DeSantis Kills Florida Bill That Would pay for Trump's Legal Fees

DeSantis Kills Florida Bill That Would pay for Trump's Legal Fees

Javier Manjarres
Javier Manjarres
January 23, 2024

Much like it has been the case with one stroke of Governor Ron DeSantis’s veto pen, a legislative measure that would pay for former President Donald Trump’s legal bills, and the legal bills of any future political statewide candidates,  was nixed, or withdrawn from consideration in the Florida Senate.

Fresh off of his withdrawal from the 2024 Republican presidential primary race, Gov. DeSantis’s threat to veto Sen. Ileana Garcia’s (SB 1738, SB 1740) bills swiftly put an end to the idea that taxpayer dollars would be used to bail out any qualified candidates for elected office.

The bill would have provided up to $5 million for each qualified candidate.

Her is the deathblow DeSantis delivered:

“But not the Florida Republican who wields the veto pen,” stated Gov. DeSantis.

Sen. Garcia responded to DeSantis’s not-so-veiled threat, stating that CFO Jimmy Patronis brought her the bill, and that she filed it to protect future “conservative candidates.”

“This bill was filed on January 5th amidst a crowded primary, including two Florida residents. My concern was the political weaponization against conservative candidates, and while (Patronis) brought me this bill at a time when all candidates were committing to campaign through the primary, one frontrunner now remains, and he can handle himself. I will be withdrawing the bill,” said Sen. Ileana Garcia.

In a very rare show of bipartisanship, Republican and Democratic state lawmakers were on the same page in opposition to Sen. Garcia’s measure.

“It was an awful idea that even had bipartisan opposition so I am glad to see it withdrawn,” stated Rep. Anna Eskamani (D) in response to The Floridian’s request for comment.

One Republican lawmaker, who asked that we keep his or her name out of this story,  stated that it was a “bad bill” all around, and that taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay the legal fees of any political candidate.

It was a bad bill, both policy, wise and politically. Under what circumstances should taxpayers pay the legal defense fund of a political candidate? That’s the policy answer. The political answer is independents would hate the bill. It would put everyone at risk if we voted for that,” stated the lawmaker. “We all have sympathy for the president who is being attacked by lawfare, but that would be a bridge too far. She was right to pull the bill.”

It should be an interesting week in the Florida Legislature.

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Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres

Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning political journalist and Publisher of,,, and He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming, and biking. Javier is also a political consultant and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Follow on Twitter: @JavManjarres Email him at

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