Gov. DeSantis applauds passage of anti-protest bill
Image via AP.

Ron DeSantis AP photo
The Governor looks forward to signing HB 1 into law.

Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ office released a statement Thursday following the passage of one of the most controversial proposals of the 2021 Legislation Session.

The proposal (HB 1) contains a slew of provisions aimed at unlawful assembly and rioters. The Senate passed the bill on Thursday. It now awaits DeSantis’ signature.

“With the passage of HB 1, the Florida Legislature has answered Governor DeSantis’ call to uphold the rights of our state’s residents while protecting businesses and supporting our brave men and women in law enforcement,” said Cody McCloud, press secretary for DeSantis, in a written statement.

DeSantis and Republican leadership first spoke of the proposal in September amid a summer spree of riots and protests, sparked by a series of fatal police incidents including George Floyd in Minneapolis.

During the time, law and order stood forefront of former President Donald Trump‘s reelected campaign.

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Republicans at-large embraced the narrative.

“This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian’s constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished,” the statement adds. “Further, this legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police.”

The bill, however, wouldn’t come to light until Jan. 6, the day of the Capitol insurrection.

Among other assertions, critics contend the bill was a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Moreover, they argue the bill tramples free speech and will disproportionately impact minority communities.

Other provisions within the bill create an appeal system for cities that slash police budgets and a requirement that a person arrested during an unlawful assembly remain in jail until first appearance.

Proponents, meanwhile, suggest the bill is needed to protect law abiding citizens and law enforcement officers.

“The Governor looks forward to signing HB 1 into law,” the statement concluded.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


11 comments

  • Ron Ogden

    April 16, 2021 at 7:25 am

    For the sake of the reasonable and law-abiding people of Florida, Republicans win again!

    • Cameron

      April 16, 2021 at 4:06 pm

      They just trampled on your rights and you don’t even realize it.

      • Carol J Gross

        April 17, 2021 at 4:57 pm

        The headline should read: ANTI-RIOT LAW, it is not an anti-protest law!~ Once again putting stuff out there that tries to make Florida (or Florida’s awesome governor) look bad!

  • trump lost

    April 16, 2021 at 7:41 am

    Most of these laws are already on the books. Another redundant move by the trumplican party to create redundant legislation that bloats our systems. This has nothing to do with good governance. It plays to base and that is all. Expect the courts to throw most of it out.

    What is new in this law is how it strips the power of the local governments from managing their own budgets. Again, the trumplican party shows its true colors. They don’t believe in small government closest to the people. They only want control and consolidating the control at the state level, out of the hands of the people, is the best way. This is the opposite of populism.

    • Ron Ogden

      April 16, 2021 at 10:05 am

      “What is new in this law is how it strips the power of the local governments from managing their own budgets.” That is, of course, mere propaganda and false. Read the bill. If a municipality reduces a law enforcement budget and a state attorney or a member of the city commission objects, it can be appealed to the state Administrative Commission, which holds a hearing, reads the evidence, hears testimony and then decides. First of all someone has to complain, second there has to be a hearing, and third there has to be a decision. Nobody’s power is being “stripped”. “Challenged” perhaps, but not “stripped.”

      • John

        April 16, 2021 at 7:27 pm

        As you point out, there will ultimately be a decision. By whom? Not the local government that currently has the power.

  • Charles

    April 16, 2021 at 8:43 am

    good stuff by republicans and again florida is leading the nation.

    • Cameron

      April 16, 2021 at 4:07 pm

      Leading the nation in idiocy.

  • Nae

    April 16, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    I’m pretty sure this bill, if passed, will only be enforced against “some” people NOT all people.

    • Ron Ogden

      April 16, 2021 at 1:13 pm

      “All” people do not burn down stores and throw bricks at police. Only “some” people do.

      • Cameron

        April 16, 2021 at 4:08 pm

        So “all lives matter” really doesn’t mean all lives…..

Comments are closed.


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