Gov. Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Extends Ban On Evictions And Foreclosures Until Aug. 1

Jul 1, 2020
Miami Herald

Florida renters and homeowners with mortgages will get another reprieve from evictions and foreclosures in July after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new extension Tuesday.

For the second straight month, DeSantis waited until the 11th hour to announce an extension. The moratorium was scheduled to expire at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, and the new order extending it until Aug. 1 wasn’t released until about 8 p.m. Tuesday.

New Budget, More Than 100 Laws Hit The Books In Florida

Jun 30, 2020
Michael Rivera (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons

TALLAHASSEE --- More than 100 new laws will hit the books Wednesday from the 2020 legislative session, with issues ranging from expanding school vouchers to increasing fines for bear poaching.

Out of 156 bills Gov. Ron DeSantis had signed into law as of Tuesday afternoon, 112, including the state’s new $92.2 billion budget, will take effect Wednesday, the start of the state’s fiscal year.

Scott Keeler / Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE --- Continuing to gradually finish the work of this year’s legislative session, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday signed 21 bills, including measures aimed at improving school-bus safety and preventing bear poaching.

Florida Gets 86,000 Jobless Claims, As Numbers Trend Down

Jun 18, 2020
AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

TALLAHASSEE --- Economic reopening efforts across Florida were reflected Thursday in a report on initial unemployment claims, which fell last week below six figures for the first time since the coronavirus shuttered businesses in March.

Matias J. Ocner / Miami Herald

This post will be updated today, Wednesday, June 17, and through the week with the latest information on COVID-19 in South Florida.

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Governor DeSantis Promises Big Cuts To State Budget

Jun 17, 2020
SCOTT KEELER / Tampa Bay Times via Miami Herald

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday he will soon slash enough spending from the state’s proposed $93.2 billion budget to keep lawmakers from having to address a coronavirus-fueled loss in tax revenues before the November elections.

“There’s going to be a lot more vetoes, there'll be a lot of red,” DeSantis told reporters during a late afternoon news conference.

Lawmakers passed a record spending plan in March for the fiscal year that starts July 1. But the proposed budget has not been formally delivered to DeSantis, who has line-item veto power.

Questions Remain About Reopening State Offices

Jun 16, 2020
Creative Commons

TALLAHASSEE --- More than a month after Gov. Ron DeSantis began restarting Florida’s economy, his administration has not issued guidance for how state agencies should reopen offices to workers and the public.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many state workers have been working from home and have been following telework and sick leave policies issued in March by the Department of Management Services, an executive agency that oversees state personnel matters.

AL DIAZ / Miami Herald

Florida saw daily increases of at least 1,000 new coronavirus cases on most days last week. On Monday, the state's Health Department reported 77,326 positive cases including Florida residents and non-residents.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said that’s a result of more people getting tested in the 25-to-45 age range, as well as testing of agriculture workers, for instance. At a June 12 press conference, DeSantis downplayed the side effects that people 25-to-45 year olds face from a coronavirus infection.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a baseball player during his days at Yale University, signed a bill Friday during an appearance at the University of Miami that will allow college athletes in the state to profit off their name, likeness and brand.

The law goes into effect in July 2021, making Florida the first state to allow these benefits. A similar California law does not go into effect until 2023.

Florida Budget Eyed For Cuts As Virus Hits State Revenues

Jun 11, 2020
flguardian2 / Flickr Creative Commons

TALLAHASSEE --- Florida TaxWatch wants more than $136 million in projects cut from the proposed state budget, but the fiscal-watchdog group acknowledges that might be far less than what is needed because of the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on state revenues.

TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro said he expects Gov. Ron DeSantis to use his line-item veto power to go beyond the 180 projects that TaxWatch has identified as “turkeys” in the proposed $93.2 billion budget that lawmakers passed in March.

Chris Day / Fresh Take Florida

TALLAHASSEE --- Arguing that the case is of “exceptional importance,” lawyers for Gov. Ron DeSantis have made a rare move of asking a full appellate court to consider a challenge to a voting-rights ruling that would pave the way for hundreds of thousands of felons to cast ballots in the November elections.

Appeals in federal lawsuits are almost always initially heard by three-judge panels, whose decisions can be revisited later by the full court in what are known as “en banc” hearings.

Palm Beach Post

A 27-year-old West Palm Beach man, who was paralyzed in 2013 when he was shot in the spine while running from a Palm Beach County sheriff’s deputy, will receive $6 million under a bill Gov. Ron DeSantis signed on Tuesday.

With a simple touch of his pen, the governor ended a seven-year legal battle for Dontrell Stephens, who is confined to a wheelchair because Deputy Adams Lin shot him four seconds after stopping him for riding his bicycle erratically on Haverhill Road.

Lin insisted he thought Stephens had a gun. Instead, Stephens was holding a cell phone.

Florida's Unemployment System Willfully Neglected Says Miami Lawmaker

Jun 10, 2020
Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

A Miami state senator testifying before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday highlighted the shortcomings of Florida’s unemployment system to federal lawmakers.

Democratic state Sen. José Javier Rodríguez told senators that Florida’s unemployment system, which was implemented by Republican Sen. Rick Scott when he was governor of Florida, “suffered from willful neglect for a long time.”

Gov. DeSantis Dismisses Call For Federal Unemployment Probe

Jun 8, 2020
Lynne Sladky / AP

TALLAHASSEE --- Gov. Ron DeSantis dismissed as partisan a request Monday by two Democratic U.S. senators for a federal investigation related to Florida’s handling of unemployment benefits.

“Well, I've never heard of partisan politics in Washington D.C. before. Oh, my goodness. Can you imagine that?” DeSantis, a former congressman, derisively replied when asked in Miami about the request by U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon. “Look, these guys are very partisan. That's all they're doing.”

AL DIAZ / Miami Herald

Most of Florida has already moved into phase two of Florida’s reopening plan for the novel coronavirus. In most of the state, people can now visit bars, movie theaters and casinos, along with beaches, gyms and restaurants. Of course, this comes with some caveats for social distancing and wearing masks.