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Florida’s Republican-controlled Congress passed four bills Wednesday to shield the state from federal vaccine mandates for workers in the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis called the FL State Congress into a special legislative session to shore up the shield, which began Monday and concluded Wednesday with the passage of the bills.
One of the bills approved gives DeSantis until January 17 to outline a plan to approach federal authorities to allow the creation of an entity to assume the functions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in Florida.
Another bill removes a law giving Florida’s surgeon general the authority to establish a state of emergency vaccination mandate.
Fl Senate President Wilton Simpson said Florida is sending a clear message that it “stands with freedom” with these proposals that the governor must sign by Nov. 24.
“Their (employees’) right to earn a living should not depend on anti-covid-19 injections,” DeSantis said in a statement late last October in announcing this special legislative session.
The governor believes that the decision “whether or not to receive a vaccine is a choice” that should be based on “individual circumstances,” not a federal mandate.
“We are going to strike a blow for freedom,” he emphasized.
The Florida government filed a lawsuit on Oct. 28 against the Biden Administration for forcing all federal government employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Dec. 8.
The bills passed today provide the Governor with a $5 million appropriation to meet the costs of the lawsuit.