By Alex Lama, Commissioner
(December 28, 2020) – As we begin 2021, several challenges continue to face South Florida. Unfortunately, the most pressing challenge is the Coronavirus pandemic. State legislators did not convene a special session in 2020 to address pandemic-related issues and therefore most of the decisions have remained under the control of the Governor. Session committee meetings begin in January, leading up to the legislative sessions in March. During these sessions, it will be extremely important for state legislators and the Governor to address the best approach on how to manage the health and economic effects of the pandemic in our society.
A collaborative approach between state, county and local governments is imperative in order to move forward and mitigate the issues brought on by the virus. It is crucial that the State allows counties and municipalities to decide and enact the most effective solutions for our own communities. State preemptions to local solutions are counterproductive and the State must allow local governments to ensure that CDC COVID-19 guidelines are followed by local businesses and the public. This is key to stem the spread of the virus in South Florida and be able to keep businesses operating. The State needs to work in conjunction with local governments in the implementation of rules, strategies, testing, treatment, messaging and the promotion of local economies.
I am hopeful that once the legislative sessions begin, state legislators and the Governor’s office will continue discussions and be able to develop a more comprehensive approach to dealing with the pandemic.