Ian Patrick, FISM News
Despite not announcing a run for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis appears to be making the right moves to get Republicans on his side.
DeSantis signed a trio of bills on Monday which, according to a statement from his office, target “the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida.”
“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat —the Chinese Communist Party,” the Governor said.
The first of the three bills is known as SB 264, or “Interests of Foreign Countries.” This measure makes it virtually impossible for the Chinese government, or any entity affiliated with them, to purchase agricultural land in the state of Florida.
The bill also “restricts governmental entities from contracting with foreign countries and entities of concern” and ensures health records are physically stored in the U.S.
The next bill is SB 846, or “Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities.” This prohibits U.S. colleges and universities from accepting gifts, grants, and partnerships given by other educational learning centers from “a foreign country of concern.”
SB 846 also prevents any entity or individual associated with “a foreign country of concern” from owning or operating any private schools involved in the state’s school choice scholarship program.
Finally, the governor signed SB 258. This measure “requires the Department of Management Services to create a list of prohibited applications owned by a foreign principal or foreign countries of concern, including China, which present a cybersecurity and data privacy risk.”
“The bill requires government and educational institutions to block access to prohibited applications on all government servers and devices in Florida and requires public employers to retain the ability to remotely wipe and uninstall these dangerous applications from government-issued devices,” the statement reads.
Governor DeSantis said he was “proud” to sign the bills.
I’m proud to sign this legislation to stop the purchase of our farmland and land near our military bases and critical infrastructure by Chinese agents, to stop sensitive digital data from being stored in China, and to stop CCP influence in our education system from grade school to grad school.
The trio of bills were presented as “the strongest legislation in the nation to date to counteract the influence of … the Chinese Communist Party.”
The signing of these bills follows a suggestion from the Treasury Department for the federal government to take similar action. Republicans have notably warned of the CCP taking crucial land since August of 2022.