BROOKSVILLE, Fla. — Today, Governor DeSantis signed three bills to counteract the malign influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the state of Florida. Last year, Governor DeSantis called on the Legislature to build upon the efforts he led two years ago to combat corporate espionage and higher education subterfuge carried out by the CCP and its agents. With the legislation signed today to limit Chinese purchases of agriculture land and land near military bases and critical infrastructure, to protect digital data from Chinese spies, and to root out Chinese influence in Florida’s education system, Florida has once again taken the lead in protecting American interests from foreign threats and has provided a blueprint for other states to do the same. More information on today’s announcement is available here.
“Florida is taking action to stand against the United States’ greatest geopolitical threat — the Chinese Communist Party,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “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. We are following through on our commitment to crack down on Communist China.”
“Food security is national security, and we have a responsibility to ensure Floridians have access to a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply,” said Commissioner Wilton Simpson. “China and other hostile foreign nations control hundreds of thousands of acres of critical agricultural lands in the U.S., leaving our food supply and our national security interests at risk. Restricting China and other hostile foreign nations from controlling Florida’s agricultural land and lands near critical infrastructure facilities protects our state, provides long-term stability, and preserves our economic freedom. This bill is long overdue, and I thank Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, Senator Jay Collins, and Representative David Borrero for their leadership on this issue and their commitment to protecting Florida and our security interests.”
SB 264, Interests of Foreign Countries, restricts governmental entities from contracting with foreign countries and entities of concern and restricts conveyances of agricultural lands and other interests in real property to foreign principals, the People’s Republic of China, and other entities and persons that are affiliated with them. It also amends certain electronic health record statutes to ensure that health records are physically stored in the continental U.S., U.S. territories, or Canada.
SB 846, Agreements of Educational Entities with Foreign Entities, prohibits state colleges and universities and their employees and representatives from soliciting or accepting any gift in their official capacities from a college or university based in a foreign country of concern. It also prohibits state colleges and universities from accepting any grant from or participating in any agreement or partnership with any college or university based in a foreign country of concern. A state college or university may only participate in a partnership or agreement with a college or university based in a foreign country of concern if authorized by the Board of Governors or the State Board of Education. The bill also prohibits the ownership or operation of any private school participating in the state’s school choice scholarship program by a person or entity domiciled in, owned by, or in any way controlled by a foreign country of concern.
SB 258 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 institution 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.
For more information about Governor DeSantis’ executive action taken against the Chinese Communist Party, click here. For more information about Governor DeSantis’ previous legislative accomplishments targeting the Chinese Communist Party, click here.