FACT CHECK: Did California Ban Travel To Florida?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared nearly 1,000 times claims California banned travel to Florida.

Verdict: Misleading

While California does prohibit state-funded travel to Florida, the ban does not apply to personal travel. There are also certain exceptions to the state-funded travel ban.

Fact Check:

The Aug. 3 Facebook post reads, “California bans travel to Florida. Congratulations Florida, now that’s how it’s done.” It does not provide any qualifiers to its claims, seemingly suggesting California has banned all travel to the state.

While California has, according to the state’s Office of the Attorney General, prohibited state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Florida and 16 other states, the ban does not apply to private travel. The ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel to those states also includes exceptions for certain travel purposes.

Florida and four other states were recently added to the list of states to which California prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel as a “result of new anti-LGBTQ+ legislation enacted in each state,” according to a June 28 press release from the California Attorney General’s Office. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in June signed into law a bill that barred transgender females from playing on public high school girls’ and college women’s sports teams, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The state-funded travel restrictions stem from California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 1887. The bill, passed in 2016, requires California to prohibit state-funded travel to states that have passed laws that remove protections for members of the LGBTQ community or that discriminate against them, according to The New York Times.

AB 1887 allows state-funded and state-sponsored travel to the 17 states on its prohibited list for enforcing California law, litigation and completing job-required training that cannot be obtained in California or another state not subject to the prohibition, among certain other purposes, according to the California Attorney General’s Office website.

On the California Attorney General’s Office website, the “Frequently Asked Questions” section states AB 1887 “does not apply to any personal travel of a state employee or private individuals.” Check Your Fact found flights on several airlines from cities in California to cities in Florida, such as flights from San Diego to Miami, Los Angeles to Jacksonville and San Francisco to Tampa. (RELATED: Is Florida’s Border ‘Officially Closed,’ As This Viral Post Claims?)

“You’re correct that these restrictions only apply to state-funded travel to the states on the list, i.e. it does not apply to private travel,” the California Attorney General’s press office told Check Your Fact in an email.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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