Republican State Senator Introduces Authoritarian Anti-Free Speech Bill Requiring Bloggers to Report to the State

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They call this a “doozy”. Florida’s senator introduced legislation that would require bloggers who write content about elected officials to register with their state and report it back to them.

Jason Brodeur, a state senator filed SB 1316 this Wednesday. The bill would create a program for bloggers to write about members or the governor and lieutenant governor of the state. They will also need to register with their state and file monthly reports. If a blogger blogs about an elected official, they will be compensated ,”

The proposed legislation defines a “blogger” as someone who posts a blog entry to a website that is later published.

A blog can be defined as “any website that hosts any blogger” or “any website or webpage that regularly updates with opinion commentary, business content, or both.” This does not apply to websites that are published in a newspaper or similar publication.

Bloggers must register with Florida within 5 business days of publishing blog posts referring to state officials. Monthly reports will be required detailing the posts and disclosing who funded them.

The bill says that “if the compensation was for a series of blog posts or for an extended time period, then the blogger must reveal the total amount received at each blog post being published.” ” “The blogger must disclose any additional compensation for blog posts, if any. ”

If you’re not an authoritarian, it gets even worse.

The bill would impose fines for those who fail report on time. According to the bill

The rules that will be adopted by the Commission on Ethics and each house of Congress will apply to bloggers the same process as lobbyists were notified about late filings and the amount fines.

Brodeur supported Brodeur’s bill during a conversation with Florida Politics. Brodeur suggested that lobbyists register and report.

Critics say that even if the law is passed, it will be unable to survive a court challenge. Ron Kuby from New York First Amendment attorneys stated the same to NBC News.

Kuby stated it was hard to imagine a proposal that would infringe the First Amendment. Writers can’t be forced into registration

This bill would be absurd, authoritarian, and most likely unconstitutional. If a lawmaker was unaware or unconcerned with the First Amendment, they could not introduce such legislation in any legislature.

It raises many questions. Is this only for bloggers from Florida? Or would he make it mandatory for everyone who writes about a Florida politician in a blog post. Brad Slager, RedState from the Sunshine State, raised this question and addressed it well.

Bloggers like me who blog to make money would need to follow a lot more reporting and registration requirements. People such as Brodeur are great sources of information.

If Slager’s role is to report every blog posting he makes about a Florida politician then who is protecting those rights?

DeSantis is yet to comment on the bill. The bill was presented Thursday. If it gets more support, it could prove to be a problem.