State Watch

DeSantis set to convene special session to block vaccine mandates

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will convene a special session of the state legislature starting Monday to pass bills aimed at blocking COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

DeSantis called the special session on Oct. 21 to ban the mandates being pursued by the Biden administration, saying he wanted “to protect unvaccinated employees.”.  

According to The Washington Post, four bills are under consideration that would increase the fines for businesses, local governments and other companies that require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as well as schools that require mask wearing. 

“At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,” DeSantis said at a press conference last month announcing the special session. 

“We want to provide protection for people. We want to make it clear that in Florida your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections,” he added. 

Republicans across the country have fought back against vaccine mandates for employees and health care workers but few as aggressively as DeSantis.

Earlier this month, DeSantis announced that he was suing the Biden administration over its mandates.

In September, DeSantis announced that cities and counties in Florida that require COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of employment will be fined $5,000 per violation.

The governor’s surgeon general, Joseph Ladapo, also opposes vaccine and mask mandates.

“Governor DeSantis is fighting the unlawful, job-killing Biden COVID mandates with legislation as well as litigation. The special session will provide protections for workers and parents’ rights, and a clear, concise roadmap for all businesses in Florida to ensure they can continue operating within the law and enjoying the benefits of doing business in Florida, a state that far outpaces the national average in economic growth,” a spokesperson for DeSantis said in a statement to The Hill on Monday.

“The governor will not allow the Biden Administration to run roughshod over Floridians’ Constitutional rights,” the spokesperson added.

–Updated on Nov. 15 at 2:44 p.m.

Tags Ron DeSantis

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