Friday, March 20, 2020

Orlando City Council, Orange County Commission can now meet remotely, says Gov. DeSantis

Posted By on Fri, Mar 20, 2020 at 1:09 PM

  • Screenshot via City of Orlando/YouTube
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.

Residents can follow Orlando City Council meetings online, as well as Orange County Commission meetings.

Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, all bars and nightclubs in Florida were closed on March 17 for 30 days. As of March 18, Central Florida restaurants are still open for takeout and delivery, and grocery stores are open during limited hours. Follow CDC guidelines and Orange County advisories on staying safe.

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