ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Orange County’s attorney is currently researching the Florida governor’s executive order restricting local governments from fining people for not following mask mandates or other safety precautions and drafting an executive order that Mayor Jerry Demings he hopes to have finished this week.
Demings said the executive order would allow them the ability to fine businesses that are not complying with CDC guidelines, or the county’s facial covering order.
“It focuses on these places where there are large crowds, where there are no social distancing going on, no wearing a mask,” Demings said.
The Mayor said, while Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order diminishes local authorities’ ability to penalize individuals, there is a way to look at businesses.
“It’s really silent regarding local counties authority to impose fines and penalties against businesses, and this is where we are looking to deal with our own unique experience here within Orange County,” Demings said.
In terms of who the mayor said he is keeping a close eye on, he said many of the bad actors tend to be bars or nightclubs.
However, Demings said the order will focus on repeat offenders.
Adding that they hope to work with the businesses to get them to comply voluntarily.
“If they remain non-compliant, we will likely look at the potential for fining or invoking some type of penalty on that business,” Demings said.
As for what those fines could look like, Demings said, “they’re going to be hefty.”