Statement from Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings | May 3, 2021
In review of the governor’s executive orders, I am not surprised. He first indicated that the order would not take effect until July 1, 2021, and then quickly changed it to be “effective immediately.” He then offered new language that invalidates a local government’s ability to take action during a public health emergency. Orange County Government will continue to review its statutory authority and will respond accordingly. Governor DeSantis has been slow to act in responding to the pandemic, which has caused local elected officials (mayors) to take action to fill the void and keep their residents safe.
I want Orange County residents to know that I will continue to make decisions in the best interest of their health, safety and welfare and will not wait on the governor to tell me what to do.
This immediate past legislative session is proof positive of how the state is preempting local home-rule powers – that is not good for democracy.
When I ask myself, “What is really the purpose of the governor’s actions?” I conclude that his actions are part of a larger partisan strategy by the Republican Party to usurp the authority of Democrat-led urban counties and cities across America. We expect better from the governor of Florida.
– Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings