TALLAHASSEE, FL – At the behest of Governor Ron DeSantis, Florida lawmakers will be convening Monday for a special session entitled “Keep Florida Free” in order to craft legislation aimed at blocking COVID-19 vaccination mandates instituted by both public and private businesses in the state.
“So I call the special session of the legislature to be able to address this because we need to protect Floridians, we need to make sure that people can put food on the table and that their livelihoods aren’t dependent on whether or not they do the jab or the booster, whatever may come down the pike,” DeSantis said. “You can’t fire people based off this jab. That’s true in the private sector. It’s also true with the public sector.”
Currently, four bills are up for consideration that would increase fines that would be levied against employers, municipalities, schools, and other groups that would mandate workers or students to be inoculated against COVID-19 or be forced to wear masks.
Last week during a press conference here DeSantis officially announced that we would be running for re-election in 2022, DeSantis noted that the legislation being considered this week would serve to supplement his own previously-signed executive orders limiting mandates intended to curb the spread of COVID-19.
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“At the end of the day, we want people to be able to make informed decisions for themselves, but we’ve got to stop bossing people around,” he said. “We’ve got to stop the coercion. We’ve got to stop trying to browbeat people. We’re going to be striking a blow for freedom.”
DeSantis had been inundated with intense criticism throughout much of the COVID-19 pandemic for his refusal to follow many restrictions issued by health officials; however, recently Florida’s COVID cases have dropped to levels much lower than many states that still employ strict restrictions – including mask and vaccination mandates – causing some of DeSantis’ critics to go silent.