Rick Kriseman outraged at Ron DeSantis’ local emergency order ban
Photo via city of St. Pete

Rick Kriseman
The Mayor slammed DeSantis' move to use his current executive power to terminate local emergency orders.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman was quick to blast Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday after his announcement lifting all local emergency orders.

Standing on the same patio the Governor made his announcement at earlier — the outdoor area of local restaurant Big Catch — Kriseman slammed DeSantis.

“Instead of the Legislature and the Governor preempting cities and counties, they should be calling us all up and saying thank you,” Kriseman said. “What could have happened in the state of Florida — as far as the number of hospitalizations and deaths — didn’t happen because of the actions that cities and counties took, that this legislation, directly addresses, and in large part, prohibits.”

The Mayor criticized DeSantis’ move to use his current executive power to terminate the local emergency orders through June. After that, the termination is made possible by new laws that take effect July 1 in an emergency management bill (SB 2006) passed on the last day of the Session.

“The Legislature had no issue in giving the Governor authority to enter an executive order proclamation that is in existence for 60 days,” Kriseman said. “But when it comes to cities and counties, it’s seven days, and no more than 42 total.”

“You’ll often hear them complain about Washington; Washington’sit shouldn’t tell us. We know our state better than Washington,'” he said. “Well, the Legislature shouldn’t tell local government what to do. We know our cities better than they do.”

Kriseman also criticized the portion of the legislation that prohibits businesses, schools or other institutions from verifying vaccinations through a vaccine passport. Entities that require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine could get slapped with a $5,000 fine for each affected customer or student under the bill.

“They’re more interested in the powers of the Legislature and the Governor, and businesses and keeping them open, than they are in the health and safety of our public,” Kriseman said.

The Mayor compared the COVID-19 vaccination policy to those of other viruses.

“Elementary school through high school — diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, chickenpox,” Kriseman said, listing different vaccinations required in public schools. “Those are all vaccinations you have to get, and they’re required… But, now in Florida, COVID-19 vaccination isn’t included, we can’t require that. So, we have to ask the Governor and the Legislature, what’s the difference?”

Kriseman, like other critics of the measure, said he also expects the legislation to face constitutional challenges.

“I think legally, this will be challenged,” Kriseman said. “It’s about the state trying to wrestle control, and take control away from local government — from the people who are closest to the people who elected them.”

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


  • Steven Noeltner

    May 3, 2021 at 4:28 pm

    This is nothing new, a democrat mayor voicing his opposition to a republican governor. Politics as usual. Scoring brownie points with his base. Most people no longer wear a mask. Thanks to Trump and some help from Biden a good percentage of us citizens are vaccinated. Rick Kreisman should be more concerned about the shooting deaths, drug dealers and illegal aliens, and the over development in our city.

  • Evan Craig

    May 3, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    He asked a good question about why these other vaccines are required in schools but covid is not……..I have an answer…..It has only about 13-30 years less research than EVERY single one of those vaccines has individually. So the answer is, a lot is different about the vaccines he lists vs COVID. COVID vaccine has the shortest amount of research and is not even APPROVED other than EMERGENCY authorization. They keep changing who should get it, when, and what type to get. Masks, no masks. End of day, there is a TON that is different between the vaccines he lists and the COVID. MRNA vaccines were epic and total failures up until last year when they said hey-this is a great way to get MRNA moving again, let’s use that as the “platform” to put this covid vaccine together……yes, “platform” it’s an experiment. Suddenly they are getting put in the arms of everyone falling over themselves to get a vaccine that we know nothing about. No thanks. Hard pass. We also don’t require vaccines for colds or flus-also VIRUSES like the China virus. Let him sue, it will go nowhere. Thanks Desantis! I was out tonight in my local park maskless and having a ton of fun with our local community.

  • Michael

    May 3, 2021 at 9:28 pm

    This mayor has no idea what’s going on in St. Petersburg. We think he needs to grow up. St Pete loves our governor

  • Joyce Clinton

    May 4, 2021 at 5:25 am

    Another difference in those other vaccines, is COVID has a 99+% survival rate . Democratic politicians always conveniently leave that out of the calculations, & restrictions. Florida loves Governor Desantis, a real leader of people, not a ruler.

  • Paul

    May 4, 2021 at 9:06 am

    The mayor obviously feels that it is his duty to try and nullify any positive aspect that doesn’t emanate from his party, of which there is very little, so trash the progress and the governor.

  • Rex Lee Reid

    May 4, 2021 at 9:38 am

    Sadly, in this day and age, it is necessary for the state to guard against fools at the local level. But nothing and I mean nothing can be more laughable than a democrat claiming local control when they are the party of the federal overreach.

    If his words held one ounce of integrity in them he would not be a democrat. But then that would require he not be an abject fool who only claims he follows the science.

Comments are closed.


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