Naples Daily News
A Florida law allowing Gov. Ron DeSantis to invalidate local emergency orders is coming under fire as the state earlier this week lead the nation in new COVID-19 infections. A national advocacy group, Committee to Protect Health Care, said the governor has tied the hands of local governments which need more robust safety measures or people will die. Florida’s Democratic Congressional delegation is calling on the governor to rescind policies contained in SB 2006, which prevent local governments from instituting COVID-19 restrictions, according to a July 22 letter signed by the 10 Democrats in the delegation.
PENSACOLA, Fla -- The City of Pensacola has required all of its employees who are not vaccinated to wear masks. Escambia County officials say they never imposed a masks mandate -- instead launching an education campaign because, "they did not want to implement legislation that could not be enforced. " Santa Rosa County also never implemented a mask mandate and says they do not plan to do so.
Palm Beach Post
After steadily dropping for months, COVID-19 vaccinations are on the rise again in Florida, a trend experts say likely is driven by fears surrounding a new wave of infections and hospitalizations. In the week ending Wednesday, some 249,750 Floridians received their first vaccine dose, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. That number's up about 59% in just two weeks, from 157,350 first-dose vaccines administered in the week ending July 14.
TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s Covid wars are starting again. Local officials across Florida are bucking Gov. Ron DeSantis and his anti-mandate coronavirus strategy as infections soar in the state and nation. They’re imposing vaccine and mask requirements for government workers and even declaring states of emergency. In a sign of how worrisome the new Covid-19 surge is, Disney World is ordering all guests over 2-years-old to wear masks indoors at its Florida theme park, regardless of vaccination status.
Pensacola News Journal
The CDC’s eviction moratorium is set to expire this weekend, but the immediate sting may be felt a little less in the Panhandle, where judges have gone ahead with eviction hearings despite the federal moratorium. The federal eviction moratorium enacted in September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is set to sunset July 31. President Joe Biden has called for Congress to extend the protections on those unable to pay rent, but he’s expected to allow the moratorium to expire.
These days it feels as though Florida is stuck upside down. Many of the things we know to be true, just aren't — at least for now. And sometimes that’s a good thing. Take mental health funding. There was a time, in the not-too-distant past, where Florida ranked dead last among states for per-capita spending for addiction services and mental-health treatment. Three factors are working together to change that.
Tampa Bay Times
ST. PETERSBURG — In late June, Bill Sanders dozed in a lounge chair behind his home in Tropical Shores, about 30 feet from Tampa Bay. The stench of dead fish kept his wife inside. He began coughing after about 15 minutes, so hard that it woke him up, and he developed a sore throat. Days later, he almost passed out while reading at the breakfast table. Too disoriented to walk or stand, he crawled to their bedroom to find his wife, who took him to St. Anthony’s Hospital.
Gov. Ron DeSantis directed $250 million of federal COVID-19 relief funds on Thursday toward Florida’s pandemic-ravaged seaport system. The money, provided via the American Rescue Plan, will help ports recover revenue lost amid the pandemic. Ports can also use the dollars to invest in seaport infrastructure projects. In a statement, DeSantis noted the major role ports play in Florida’s economic health. In all, ports generate an economic impact of $117.6 billion and support 900,000 jobs.
Local governments across our state are vibrant hubs of civic engagement where neighbors come together to share opinions, collaborate on common challenges and develop ideas to strengthen communities. Local governments are closest and most accountable to the people. Local elected officials are tasked with enormous responsibilities on behalf of our neighbors: from managing critical services like public transit, parks and libraries; to coordinating local responses to events such as public health crises and hurricanes. So it’s always been imperative for local governments to have the authority and flexibility necessary to get the job done.