Senate plans to resurrect social media legislation, address Gov. DeSantis concerns
Kathy Castor is advancing some extra protection for children online.

Asian kid is super surprise on something on the computer. Intern
Lawmakers intend to unveil new language Friday and hear a bill Monday.

The Senate on Monday will consider a new version of a social media ban for most minors. That will replace a bill passed by the Legislature that Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to veto Friday.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo said the chamber will take up House-passed legislation (HB 3) requiring pornography websites to use third-party software to verify the age of users. In the upper chamber, Sen. Erin Grall combined much of the language in that bill with a social media ban (HB 1) that prohibits anyone under age 16 from opening or maintaining accounts on social media platforms with addictive features.

DeSantis has raised concerns about parental consent regarding social media use. HB 1 sits on his desk, and he has until 4:50 p.m. Friday to sign or veto it. Passidomo said Thursday she expects the Governor to nix the bill.

But Passidomo said lawmakers want to pass a compromise that DeSantis can support, and the pornography bill provides a vehicle.

“With HB 3 in our possession, we hold in our hands the opportunity to facilitate a potential solution to make sure this critical issue is addressed before the end of session,” Passidomo said.

Sen. Debbie Mayfield, a Rockledge Republican and Senate Rules Committee Chair, made a motion on the House floor to waive standard Senate rules and put the House bill directly on the Senate floor for consideration Monday.

Passidomo said an amendment will be filed today to add language on social media platforms to the bill, just as the Senate previously rolled the pornography regulations into the original social media bill.

Presumably, that amendment will also address DeSantis’ concerns. The Governor in the past expressed a desire for legislation to allow parents of 14- and 15-year-olds to provide consent to use social media.

House sources have also pointed to a Democratic amendment that would extend a social media ban to age 18 but allow parental consent to override that restriction. Filed by Rep. Ashley Gantt, a Miami Democrat, that bill was initially rejected by the House.

The Governor is expected to outline policy concerns with the bill in a veto message when he disposes of HB 1.

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].


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