Governor DeSantis, Legislative Leaders Go After Big Tech

Governor DeSantis, Legislative Leaders Go After Big Tech

Governor Ron DeSantis went on the offensive Tuesday protecting Floridians from Big Tech censorship, calling them “enforcers of preferred narratives” whose economic interests are “not in the public interest” during a speech announcing new legislation.

The “Transparency in Technology Act” would increase technology transparency in Florida, particularly as it relates to “Big Tech” firms like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Google.

“In Florida, our message to Big Tech is loud and clear. Big Tech companies have long since abdicated the protection of consumers for the pursuit of profit and we can’t allow Floridians’ privacy, voices, or livelihoods be violated or diminished. When it comes to elections, Big Tech shouldn’t be in the business of censoring or de-platforming candidates, but rather, voters should be able to make that choice independently. Floridians should be able to choose which content to consume and which to ignore, because I want to preserve Florida’s rich, diverse public discourse and not allow corporate-owned, content managing outlets to dominate our voices.”

~~ Governor Ron DeSantis

Joining the governor at the announcement were Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senate President Wilton Simpson along with the bill sponsors, Senator Danny Burgess and House Commerce Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia.

To read more about the announcement and to see what the Lieutenant Governor, House Speaker and Senate President said please see the “Transparency in Technology Act” press release below or click here to watch.

We have also included links to some of the many published news reports.

Read more here:

And here:


For Immediate Release: February 2, 2021

Contact: Governor’s Press Office, (850) 717-9282,

Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson Highlight Proposed Legislation to Increase Technology Transparency in Florida

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by legislative leaders to highlight proposed legislation that would increase technology transparency in Florida, particularly as it relates to “Big Tech” firms like Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Apple, Amazon, and Google. The Governor was joined at today’s announcement by Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, Senate President Wilton Simpson, Senator Danny Burgess and House Commerce Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia, who has introduced a bill in the Florida House of Representatives entitled, the “Transparency in Technology Act.”

“In Florida, our message to Big Tech is loud and clear,” said Governor DeSantis. “Big Tech companies have long since abdicated the protection of consumers for the pursuit of profit and we can’t allow Floridians’ privacy, voices, or livelihoods be violated or diminished. When it comes to elections, Big Tech shouldn’t be in the business of censoring or de-platforming candidates, but rather, voters should be able to make that choice independently. Floridians should be able to choose which content to consume and which to ignore, because I want to preserve Florida’s rich, diverse public discourse and not allow corporate-owned, content managing outlets to dominate our voices. With the help of our legislative partners, we’re going to stand together and support Floridians and put a stop to Big Tech’s practice of preying on, censoring and de-platforming consumers.”

“Tech leaders in Silicon Valley should not be the gatekeepers of what information is available to Floridians,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Governor DeSantis and our legislative leadership are committed to holding big tech accountable for their arbitrary censorship policies.”

“A fundamental understanding of what it means to be an American is that we have equal access to the town square — a place where we can share our thoughts, our ideas and our beliefs with fellow citizens,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “The use of mystery algorithms, shadow banning and other deceptive techniques distort the public square like a fun-house mirror, exaggerating our fears and feeding our rage. If democracy is going to survive, we must stand up to these technological oligarchs and demand transparency.”

“Big Tech has a duty to allow different views on their public platforms. No one should be excluded, but let’s be clear, they are targeting conservatives and engaging in political censorship,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “While Congress has the full power to make changes to the terrible policy that allows big tech to discriminate, we will do everything in our power to stop the abuses and allow Floridians the right to express their views. Thank you, Governor DeSantis and Speaker Sprowls, for your leadership on this issue.”

“Big Tech should not be allowed to discriminate based on content and ban individuals just because they do not agree with their viewpoint,” said Senator Danny Burgess. “Regardless of a person’s background, political history, religion, race, gender, or any other identifying measure, Twitter and Facebook and others cannot be the sole judge, jury, and executioner of American’s First Amendment rights. For better or for worse, this is the new town square and social media has become a major part of our everyday life and society. The unilateral actions we have seen in recent weeks set a terrifying precedent that must be addressed appropriately. We hear from constituents every day who cannot fathom that this type of blatant political censorship is happening in our country. We are going to do everything we can at the state level to address this issue.”

“Big Tech has a death grip on public discourse, and the Florida House is calling for transparency and accountability once and for all,” said Commerce Committee Chair Blaise Ingoglia. “Whatever we see and what we engage with on social media is whatever the Big Tech giant deems we should be fed. Our proposal will give users the power to understand how they are being manipulated.”

Floridians have a right to know how these companies shape what they see and control what they say. The proposed legislation announced today would aim to require big tech firms to do the following:

  • Publish standards used to ban posts, de-platform and shadow ban users.
  • Provide equal access for established news organizations and qualified political candidates to reach users free from manipulation by algorithms.
  • Stop arbitrarily censoring and/or de-platforming users.
  • Give users the power to opt out of algorithms.
  • Stop frequent changes to terms of use, clearly communicate and obtain prior consent to changes.







Once again, Florida is showing what effective Republican leadership looks like

In Governor DeSantis’s budget message Thursday, he made clear a top priority is to keep the state of Florida open for businesses to continue operating and students to attend school in person if they choose, while protecting our most vulnerable residents by prioritizing them receiving the vaccine.

The Governor announced that his recommended budget is $96.6 billion, with total reserves at $6.6 billion — which is more than 6 percent of the total recommended budget. This puts the state in a strong position of available resources for unforeseen expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 hurricane season. This is quite an accomplishment after a year of dealing with the pandemic and a credit to the foresight of keeping the state open and spending restrained. It’s tragic what other states have done to their economies and their people.

“The cornerstone of my mission has been to protect our most vulnerable residents and put Florida’s Seniors First, while ensuring that every Floridian can go to school, go to work, and provide for themselves and their families,” Governor DeSantis said. “Because of this approach, Florida has been an exception to many of the economic struggles we are seeing in other states.”

Governor DeSantis’ budget also continues his commitment to reducing Floridians’ tax burden. The budget proposes to cut taxes of $65 million. Florida’s per capita state tax burden of $1,917 is currently the fourth lowest among all states, and Governor DeSantis believes in keeping taxes low to help Florida’s future generations.

Governor DeSantis is delivering freedom for businesses and employees, for families and students, protection for those most in need, maintaining a healthy budget to fund schools, environmental protection, transportation and the rest of state operations — all accomplished while still giving Floridians a tax break.

Yes, this is what effective Republican leadership looks like.

Read more here:

Unfortunately, per the usual arrangement, the media is taking talking points directly from Democrats in ongoing attempts to smear Florida’s successful efforts at getting out the COVID-19 vaccine to our most vulnerable populations. In this case, it was President Biden’s new press secretary disingenuously attacking Florida by claiming the state had only distributed 50 percent of the vaccines it holds.

Naturally, media ran with it. But Governor DeSantis pointed out the next day that many of those unused doses have been purposely kept in reserve for the necessary second round of doses needed to create the full regimen needed. The FDA guidelines have been for two doses as that is where the high effectiveness comes from. Shouldn’t all states be doing that? There is a window in which the second shot needs to be administered.

“Florida is averaging more than 300,000 first doses per week but we are not going to divert away from our seniors,” DeSantis said. “We are committed to ensuring our seniors are the priority and get their second dose, and if the White House is suggesting that we shouldn’t be doing that, I don’t think that’s a good suggestion.”

The Governor’s office also shared these CDC comparables of vaccinations per 100,000 people from the 10 largest states, since the White House claims to like facts and data so much.

  1. Florida – 7,193
  2. New York – 7,019
  3. Michigan – 6,962
  4. Texas – 6,081
  5. North Carolina – 6,068
  6. Pennsylvania – 5,816
  7. Georgia – 5,689
  8. California – 5,568
  9. Ohio – 5,536
  10. Illinois – 5,517

The full CDC numbers are here:

Also, per our usual arrangement, Governor DeSantis continues to be leader in battling the COVID-19 scourge — such as the CDC just coming out with guidelines saying that schools should re-open with precautions as in-person learning is essential for children, exactly what Governor DeSantis has been saying since last Spring.

And under the Governor, Florida has developed perhaps the most robust and innovative infrastructure for getting vaccines to residents, including public-private partnerships with hundreds of Publix locations, plus state-run locations and, of course, health care facilities.


Florida Update

COVID-19 Vaccinations

More than one million Florida seniors have received the COVID-19 vaccination, Governor Ron DeSantis announced this week. Florida continues to lead the nation in vaccinations for seniors under the Governor’s Seniors First initiative.

“Florida is full speed ahead with our Seniors First strategy and it is working,” Governor DeSantis said. “The state’s reporting now shows that we have vaccinated more than one million seniors, which accounts for nearly 70% of Florida’s total vaccinations to date and is leading the nation in this all-important effort.”

In addition to more than one million seniors vaccinated, the state is on track to have offered the COVID-19 vaccine to every resident and staff member in Florida’s nearly 700 nursing homes and over 3,000 assisted living facilities by the end of the month.

The Governor made that announcement during a visit to River Garden Hebrew House for the Aged in Jacksonville, where he was joined by Emmett Reed, Executive Director of the Florida Health Care Association, and Steve Bahmer, President and CEO of LeadingAge Florida.

Watch the event here:

Read more here:

Check the official updated statistics here:


Ashley Moody Update

Attorney General Ashley Moody is joining Uber in a Super Bowl-timed campaign to educate drivers on human trafficking prevention ahead of the biggest annual sporting event, this year being held in Tampa.

Moody and Uber are partnering to release an educational video for the thousands of drivers and passengers expected around the game, which is less than two weeks away and includes the Tampa Bay Bucs. The educational video gives an understanding of what human trafficking is, and teaches how to spot it and what to do.

“Hosting the Super Bowl in Florida for the second year in a row is a huge win for our state’s economy and tourism, Moody said. “But as we learned from Super Bowl LIV, traffickers will look to exploit this event to advance illegal enterprises at the expense of innocent victims.”

Read more:


Jimmy Patronis Update

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis urged the Legislature and municipalities to “Back the Blue” during a speech Tuesday at the 2021 Florida Sheriffs Association Winter Conference at the Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach.

Patronis specifically asked the law enforcement organization for their support of Governor Ron DeSantis’ Combating Violence, Disorder, Looting and Law Enforcement Protection Act. “I vow to fight against anything that would defund or hurt police,” he said.

The Governor’s proposal is aimed at cracking down on protesters with new felonies for when property is damaged, or people injured as a result of protests involving seven or more people.

Read more at:


Florida keeps attracting great businesses, as the state landed a new $300 million headquarters for a company that will produce the first business jet that can fly faster than the speed of sound — the result of strong leadership from Governor DeSantis and Florida GOP leaders.

The supersonic aircraft company Aerion broke ground on its new global headquarters in Melbourne, where it plans to produce the world’s first business jet that can fly faster than the speed of sound — an indication that a new era of travel at speeds above Mach 1 is getting closer.

As part of the $300 million investment into the 110-acre Aerion Park, the company plans to produce upward of 300 aircraft over the next decade. “We are building the future of mobility — a future where humanity can travel between any two points on our planet in three hours or less,” Aerion CEO Tom Vice said.

And they’re doing it in Florida.

Read more here:


Governor DeSantis flew Florida’s flags at half-staff Wednesday to honor Holocaust Remembrance Day and the liberation of Auschwitz. We remember the innocent lives taken, the victims, and those who risked their lives in WWII. Florida will NEVER tolerate anti-Semitism.



Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Partnership with Publix to Open COVID-19 Vaccination Sites

Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and Florida Department of Health (FDOH) have partnered with Publix Supermarkets to establish COVID-19 vaccination sites. Governor DeSantis made this announcement at the first Publix vaccination site in Ocala.

Through a partnership with FDEM and FDOH, Publix is receiving 15,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to launch a new pilot program at 22 select Publix Supermarkets, beginning Friday, January 8. Appointments can be made beginning Thursday, January 7.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to increase vaccinations and put Florida’s seniors first, I’m pleased to announce this innovative partnership with Publix,” said Governor DeSantis. “At the end of the day, we are all in this together, and the state of Florida thanks Publix for their willingness to step up and lend their infrastructure to this critical cause.”

The 22 pilot locations will be open in three counties: three in Citrus County, 11 in Hernando County, and eight in Marion County.

All vaccinations by Publix at their select locations will be by appointment only. Beginning Thursday, January 7, qualified individuals can make an appointment by visiting

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Four New Actions to Increase Vaccinations, Reaffirms Commitment to Putting Florida “Seniors First”

Longwood, Fla. – Today, during a press conference at Orlando Health in Seminole County, Governor Ron DeSantis announced four new actions the state is undertaking as it enters the fourth week of a proactive approach to increase vaccinations, especially for Floridians 65 and older.

Governor DeSantis said, “Florida is putting Seniors First and I’m pleased to announce four new actions that will continue our proactive approach to offering the vaccine to Floridians 65 and older, as well our continued efforts to vaccinate frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents. Partnerships with Florida hospitals remain critical to our efforts, but this alone is not enough to reach our vaccination goals.

“To that end, I am directing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to partner with the Florida Department of Health to identify additional sites to administer the vaccine and to be open 7 days per week, including the conversion of state-supported testing sites and partnerships with places of worship in underserved communities. I am also directing the Division to hire additional nurses to support these sites and accelerate vaccinations in Florida’s over 3,000 assisted living facilities. We will continue to build on these efforts in the coming weeks.”

The Governor was joined at today’s event by Orlando Health CEO David Strong, State Senator Jason Brodeur and State Representative Scott Plakon, where he also helped kickoff the opening of Orlando Health’s seven new community vaccination sites.

Watch the full press conference by clicking HERE.



1) Expanding access to vaccine with additional state-supported sites. Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to work with the Florida Department of Health to identify state-run COVID-19 testing sites that can convert into vaccine sites. Additional information regarding the locations of these sites will be available in the coming days.

2) Deploying the vaccine into underserved communities.
Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to identify places of worship and other locations in underserved communities where the vaccine may be administered. Florida has already begun a pilot program in Escambia County, where over 500 seniors have received their vaccine and have been scheduled for their booster shot, which they will receive at the same location.

3) Reinforcing vaccination efforts with additional staff.
Governor DeSantis has directed the Florida Division of Emergency Management to immediately hire 1,000 contract nurses to support vaccination efforts. These nurses will be deployed throughout the entire state to help run vaccination sites, including public sites run by the state or counties and private sites such as South Seminole Hospital. These nurses will supplement the many personnel already in the field, including 800 Florida National Guardsmen, who have been supporting the state’s response since the beginning of the pandemic.

4) Continuing to prioritize long-term care facility residents.
There is no time to waste to vaccinate Florida’s most vulnerable residents. Governor DeSantis is directing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to assume additional responsibilities regarding the administration of vaccines in Florida’s over 3,000 assisted living facilities, supplementing and accelerating the efforts being undertaken by CVS and Walgreens, pursuant to their agreement with the federal government.


The opening of hospital vaccination sites along with these four new actions are a timely complement to our first three weeks of vaccinations, which included the following accomplishments:

Florida was the first state in the nation to:

  • Begin offering vaccines to staff and residents of our over 4,000 long-term care facilities.
  • Begin offering vaccines to EMTs and paramedics; and
  • Mobilize our county health departments and county emergency managers to actively vaccinate seniors in the community.

Week One

  • Five pilot hospitals received an allocation of the Pfizer vaccine for frontline health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities. At the Governor’s direction, they shared with neighboring hospitals.
  • The Governor directed the Florida Department of Health, Florida Division of Emergency Management and Florida National Guard to mobilize EMS strike teams to immediately begin offering vaccines to staff and residents of long-term care facilities to supplement Operation Warp Speed partner efforts a week ahead of schedule.
  • Florida offered vaccines to all staff and residents at over 100 facilities in Pinellas and Broward Counties in just 6 days.

Week Two

  • Florida received the first shipment of the Moderna vaccine, which was immediately sent to over 170 hospital locations that spanned the entire state.
  • The Governor also signed an executive order to give next vaccination priority to seniors over the age of 65, as well as highlighting the start of CVS and Walgreens’ administration of vaccines at long-term care facilities.

Week Three

  • Florida remained full speed ahead at vaccinating the state’s most vulnerable residents and sent doses of vaccine to all 67 county health departments.
    • Florida received over 127,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and distributed doses to the remaining county health departments and hospitals that had not received the vaccine to-date.
  • Florida received over 118,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which is being used to administer the second dose at the original five pilot hospitals, and long-term care facilities in Broward and Pinellas Counties who received their first dose through Florida Department of Health and Florida National Guard strike teams.

Week Four (Underway)

  • As Florida enters Week Four, Governor DeSantis’ administration is taking the necessary steps to ensure the vaccine – that is now present in every corner of the state – gets administered as quickly as possible.


Today, Orlando Health announced the opening of the following community vaccination sites:

  • Orlando Health South Seminole Hospital
  • Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital
  • Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies
  • Orlando Health – Health Central Hospital
  • Orlando Health South Lake Hospital
  • Orlando Health St. Cloud Hospital
  • Bayfront Health St. Petersburg

Orlando Health has the capacity to administer over 10,000 vaccines per week. As is the case with all vaccinations in the state of Florida, vaccines will be reserved for individuals 65 years of age and older, frontline healthcare workers, staff and residents of long-term care facilities and individuals hospitals deem to be extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.

To receive a vaccine at one of the Orlando Health locations, please visit to register.