Signing an executive order Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended all local COVID-19 emergency orders.
“I think that’s the evidence-based thing to do,” DeSantis said at a news conference in St. Petersburg. “I think folks that are saying they need to be policing people at this point, if you’re saying that, then you’re really saying you don’t believe in the vaccines.”
This law will give power to the governor’s office to overrule any emergency mandates or restrictions. State Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said the law, as well as Monday’s order, will “handcuff local governments and their ability to respond.”
“The Executive Order he just signed to is just so hypocritical to the so-called values of the party of small government,” Eskamani said. “It was local governments that led the way in protecting their people and putting into play standards that helped to stop the spread of COVID-19 … and holding businesses accountable who were not following the best procedures. And it really is so important that every government agency at every level work together to solve these problems, not continue to demonize governments.”
The bill will become law July 1st and will ban businesses from requiring “Vaccination passports” which was an executive order that DeSantis signed in April. This law prevents businesses from requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before they can enter the business and receive service. This does not affect the business ability to require a mask to enter their business.
This order also suspends local restrictions until the new law takes affect on July 1st. Orange County has a three phase plan to remove restrictions. Not everyone is happy about this. Mayor Rock Kriseman from St. Petersburg stated on Twitter,: “To be clear, cities like St. Pete, Tampa, Orlando, Miami and Miami Beach saved Florida and the governor’s behind throughout this pandemic. Can you imagine if each city had been led by Ron DeSantis? How many lives would have been lost? What would our economy look like today?”
It will be interesting to see what the local government decide to do next. To be learn SB2006 states that any emergency orders could only last 42 days. It also give the governor the ability to overrule cities and counties at ANY time, and city and county commissions the power to overrule mayors. This could be a game changer.