Republicans Give DeSantis Unprecedented Support

Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

On Tuesday (May 2), Florida’s Republican lawmakers passed legislation protecting the travel records of the Sunshine State’s Governor Ron DeSantis (R) and other state leaders from public disclosure.

The bill, which passed the Florida House by an 84-31 vote after passing the Senate last month, would exempt the Governor and his immediate family in addition to cabinet leaders, lieutenant Governors, cabinet members, Senate President, House Speaker, and Supreme Court Justice from having to disclose their travel history.

While Republicans have argued that the information is being kept from the public for the safety of state leaders and law enforcement, Democrats oppose the bill, saying it is designed to help DeSantis in his likely candidacy. Democrats argued that while the bill also protects information about where the Governor went, it also prevents revealing who he met with and for what.

The bill’s approval comes amid DeSantis’s busy travel schedule in recent weeks, making domestic and international trips in preparation for his expected White House bid.

In addition to appearances in key Republican primary states, DeSantis has spent the past week in Israel, Japan, South Korea, and Britain, a sign that he may be trying to sharpen his foreign policy bona fides before officially entering the presidential race.

Earlier this week, DeSantis said he had not introduced the bill, explaining Lawmakers had suggested the legislation based on security concerns for state leaders.

At a press conference about the legislation on Monday (May 1), DeSantis lamented the security situation faced by those at risk, like himself, touring the bill as a safeguard against those “people that may not want to do good things.”