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How much does it cost DeSantis to travel from one place to another? Florida won’t tell you

Gov. Ron DeSantis regularly jets around the state.

Stops over the last month have included Coral Gables, Jacksonville and Cape Canaveral, all to sign bills passed by the Florida Legislature earlier this year.

His constituents may know DeSantis went to these three cities, but they won’t know how much it cost them. The state says such financial records are exempt from public records disclosure, citing a 2023 law geared at concealing certain information to prevent the endangerment of the governor and other officials.

A total amount for how much is spent on the governor’s travel is released every year by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, but the agency recently denied a public records request from the USA TODAY NETWORK-Florida seeking a detailed breakdown.

Open government advocates and others argue the new law prevents the public from clearly knowing whether personal and political trips, which shouldn’t be paid for with tax dollars, were kept separate from official travel.

“I don’t understand this inconsistency…. He was at a public event, it doesn’t make any sense to protect that,” said Michael Barfield, director of public access initiatives for the Florida Center for Government Accountability, which has filed multiple public records lawsuits against the governor. “It’s my understanding the legislation did not preclude the release of financial amounts.”

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