Florida’s GOP Legislature Shields DeSantis’ Travel Records as 2024 Campaign Looms

This week, the Florida state legislature moved to permit Gov. Ron DeSantis and other officials to conceal their travel records from the public eye. This decision is just one of several recent actions taken by the state legislature that seems to support DeSantis’ potential 2024 presidential campaign. Last week, the Republican-controlled legislature passed new voting restrictions and changes to state election law, including altering the state’s “resign to run” provision. This alteration allows DeSantis to serve as governor and campaign for the White House simultaneously.

The legislature passed a bill on Tuesday exempting “certain security or transportation services” from public records requirements. DeSantis’ recent use of privately chartered flights for meet-and-greet events in key primary states like Iowa has raised questions about the nature of his travel and who is funding it. However, Sen. Jonathan Martin, the bill’s sponsor, claimed in March that the bill is intended to protect the governor’s safety and privacy.

DeSantis supported this reasoning at an event on Monday, citing security concerns and his status as a potential target. Although state law permits him to use government planes for political and personal travel, complaints have increased about DeSantis leveraging taxpayer-funded transportation for his personal benefit.

The Trump campaign has taken note of this issue, accusing DeSantis of using taxpayer dollars to travel around the country for his 2024 presidential campaign. In a statement last month, they pointed out that DeSantis’ gubernatorial office refuses to disclose the cost of his travels or how much taxpayer money has been spent. As DeSantis’ potential presidential campaign approaches, the Florida GOP seems determined to shield him from scrutiny, making it even more critical for the public to stay informed and hold their elected officials accountable.