Florida Politics by Renzo Downey
April 30, 2020
Local governments will still be able to meet telephonically when the first phase of the state’s reopening begins Monday.
The Florida Constitution and Sunshine laws require local governments meet in person, but Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended that requirement last month to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Under the reopening plan, announced Wednesday, local governments will still be able to meet remotely, at least through phase one.
The Governor implemented the executive order after the federal government suggested people avoid groups of 10 or more people. After consulting Attorney General Ashley Moody, he lifted the requirement with a March 20 order (Executive Order 20-69).
That order was tied to the public health emergency declaration, which continues through May 8. Phase one of the reopening (Executive Order 20-112) does not have an end date, but DeSantis told reporters Wednesday he hopes it’s a matter of weeks rather than months until the state enters phase two.
Prior to the original order allowing remote meetings through conference calls or videoconferencing, multiple county and local government bodies had contacted the Governor’s Office with concerns about meeting in person during the pandemic.