DJ 33 1/3

DJ 33 1/3

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Condos May Still Enforce Covid Safety Protocols.

Your condo can require masks and more, so here’s what associations may enforce.

While the governor may have prohibited local governments from imposing COVID safety protocols, he extended Florida’s state of emergency until June 27, extending the time frame by which volunteer boards can utilize their emergency powers to safeguard their residents. Owners typically execute documentation that they will follow the rules that the board sets forth. The governor has only said municipalities cannot require that. Businesses can require folks to wear coverings and establish social distance rules. It doesn’t apply to the private sector. They cannot ask people if they are vaccinated.

Associations are seen as business entities, and they don’t have the patrons or customers referenced in the governor’s order unless you are dealing with a mixed-use condominium. Currently associations are verbally asking on a voluntary basis and a high percentage of owners are being cooperative.

Gov. Ron DeSantis recently granted clemency to a gym owner who was arrested for not enforcing mask orders during the COVID pandemic.

“The fact is it's not even right to be wearing masks when you’re exercising,” DeSantis said. “It’s not healthy for people to be doing that in the first place, so it was a bad restriction, but these things with health should be advisory, they should not be punitive.”

The Governor added the state’s clemency board would issue pardons to all Floridians who received fines for masks and social distancing violations during the pandemic.

Mike Carnevale, the owner of Fitness 1440 in Plantation, was arrested over the summer and appeared before a judge in March over several charges of failing to comply with an emergency order.

"I believe I'm being targeted because I stood up to Broward County," Carnevale said. "They're looking to put us in jail for this and we're not backing down. We have an attorney that's going to fight all the way to the end, I'm going to fight all the way to the end."

Recently, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that all first responders in the state will receive a $1,000 bonus.

“The legislature has passed and I will, when I sign the budget, which will hopefully be relatively soon, will sign into law, $1,000 bonuses for every sworn law enforcement officer, every EMT, every firefighter, and every paramedic in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said. "Some wanted to defund police, we’re funding the police, and then some… And that’s what we came here today to say.”

DeSantis has already stirred minorities over the passing of the "Riot Law"

A social justice group filed a lawsuit against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over a bill creating tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests.

Legacy Entertainment & Arts Foundation filed the lawsuit in Orlando federal court, arguing the new law violates First Amendment protections for free speech, Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment and 14th Amendment protections of due process.

“The breathtaking scope of the Bill includes granting civil immunity to people who drive into peaceful demonstrators if such demonstration blocks a road, prevents people accused of ‘rioting’ from bailing out of jail until after their first court appearance, increases penalties for assaulting law enforcement officers while engaging in a ‘riot,’ penalizing local governments that interfere with efforts to stop a 'riot,' and allows law enforcement agencies that face funding reductions to file objections,” the complaint stated.

Florida Republicans are continuing tighten rules on voting by mail, and Democrats and county officials responsible for running elections appear powerless to stop them.

A final Senate committee endorsed a measure that Republicans argue will make voting more secure by enacting ID requirements, restricting who can return completed ballots and placing new rules on ballot drop boxes.

Democrats say the changes will make it harder to cast ballots and cause many legitimate ballots to be rejected.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to create tougher penalties for people who participate in violent protests.

The anti-riot bill was a response to protests around the country, and the bill was signed by DeSantis.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I can tell you that case was bungled by the attorney general there in Minnesota. They didn’t handle it properly, so there may be some people disappointed,” DeSantis said.

The bill increases criminal penalties for assaulting law enforcement while engaging in a "riot" and defacing monuments and other public property during riots. It penalizes local governments that interfere with law enforcement efforts to contain riots and sets up a citizen's appeal process when cities and counties try to reduce police budgets in response to riots.

The vote in the Senate was 23-17, with one Republican voting with Democrats. The bill would create a effect on First Amendment rights and restrict political dissent.

"This legislation strikes the appropriate balance of safeguarding every Floridian's constitutional right to peacefully assemble, while ensuring that those who hide behind peaceful protest to cause violence in our communities will be punished," DeSantis said in a statement. "Further, this legislation ensures that no community in the state engages in defunding of their police."

In addition to Florida, Arizona, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington filed bills that used the violence at the Capitol to target social justice protests more broadly.

The bills in Florida, Indiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Virginia and Washington would redefine a riot or an unlawful assembly as three or more people partaking in "tumultuous activity."

Photos by Getty Images

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