TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAPITOL NEWS SERVICE) - The state’s own report shows it has the lowest number of state employees per capital than any other state, and only half the national average. In good times its been a point of pride, but right now it’s contributing to a shortage of people during this time of crisis.
A checkpoint on I-10 in Pensacola is stopping motorists from Louisiana. They are being told to self isolate for fourteen days. Stephanie Kopelousos from the Office of the Governor, says trucks won’t be affected.
“Commercial traffic will remain going straight on the Interstate, I-10.”
Another checkpoint north of Jacksonville is checking for motorists from the Northeast. The goal says the Governor, is to stop drivers from New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.”
‘What we don’t want is for people to flee that hot zone and bring the virus here” says Governor Ron DeSantis.
It follows orders last week to screen flyers on direct flights arriving from the tri state northeast. They are being handed literature like this and undergo a series of questions.
But other highways into Florida and smaller airports with connecting flights from the northeast are going unmonitored. When asked, the Governor agreed it isn’t ideal.
“Hey look, I think its a problem, but if they can help us with that, the airports, and working with the airlines, I think its in everybody’s interest” DeSantis told us.
Part of the problem is a shortage of state employees. The state’s own report shows it has the lowest number of per capita employees of any state in the country.
Florida has 86 full time employees for every ten thousand residents. The national average is 168, or almost twice as many.
Monday, the Governor signed an executive order allowing retired law enforcement to come back to work without sitting out six months. It was broadcast on the Governor’s Facebook page.
“I will suspend that prohibition. We need to have folks who are willing to return to service.”
But the problem isn't just law-enforcement, but unemployment, health and other critical workers.
The Governor is also urging residents in South Florida to be “Safer at Home” telling them to shelter in place through mid May in four south Florida counties.