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DeSantis signed a bill to keep state travel records from being made public

DeSantis signed a bill to keep state travel records from being made public

(CNN) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, signed the legislation into law Thursday A bill exemption Records related to your travels from the state’s strong public disclosure laws.

Under the new law, law enforcement agencies would be barred from sharing the governor’s security and travel-related records and records of “persons with whom the governor requests such services.” The expansive language would allow the DeSantis administration to keep secret trips organized by the governor’s office even when he is not involved.

The law arises immediately Governor’s Recent Travels to key Republican primary states and Israel, and critics have dismissed the legislation as an attempt to prevent damaging information about DeSantis’ trip as he is expected to announce his campaign for president.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves as he leaves after signing several bills related to public education and teacher pay during a press conference in Miami, May 9, 2023. (Credit: Rebecca Blackwell/AP/FILE)

Republicans, however, said the move was necessary to protect DeSantis and prevent information about his travel habits and security detail from falling into the hands of people plotting attacks on the governor. When asked about the move last week, DeSantis said it wasn’t his idea.

The law applies retroactively and covers his extensive use of government aircraft throughout his tenure as governor. Opponents said it would also include records of visitors to the Governor’s House.

Such information has long been public record in Florida, with public access to state records and meetings enshrined in its constitution, and has sometimes led to embarrassing revelations about Florida governors.

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The bill was one of 37 DeSanti signed on Thursday, including a ban on schools and businesses requiring masks or Covid-19 vaccines as the federal public health emergency expires.

The ban is a continuation of his policies, first passed in November 2021 and set to expire at the end of June, which sidelined medical professionals during the pandemic.

Speaking at a friendly crowd, DeSantis described how Florida reopened its economy and schools ahead of most states and fought mandates to vaccinate workers.

“Florida got it right and those states got it wrong,” DeSantis said.

— CNN’s Jamie Gumbrecht, Kit Maher and Kaanita Iyer contributed to this report.