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DeSantis extends moratorium on evictions, foreclosures

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Jul 9, 2020

eSantis extends eviction, foreclosure moratorium

Governor also signs bill increasing fines for environmental fines

By Nathan Mayberg

As Florida continues to try and recover from the economic, health and social effects of COVID-19, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order last week extending the mortatorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures for another month.

The moratorium will expire on Aug. 1. There has been a moratorium on evictions and mortgage foreclosures in Florida since DeSantis issued the first executive order to protect tenants and borrowers on April 2.

On the same day that he announced an extension of the moratorium, DeSantis also signed a bill increasing all environmental fines. Those include a 100% increase in penalties for sanitary sewer overflows (SSO) and an across-the-board 50 percent increase for all other environmental fines. It also allows for a daily fine until the issue is remediated or there is a consent order in place that addresses the violation. Currently, fines may be forced to stop before any legal remedy is found.

“Penalties for violating environmental laws should do what they’re meant to do: serve as a meaningful deterrent against bad actors,” DeSantis stated. “Many of the state’s existing fines and penalties had not been adjusted since 2001 and had lost their deterrent effect. This penalty increase will enhance the department’s enforcement ability, better protecting our environment and ensuring that our environmental investments are safeguarded.”

“Florida is not Florida without its abundant natural waterways. Water is at the heart of the state’s terrific quality of life, and what makes tourism the backbone of our economy. Given that, it is incumbent on us to aggressively tackle all pollution sources to clean up our environment and preserve our great state through accountability and responsibility,” said Sen. Joe Gruters (R-Sarasota). “If we can live in a world with self-driving cars and rockets that can land by themselves we should be able to make sure we don’t dump raw sewage, or what my kids like to call ‘poo’ into our water. It is time to hold polluters accountable, and we are going to make them pay with their wallets.”