DeSantis issues order on evictions and foreclosures

Gov. Ron DeSantis has extended until Sept. 1 an order that seeks to help prevent foreclosures and evictions amid job losses and financial problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The executive order, issued late Wednesday, makes clear that it is only supposed to apply to people who are “adversely affected” economically by the pandemic and that they will ultimately have to pay amounts owed on mortgages or in rent.

“Nothing in this executive order shall be construed as relieving an individual from his or her obligation to make mortgage payments or rent payments,” the order said. “All payments, including tolled payments, are due when an individual is no longer adversely affected by the COVID-19 emergency.”

An earlier version of the order had been slated to expire Saturday. DeSantis late Wednesday also issued an order that will allow local governments to hold upcoming tax-millage and budget hearings in conference calls or through video conferencing.

DeSantis has issued other orders in recent months that have allowed such remote meetings of county commissions, city councils, school boards and other local agencies. But local boards typically have to follow specific legal procedures, including holding public hearings, on millage and budget proposals.

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