By Susan Hardee Steger
May 3, 2021
Governor Ron DeSantis will soon have the ability to suspend local COVID restrictions including local mask ordinances. According to an article written by Haley Brown of Florida Politics, “Gov. DeSantis is using his current executive power to terminate the local emergency orders through June, but after that, the termination is made possible by new laws that take effect July 1 in an emergency management bill (SB 2006) passed on the last day of Session. The most controversial parts of that law include a vaccine passport ban and limits on local governments to enact emergency orders.”
As of noon today, City Attorney Tammi Bach was not able to receive a copy of an executive order to confirm if the information being circulated among media sources is correct. If true though, Bach said her response is the same as a previous executive order, which banned local governments to enact finds and penalities for violating local mask ordinances.
“The Governor’s latest Executive Order suspending all local COVID restrictions attempts to strip local governments and communities of their home rule powers related to community health”
At a news conference in St Petersburg, Florida, DeSantis said local municipalities would still place limits on the number of people in bars, and business owners can still require mask to be worn in their stores.
The timing of DeSantis’s move to eliminate local mask ordinances is unclear at this time.