A meeting Thursday of Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet, their first in nearly four months, will be held over the phone as a precaution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Health and safety concerns as a result of COVID-19 led to the decision to conduct the Cabinet meeting via teleconference,” DeSantis spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferre said in an email on Wednesday. “For Gov. DeSantis, providing a safe and healthy workplace environment is of the utmost concern.”
The meeting had initially been listed as occurring in the Cabinet meeting room on the lower level of the Capitol.
“This meeting will be conducted via phone and streamed live on the Florida Channel,” said a notice posted on the Cabinet website. “The Cabinet Meeting Room will be open to the public.”
Aides to DeSantis and the Cabinet members — Attorney General Ashley Moody, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis — met in person last week to review the agenda, which includes a review of the Division of Emergency Management’s 2020 statewide emergency shelter plan, bond issues and a series of Florida Forever land deals.
The Cabinet hasn’t met in person, online or by phone since Feb. 4 due in part to the pandemic.
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.”
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