TALLAHASSEE, Florida >> Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said today he will call state lawmakers to work early to pass legislation to tackle corporate-enacted coronavirus vaccine mandates.
The Republican governor said he would convene a special GOP-controlled state house session in November to meet vaccine needs. He did not specify a start date.
âAt the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,â he told a press conference. “We want to provide protection for people, we want to make it clear that in Florida your right to earn a living does not depend on the choices you make about these injections.”
Many other states are considering anti-mandate bills. GOP Texas Governor Greg Abbott last week issued an executive order banning any entity from requiring vaccines.
In general terms, DeSantis outlined the policy objectives of the special session, including holding companies accountable for adverse vaccine reactions, removing legal liability protections for employers with vaccination mandates, and additional protections for individuals. dismissed for non-vaccination.
DeSantis has for weeks criticized White House plans to require vaccinations and vowed to fight those rules in court. His administration also fined local school boards that defied a state ban on mask warrants in classrooms and decided to suspend funding to districts that receive federal grants intended to blunt fines from the state.
The announcement appeared to catch at least one legislative leader off guard. Shortly after the governor’s press conference, Florida House GOP Chairman Chris Sprowls told lawmakers his office had no further details about the session.
Democrats were quick to criticize the governor’s plan.
“He behaves like the dictators we all supposedly hate,” said State Senator Annette Taddeo, who announced this week that she is running for governor. âWhy are we telling private companies what they can and cannot do? “