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Gov. DeSantis allows local governments to meet remotely

The order said it is “necessary and appropriate to take action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled”

Gov. Ron DeSantis provides updates on COVID-19 pandemic response
Gov. Ron DeSantis provides updates on COVID-19 pandemic response

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Pointing to a need to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday issued an executive order suspending a requirement that local government boards hold in-person meetings.

The order will allow local boards to hold meetings by conference call or video conferencing, though they will be required to continue to comply with the state’s open-government laws.

The order said it is “necessary and appropriate to take action to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled, and that residents and visitors in Florida remain safe and secure.”

DeSantis made the move a day after the state House and Senate held in-person meetings to pass a budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Legislative leaders said they did not have the legal authority to allow members to cast votes remotely. DeSantis’ order only applies to local governments.