On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) announced his plans to call a special session of the legislature in order to address COVID-19 vaccine mandates.
As reported by the Miami Herald, “At a Thursday news conference in Clearwater, Gov. Ron DeSantis laid out a litany of legislative policy priorities that would undermine federal requirements that workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus.”
“We have got to stand up for people’s jobs and their livelihoods,” DeSantis said. “What we are going to be doing, in addition to mounting aggressive legal challenges to federal mandates, we are also going to be taking legislative action to add protections for people in the state of Florida.”
“That’s something that can not wait until the regular Legislative session next year; it needs to happen soon. So we will be calling the Legislature back for a special session. We want to make sure individuals in Florida have their livelihoods and jobs protected,” DeSantis added.
“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID-19 shots,” he said.
He also reportedly noted how mandated vaccinations would especially harm the economy of the state.
The Tampa Bay Times reported:
Among the laws DeSantis wants to see passed:
- A proposal making businesses liable for any medical harm that results from a mandatory vaccination
- A measure allowing parents to collect attorney’s fees if they win a lawsuit against a school district for enacting illegal coronavirus restrictions
- A law making it clear that it’s illegal for governments to mandate the vaccine for government employees
“I don’t think you can wait until next year,” the governor reportedly noted.
The Miami Herald added that the regularly scheduled legislative session begins on January 11th of next year.
Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Chris Sprowls released a memo, per West Palm Beach outlet WPTV, stating:
This morning Governor DeSantis announced that he plans to call the Legislature into a Special Session. At this time, we have not received the dates or details regarding any proposed call. We are in communication with the Governor’s Office and our partners in the Senate, and we will share details with you as they emerge.
Lawmakers have taken action to push back against vaccine requirements in several states.
Last week, Governor Greg Abbott (R-TX) issued “an executive order entirely banning vaccine mandates in the state by employers, including private employers,” per The Daily Wire.
No entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccine by any individual, including an employee or a consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19. I hereby suspend all relevant statutes to the extent necessary to enforce this prohibition.
He also noted that he had previously issued executive orders to bar “governmental entities and certain others from imposing COVID- 19 vaccine mandates or requiring vaccine passports,” but in “yet another instance of federal overreach, the Biden Administration is now bullying many private entities into imposing COVID-19 vaccine mandates, causing workplace disruptions.”
He concluded: “This executive order shall remain in effect and in full force unless it is modified, amended, rescinded, or superseded by the governor. This executive order may also be amended by proclamation of the governor.”
“Abbott also called on the Texas state Legislature to pass a law with the same effect. The executive order would be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation, the governor’s office said,” CNN reported.