Florida Senate wants your name if you’re a writer . . . anywhere in the world.
Type the name of Florida’s Dark Fuhrer and you’ll need to register with the state.
286.31 Blogger registration and reporting. —
139 (1) As used in this section, the term:
140 (a) “Blog” means a website or webpage that hosts any
141 blogger and is frequently updated with opinion, commentary, or
142 business content. The term does not include the website of a
143 newspaper or other similar publication.
144 (b) “Blogger” means any person as defined in s. 1.01(3)
145 that submits a blog post to a blog which is subsequently
147 © “Blog post” is an individual webpage on a blog which
148 contains an article, a story, or a series of stories.
149 (d) “Compensation” includes anything of value provided to a
150 blogger in exchange for a blog post or series of blog posts. If
151 not provided in currency, it must be the fair-market value of
152 the item or service exchanged.
153 (e) “Elected state officer” means the Governor, the
154 Lieutenant Governor, a Cabinet officer, or any member of the
156 (f) “Office” means, in the context of a blog post about a
157 member of the Legislature, the Office of Legislative Services
158 or, in the context of a blog post about a member of the
159 executive branch, the Commission on Ethics, as applicable.
160 (2) If a blogger posts to a blog about an elected state
161 officer and receives, or will receive, compensation for that
162 post, the blogger must register with the appropriate office, as
163 identified in paragraph (1)(f), within 5 days after the first
164 post by the blogger which mentions an elected state officer.
165 (3)(a) Upon registering with the appropriate office, a
166 blogger must file monthly reports on the 10th day following the
167 end of each calendar month from the time a blog post is added to
168 the blog, except that, if the 10th day following the end of a
169 calendar month occurs on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday,
170 the report must be filed on the next day that is not a Saturday,
171 Sunday, or legal holiday.
172 (b) If the blogger does not have a blog post on a blog
173 during a given month, the monthly report for that month does not
174 need to be filed.
175 © The blogger must file reports with the appropriate
176 office using the electronic filing system:
177 1. As provided in s. 11.0455 if the blog post concerns an
178 elected member of the Legislature; or
179 2. As provided in s. 112.32155 if the blog post concerns an
180 officer of the executive branch.
181 (d) The reports must include all of the following:
182 1. The individual or entity that compensated the blogger
183 for the blog post.
184 2. The amount of compensation received from the individual
185 or entity, regardless of how the compensation was structured.
186 a. The amount must be rounded to the nearest $10 increment.
187 b. If the compensation is for a series of blog posts or for
188 a defined period of time, the blogger must disclose the total
189 amount to be received upon the first blog post being published.
190 Thereafter, the blogger must disclose the date or dates
191 additional compensation is received, if any, for the series of
192 blog posts.
193 3. The date the blog post was published. If the blog post
194 is part of a series, the date each blog post is published must
195 be included in the applicable report.
196 4. The website and website address where the blog post can
197 be found.
198 (4) Notwithstanding any other law, a magistrate is
199 authorized to enter a final order in determination of the
200 reasonableness of circumstances for an untimely filing of a
201 required report and the amount of a fine, if any.
202 (5) Each house of the Legislature and the Commission on
203 Ethics shall adopt by rule, for application to bloggers, the
204 same procedure by which lobbyists are notified of the failure to
205 timely file a report and the amount of the assessed fines. The
206 rule must also provide for, but need not be limited to, the
207 following provisions:
208 (a) A fine of $25 per day per report for each day late, not
209 to exceed $2,500 per report.
210 (b) Upon receipt of an untimely filed report, the amount of
211 the fine must be based upon the earlier of the following:
212 1. The date and time that the untimely report is actually
213 received by the office.
214 2. The date and time on the electronic receipt issued
215 pursuant to s. 11.0455 or s. 112.32155.
216 © The fine must be paid within 30 days after the notice
217 of payment due is transmitted, unless an appeal is filed with
218 the office. The fine amount must be deposited into:
219 1. If the report in question relates to a post about a
220 member of the Legislature, the Legislative Lobbyist Registration
221 Trust Fund;
222 2. If the report in question relates to a post about a
223 member of the executive branch, the Executive Branch Lobby
224 Registration Trust Fund; or
225 3. If the report in question relates to a post about
226 members of both the Legislature and the executive branch, the
227 lobbyist registration trust funds identified in subparagraphs 1.
228 and 2., in equal amounts.
229 (d) A fine may not be assessed against a blogger the first
230 time a report for which the blogger is responsible is not timely
231 filed. However, to receive this one-time fine waiver, all
232 untimely filed reports for which the blogger remains responsible
233 for filing must be filed with the office within 30 days after
234 the notice of untimely filing was transmitted to the blogger. A
235 fine must be assessed for any subsequent late-filed reports.
236 (e) The blogger is entitled to appeal a fine, based upon
237 reasonable circumstances surrounding the failure to file by the
238 designated date, by making a written request to the office for a
239 hearing before the magistrate from the Second Judicial Circuit.
240 Any such request must be made within 30 days after the notice of
241 payment due is transmitted to the blogger. The office shall
242 transmit all such timely, written requests to the chief judge of
243 the Second Judicial Circuit along with the evidence the office
244 relied on in assessing the fine. The magistrate, after holding a
245 hearing, shall render a final order, upholding the fine or
246 waiving it in full or in part.
247 (f) A blogger may request that the filing of a report be
248 waived upon good cause shown based on reasonable circumstances.
249 The request must be filed with the office, which may grant or
250 deny the request.
251 (g) Fines that remain unpaid for a period in excess of 100
252 days after final determination are eligible for recovery through
253 the courts of this state.
254 Section 4. This act shall take effect upon becoming a law.