloggers who are paid to write online content or receive compensation for the posts they write about elected state officials would need to register with the Florida Office of Legislative Services or the Commission on Ethics. This is not a requirement that either newspaper websites or other such outlets and websites will need to abide by.
According to the bill which was introduced by Republican state Sen. Jason Brodeur, bloggers who wanted to write about elected officials would need to register with the office “within 5 days after the first 164 by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer.”
Additionally, any other posts they wrote about elected state officials would need to be filed in a detailed report by the blogger monthly. The report should state when and who has posted the post as well as note the amount they received in compensation. Failure to abide by this could lead to fines for the blogger.
The proposed “Information Dissemination” bill covers the following official members: “the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature.” In the case of the bill, a blog is defined as “a website or webpage that hosts any blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or business content” and a blog post as “an individual webpage on a blog which contains an article, a story, or a series of stories.”