Kathleen Passidomo expects social media bill veto, compromise with Ron DeSantis to pass quickly
Gus Bilirakis seeks to bring more decency online.

Kyiv, Ukraine - September 5, 2019: A paper cubes collection with
The Senate President laid out a process to amend a proposed restriction on porn websites.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo confirmed lawmakers are preparing a new social media bill as Gov. Ron DeSantis prepared to veto one already passed.

Passidomo said negotiations are already underway between Speaker Paul Renner and DeSantis regarding restrictions on social media for children under age 16.

“Both the Speaker and the Governor are working together on language that will work for them to basically fix the concerns that the Governor has with HB 1,” Passidomo said. “And my understanding is that they are in a really good spot.”

The Florida Legislature passed HB 1, a top priority of the Speaker, earlier this month. But DeSantis has maintained concerns about cutting parents out of the decision whether to allow children online.

He has noted federal law bars anyone under 13 from opening social media accounts, and he might support state enforcement of that restriction. But the law passed by the Legislature would extend that through age 16.

“When you add 14 and 15, you can definitely show how these platforms can have a negative effect, and I’ve always said I think social media is a net negative for kids,” DeSantis said. “At the same time, we’re somebody that’s believed in involving parents as much as possible. So while I think that there are harms associated with that, I do think parents could supervise in ways where it’s used in ways that could be beneficial.”

Passidomo said she expects DeSantis to veto the bill today but that she’s confident another bill will advance quickly. She also confirmed the likely path it will take legislatively. The Florida House passed a similar age restriction requirement for pornography websites in a separate bill (HB 3). But the Senate rolled both measures into a single piece of legislation. The House bill has remained untouched since then, but the Senate can take it up and amend the language to allow social media restrictions acceptable to the Legislature and Governor.

“To follow the process, (DeSantis) would have to veto HB 1 and then bring up HB 3 and include the language on HB three that they both agreed to,” Passidomo sa “d. “I feel confident something’s going to happen like that.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    March 1, 2024 at 1:21 pm

    Users of HAM radio are licensed by the state. Why wouldn’t we also want the state to license all users of social media?

    HAM radio sellers could have identified people they sold HAM radios to, but the government didn’t trust them to do it. We are going to trust social media companies to license users?

    Obviously we won’t trust social media companies for any reason. Nor should we trust social media companies for any reason. But that creates a predicament of who exactly will guarantee social media users are adults.

    Oh I know who will verify social media users are at least 18yo! Florida State Government can issue social media user licenses to anyone age 18 or older with $29 for their annual license fee.

    And once the licensing is in place, what good is it without tracking content by license ID? None! All social media content will have to contain the mark of its licensed user. “For the kids.”

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