Top Three Takeaways – February 24th, 2021
- “Lifting up vs. Lockdowns". A year ago, none of us dreamed that we’d live under a state of endless emergency declarations. Declarations that’d often have us waiting with bated breath over a county commission meeting or a city council meeting to determine whether our businesses would open, how many people would be able to patronize them, when curfews might kick in – you name it. A year later the state of Florida might be about to end them. In a speech he delivered in Hialeah, Governor DeSantis said this: We were really using our authority to lift people up rather than to lock people down. By that statement he was talking about the state’s emergency declaration. And he made clear his current perspective on the use of emergency declarations at this phase of the pandemic when he said... The only emergency I use is to get the reimbursement from FEMA. But that’s the only valid reason to have any of that in place at this time. DeSantis also said... Los Angeles isn’t booming. New York City’s not booming. It’s booming here because you can live like a human being, people take precautions, which is great, but you’re not locked down, people aren’t miserable, and I think it’s really remarkable what’s happening.
- What would have happened if Andrew Gillum had won? That's the question recently posed by state Senator Jeff Brandes as he asked whether Florida would be suffering just as California and New York are and have been. Additionally, would South Florida’s local governments, which are predominantly run by Democrats, have gone full DeBlasio given the opportunity? Was Florida really only 32,000 votes in 2018 away from becoming the type of state people would flee from rather than flock to due to lockdown restrictions? Thankfully we don’t have to answer those questions today. But just as Governor DeSantis has proposed sweeping election integrity reforms after Florida ran the best election in the nation last year, acknowledging there’s still room for improvement, he’s recognizing the need for reforms for emergency declarations to prevent Cuomo-like disasters in the future. It’s worth noting Florida has had fewer population adjusted COVID cases and deaths than the country as a whole, with an above average economy and while being one of the least restricted states in the county all while having the highest risk population due to demographics. That kind of performance is...
- Exceptional. On balance anyway. What isn’t though is Florida’s law governing emergency declarations. I covered this several times last year – most recently in September. Here’s a refresher on what Florida’s current law states: Emergency management powers of the Governor.— The Governor is responsible for meeting the dangers presented to this state and its people by emergencies. In the event of an emergency beyond local control, the Governor, or, in the Governor’s absence, her or his successor as provided by law, may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within this state, and she or he shall have the power through proper process of law to carry out the provisions of this section. The Governor is authorized to delegate such powers as she or he may deem prudent. That’s one heck of a broad brush. Once there’s an emergency the Governor basically has the right to become a dictator and we all know that was written with hurricanes on the brain – not a year plus long pandemic. Thankfully DeSantis has been the benevolent sort who’s decided to use that authority to “lift up” by preventing wannabe dictators at the local level from becoming DeBlasio Jr’s. But there’s always a next time that that’s why in addition to enhanced election integrity standards passing in the upcoming state session...DeSantis needs to get his wish to have his powers restrained as well.
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