Proposed Florida Bill Would Require Bloggers Who Write About Governor and Legislators to Register With State
The bill states that bloggers could face a $2,500 fine if they don’t follow its guidelines.
Florida Republican Senator Jason Brodeur filed SB 1316: Information Dissemination, on Tuesday, a bill that, if passed, would require bloggers to register with the Office of Legislative Services or the Commission of Ethics if they are being paid for a blog post.
“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,” the bill said.
The proposal defines elected state officers as the “Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the Legislature”.
Once a blogger is registered, they also would be required to send monthly reports to the office that detail how much they have been compensated and who they are receiving compensation from, according to the bill.
The measure states that if bloggers fail to file these reports, they could be facing a fine of up to $2,500.
Ron Kuby, a First Amendment lawyer in New York, told NBC News the bill would not hold up in court if passed.
"It's hard to imagine a proposal that would be more violative of the First Amendment," Kuby told the outlet. "We don't register journalists. People who write cannot be forced to register."
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