Gov. Ron DeSantis

children sit at desks spaces six feet apart and wear blue medical masks
Hernando County School District

In June, Governor Ron DeSantis called for K-12 schools to reopen in full this fall, but left it up to individual school boards to figure out how to do that.

In the space of a month, the landscape has changed dramatically. Coronavirus cases in Florida are surging to new heights. But that hasn’t yet stopped local school districts from rolling out draft guidance for reopening, offering a blend of in-person instruction and virtual learning options.

A man and woman stand between a woman and a man sitting

Gov. Ron DeSantis saw his net worth increase nearly 3 percent in his first year residing in the governor’s mansion.

DeSantis reported a net worth of $291,449 as of Dec. 31, 2019, up from $283,605 at the end of 2018, according to a new financial disclosure posted on the Florida Commission on Ethics website.

Shot from underneath the Hubert Humphrey Bridge in Cocoa Beach
Emily Felts/Fresh Take Florida

The environmental group Speak Up Wekiva has filed a federal lawsuit contending that a water-protection bill signed this week by Gov. Ron DeSantis could block a local ballot initiative.

VP Mike Pence wearing a mask
Daylina Miller / WUSF Public Media

Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday sidestepped questions about whether he would recommend that vulnerable people not attend the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month if COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to surge.

Governor Ron DeSantis signed a slew of bills into law over the last several weeks. For some, like the state budget, DeSantis held press conferences and photo ops.

When the governor signed a controversial E-Verify bill into law Tuesday, there was no such pomp and circumstance. Immigrant advocates noticed.

E-Verify is a federal system created by the Department of Homeland Security that checks a new hire’s eligibility to work in the U.S., an effort to prohibit the hiring of undocumented workers.

Annette Taddeo listening during a meeting

Senate Democrats called out state Republican leaders Wednesday amid increasing cases of the coronavirus, including questioning Gov. Ron DeSantis for maintaining Florida is “not going back” on its reopening.

DeSantis Downplays Beach Concern Ahead Of July Fourth

Jul 2, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis says he’s more concerned about people having parties indoors than going to the beach for July Fourth weekend.


Gov. Ron DeSantis has endorsed six Florida counties and three cities – including Pinellas County and a joint proposal from Tampa and Hillsborough County -- that hope to land the command headquarters of the U.S. Space Force.

Florida abortion rights advocates are weighing whether to challenge a new law on abortion signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis. It requires minors to get their parent or guardian's consent before ending their pregnancy.

Deciding whether to challenge Florida's new law isn't easy. Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates Legislative Affairs Manager Laura Hernandez says the group is concerned about what happens if they sue, and end up losing the case:


A federal appeals court granted Florida's governor a permanent injunction Wednesday, putting on hold a judge's ruling that had dramatically expanded the number of eligible voters in the state to include former felons unable to pay their court fines and fees.

USF St. Petersburg
Nicole Slaughter Graham / WUSF Public Media

When Governor Ron DeSantis cut $1 billion from the state's budget earlier this week, included in his vetoes was just over $800,000 for a trio of University of South Florida projects.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs bill

More than 100 new laws will hit the books Wednesday from the 2020 legislative session, with issues ranging from expanding school vouchers to increasing fines for bear poaching.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Controversial Abortion Parental Consent Bill

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill Tuesday requiring underage girls to obtain consent from a parent before they can have an abortion, lauded as one of his legislative goals during the election year.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Controversial Abortion Parental Consent Bill

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a controversial bill Tuesday requiring underage girls to obtain consent from a parent before they can have an abortion, lauded as one of his legislative goals during the election year.

DeSantis Signs Sweeping New Environmental Law For Cleaner Water

Jun 30, 2020
Abandoned sailboat in the water
Emily Felts/Fresh Take Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Tuesday a proposal expected to improve water quality across the state.

Gov. DeSantis' Budget Vetoes A 'Big Hit' To Florida's Health Care System

Jun 30, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis speaking during a news conference

Gov. Ron DeSantis vetoed more than $140.5 million in health care spending from the state’s new budget Monday as he brought the spending plan in line with reduced revenues stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday slashed $1 billion before signing a $92.2 billion budget for the upcoming fiscal year, as he tries to keep lawmakers from having to come back to Tallahassee ahead of the November elections to address revenue shortfalls caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Florida’s Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a former used-car salesman and restaurant employee who challenged the authority of Gov. Ron DeSantis to issue coronavirus-related shutdown orders.

DeSantis Signs School Vouchers Expansion In Tampa

Jun 25, 2020
man sitting down and signing a bill surrounded by others standing
Alysia Cruz / WUSF Public Media

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation in Tampa Thursday that will dramatically expand a voucher program that helps students go to private schools, the latest step in a two-decade push to expand school choice in Florida. 

Kathy Castor profile photo
Florida House of Representatives

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor on Wednesday renewed her demand that Gov. Ron DeSantis release his administration’s COVID-19 testing and tracing plan for 2020, filing a broad public records request with the state.

Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill Increasing Minimum Teacher Pay In Florida

Jun 24, 2020
Gov. Ron DeSantis signing the teacher pay bill

After warning of big budget vetoes because of the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday secured the fate of one major spending item: teacher pay increases. 

The Republican governor signed into law a measure that sets the stage for spending $500 million to try to boost the minimum salaries of classroom teachers to at least $47,500 and to give raises to veteran teachers.

Backing one of Senate President Bill Galvano’s priorities, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed a bill that will revamp a program that helps people with intellectual or developmental disabilities live in their homes and communities.


A bar near the University of Central Florida has had its state alcoholic beverage license suspended for violating reopening guidelines after 13 employees and at least 28 customers tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

Gov. Ron DeSantis during news conference
Wilfredo Lee/AP

A group of Democratic state senators are among those calling for an apology from Governor Ron DeSantis, after he said farmworkers’ lifestyle is facilitating COVID-19 spread.

As much of the country presses forward with reopening, a growing number of cities and states are finding that the coronavirus outbreak now has a foothold in a younger slice of the population, with people in their 20s and 30s accounting for a larger share of new coronavirus infections.

DeSantis Eyes Bars, Restaurants But Stays The Course

Jun 21, 2020
Man at podium in front of flags
Florida Governor's office / Facebook

Confronted by yet another record day of new coronavirus infections, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday said the state would begin cracking down on restaurants and bars that don’t follow guidelines limiting the number of people inside the establishments but stood by his decision not to mandate that people wear masks.

Gov. Ron DeSantis at the podium

Pointing to a “significant” increase in the number of coronavirus cases among younger people, Governor Ron DeSantis reiterated the need for Floridians to practice social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Alex Echols

Florida bears are getting stiffened protections against poachers, some of whom see the animals resurgence as a growing nuisance.

DeSantis Says Coronavirus Masks Should Be Voluntary, Citing Constitution

Jun 20, 2020
Fresh Take Florida

While calls to require residents to wear face masks grow louder amid rising COVID-19 cases, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to maintain his position that mask-wearing should be voluntary.

Governor Ron DeSantis has received the legislature’s spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year. But before it can be approved, the $93 billion budget is already expected to shrink. The fiscal year begins on July 1.

The delivery comes a day after DeSantis warned of looming budget cuts. DeSantis told reporters he’s trying to preserve state worker and teacher pay raises, but the cuts will be coming.