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Florida’s top elected officials agree to finally meet after COVID-19 hiatus

The Florida Cabinet, which represents the top management for all of Florida’s agencies, has scheduled to meet May 28. It’ll be the first time the governor, attorney general, commissioner of agriculture and chief financial officer have met in nearly four months.
Florida Governor elect Ron DeSantis, center, waves when he is acknowledged in the Florida House in November 2018, with other members of the Florida Cabinet. Left to Right are:  Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Elect Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and former Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Florida Governor elect Ron DeSantis, center, waves when he is acknowledged in the Florida House in November 2018, with other members of the Florida Cabinet. Left to Right are: Agricultural Commissioner Nikki Fried, Attorney General Elect Ashley Moody, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, and former Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Published May 11, 2020

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet are scheduled to get together in late May for their first meeting since before the state started to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

DeSantis, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are slated to meet May 28, according to information posted Monday on the Cabinet website.

The Cabinet hasn’t met in person, online or by phone since Feb. 4.

When a scheduled April 7 meeting was canceled, a notice published in the Florida Administrative Register said the “decision was made in the interest of public health with consideration for staff, agency personnel and the general public.”

Fried last week called it “frustrating” that the Cabinet hadn’t collectively heard in months from state agencies. “It’s really important for us as the Cabinet to come together and to show unity again,” Fried said Friday. “We have unemployment numbers that are still through the roof. An unemployment system that’s not working for our citizens. And to show unity in a state and start talking about healing and coming through this together, is really important for the healing process for our state.”

In March, Patronis tweeted that he’d “be happy to see the Cabinet meet” to hear from State Board of Administration Executive Director Ash Williams, who oversees state pension-fund investments, and Division of Bond Finance Director Ben Watkins.

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