Florida lawmakers debate anti-vaccine bills

Florida lawmakers will meet starting Monday in a special session to examine several bills that seek to block mandatory covid-19 vaccination mandates imposed by the federal government on companies or government agencies.

According to the agenda of the Florida Governor’s Office, Ron DeSantis, state legislators, mostly Republicans, will consider four bills to impose sanctions on companies and local governments that force employees to get vaccinated against covid-19.

“Your right to earn a living (that of employees) should not depend on injections against covid-19,” DeSantis said in a statement at the end of last October when announcing this special session, convened by him.

In this context, the governor stressed that the decision to “receive a vaccine or not is a choice” that must be based on “individual circumstances”, not on the federal mandate, which requires vaccination of companies with more than one hundred employees. mandatory of these or that they are tested for covid-19 weekly.

This special session is expected to conclude no later than next Friday.

“No police officer, no firefighter, no nurse, no one should lose their jobs because of these beatings,” DeSantis said in the same press release, echoing a previous request for first responders from other states to relocate to Florida, if not they want to be vaccinated by mandate.

“We are going to give a coup for freedom,” emphasized the Republican at the time.

This mandate is in addition to the one previously announced by the Biden Administration, which required all workers in the medical sector to be vaccinated as well.

The bills promoted by DeSantis will be debated, voted on, and probably approved during the special session of the legislature requested by the governor.

The Florida government has filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration for forcing all federal government employees and contractors to get vaccinated against COVID-19 before December 8.

At a press conference, DeSantis said when announcing the lawsuit on October 28 that the federal order is “illegal” and an “excess” that, in the case of Florida, interferes with employment policies and in general with the state economy.

The lawsuit, also announced by state attorney Ashley Moody, comes after 21 state and Republican prosecutors sent a letter to Biden criticizing the obligation to vaccinate federal employees and contractors.

The lawsuit is a new chapter in the pulse of the federal Administration and Governor DeSantis, who has also prohibited the use of masks as a preventive measure in schools and has left the final word on this point to parents of the family.

Among the considerations that the Florida governor has asked lawmakers are to “protect current and potential employees from unfair discrimination based on covid-19 vaccination status and ensure robust enforcement of this protection. “.

Among other measures, the governor asks “to allocate a sufficient amount of funds to investigate complaints related to vaccination mandates (against) covid-19 and to take legal action against those mandates, including those (…) imposed by the Government. Federal.

Meanwhile, a US appeals court confirmed last Friday its decision to block Biden’s executive order on the imposition of the federal vaccination mandate.

According to the ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Biden Administration “will not be able to take any action to implement or enforce the mandate until there is a new court order.”

In that decision, Judge Kurt Engelhardt found that the order issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is “too broad,” meaning that it does not differentiate between businesses and workplaces.

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