Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) doubled down on his commitment to ensuring that nobody fined for COVID-19 related offenses has to pay any fines. Moreover, the Governor also pardoned Floridians that had been arrested for not following COVID-19 guidelines.
Last week, Governor DeSantis attended an Executive Clemency Board meeting. In the meeting, he proposed supplementing an existing executing order that was issued in March. It would provide a statewide remission of fines for any businesses that were fined for violating COVID-19 restrictions that were not covered under the previous order.
“This action is necessary so that we can recover, have a good transition to normal operations and also just a recognition that a lot of this stuff was way, way overboard,” DeSantis commented.
While the decision drew support from Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) and Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (R), the decision drew immediate criticism from Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner, Nikki Fried (D).
In a written statement, Fried shared her disapproval, arguing that she “voted… to uphold our laws, while our so-called pro-law enforcement Governor is actively encouraging people to break the law with politically-motivated stunts like this.”
“We’ve seen what happens when rogue citizens are empowered by misguided leaders,” she added.
Commissioner Fried is currently vying for a chance to be Florida’s next Governor, but if she's to challenge Governor DeSantis, then she first has to defeat Florida Rep. Charlie Crist (D), her opponent in the primaries.
DeSantis recently called her “lockdown lobbyist,” saying that she “does nothing.”
“She does nothing, all she does is emote on social media,” he explained, adding that he’s “done more in my first week as governor than she has in her entire time as AG commissioner.”
Although he has not formally announced a presidential run in 2024, a recent poll showed that the Florida Governor is quickly gaining support in the GOP for a presidential run.