Here's Why Ron DeSantis Passed a Law to Make Details About State Travel Plans Private
The Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, recently took a significant step to safeguard his privacy when he signed a bill into law that removes travel-related documents from the state's extensive public disclosure legislation. As per CNN, following his public and intensely criticized trips to Israel and important primary states, the formidable 2024 presidential contender drafted the bill into effect in May. The new law would prohibit law enforcement agencies from disclosing any information about the security and travel plans of the governor, as well as 'for persons for whom such services are requested by the governor.' It will also permit DeSantis' government to maintain covert travel arrangements even without his involvement.
DeSantis signed 37 bills into law in May, including one that forbade companies and educational institutions from requiring COVID-19 immunizations or masks while the federal public health emergency was set to end. After being adopted by the Senate last month, the state House 84–31 passed the contentious travel bill, mostly along party lines.
Ron DeSantis: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant" for government— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) June 26, 2023
Also Ron DeSantis: *signs law to conceal his travel records*
Americans want transparency in government—not hypocrisy. I have a bill to disclose more information when elected officials travel on taxpayers' dime. pic.twitter.com/56ruw6YruO
As per NBC News, since then, Republican lawmakers have maintained that keeping DeSantis' travel records private will not only protect the Republican leader but also ensure that his law enforcement and security staff stay safe. In the official statement, it was noted: “The Legislature finds that the safety and security of persons authorized protection... under Florida Statutes, as well as the safety and security of law enforcement agents and personnel providing the security or transportation services, outweigh any public benefit that may be derived from the disclosure of such records."
“Therefore, it is a public necessity that records held by a law enforcement agency relating to security or transportation services under... Florida Statures, be exempt from public records requirements,” it stated. However, Fentrice Driskell, the leader of the House Democratic Caucus, protested the bill's passing, claiming DeSantis 'should resign as governor' and become a private citizen again if he wants to keep his trip logs discreet. “As long as he’s in office, he should be open and honest about where he’s going, when, and who is with him. Floridians have a right to know what their governor is doing, and that includes these travel details,” Driskell added in an official statement. Furthermore, he pointed out that DeSantis was the first governor of the state to make such a request.
As per Reuters, the Florida governor traveled to Israel before announcing his White House bid in May. Approximately 400 people attended the event on April 27, including roughly 120 American Jewish benefactors, according to a press statement from the Museum of Tolerance Jerusalem and the Jerusalem Post, the event's sponsors. “At a time of unnecessarily strained relations between Jerusalem and Washington, Florida serves as a bridge between the American and Israeli people,” DeSantis said during a press release back then.
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