Days after filing a lawsuit against Orange County, State Representative Anthony Sabatini is setting his sights on Leon County after commissioners voted to make wearing a mask inside businesses mandatory.
At a special meeting on Tuesday, the Leon County Commissioners unanimously voted to make face coverings mandatory county-wide. Under the emergency declaration, all visitors and residents will be required to wear face coverings that will be required in establishments including restaurants, grocery stores, buses, churches, and nonprofits.
Sabatini, a Republican member of the Florida House who represents House District 32, says the mandate is unconstitutional and is another example of government overreach during the pandemic.
“The Leon County Commission needs to change its requirement of masks to a recommendation,” Sabatini said on Wednesday. “This irrational emergency order violates several parts of the Florida constitution.”
Sabatini’s decision to fight back comes two days after he announced he was suing Orange County over its newly-enacted mandate that would require people to wear face-covering in public.
The Howey-in-the-Hills conservative will be representing Leon County Republican Party Chairman Evan Power, who announced his intention to file a lawsuit moments after the commission passed the mandate.
After conferring with attorney @AnthonySabatini I intend to bring suit against the Leon County Commission passing an ordinance that makes failing to wear a mask a misdemeanor. I look forward to the judicial process in this matter. Cc: @KarlEtters @MonicaCaseyNews
— Evan Power (@EvanPower) June 23, 2020
A violation of the order was originally a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail. Commissioners ultimately lowered the penalties with the first violation yielding a fine of $50, the second resulting in a fine of $125, and a third violation earning the offender a fine of $250 and a mandatory court appearance.
An official order has yet to be published but is set to go into effect on Thursday, June 25 at 12:01 a.m.