On April 1 and 2, 2020, and after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-91, a statewide stay-at-home order, the governor issued three additional executive orders to address the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 20-92, signed on April 1, 2020, is designed to provide clarity to Executive Order 20-91. While there apparently has been concern expressed in the media that this latest executive order is undoing Executive Order 20-91, a careful examination of Executive Order 20-92 reveals that its purpose is to ensure that local governments do not impose restrictions over and above what is contained in Executive Order 20-91. The pertinent portion of Executive Order 20-92 states:
“Section 4 of Executive Order 20-91 should read, as follows: This Order shall supersede any conflicting official action or order issued by local officials in response to COVID-19.
Executive Order 20-92 goes on to provide that Executive Order 20-91 is otherwise “ratified and reaffirmed.” It is to take effect immediately.
The governor also issued the following executive orders on April 2, 2020:
- Executive Order 20-93, where the governor, amongst other things, directs “all executive agency heads, in consultation with the Department of Management Services (“DMS”), to identify and deploy executive agency personnel to assist DEO with their reemployment assistance efforts, including call center operations and other citizen 2 services. In order to improve the operation and responsiveness of DEO’s reemployment assistance efforts, assigned personnel shall, to the extent reasonably possible, cease their current governmental responsibilities and fully devote their services to the DEO program. All deployed personnel shall maintain current benefits and salary and DEO shall determine how best to quickly utilize these employees to serve Floridians negatively impacted by COVID-19.” This executive order, which takes effect immediately and shall remain in effect until the expiration of Executive Order 20-52, also has provisions with respect to training, reemployment applications, emergency procurement and implementation; and
- Executive Order 20-94, which suspends and toll any statutes providing for either mortgage foreclosure actions or residential eviction actions for non-payment of rent for 45 days. This executive order, too, takes effect immediately.