(DailyVantage.com) – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) has made no bones about his stance on vaccine mandates. He thinks people should be free to make their own medical decisions without facing a suspension or termination from their job for refusing the jab. With the OSHA directive going into effect in just under two months, DeSantis is trying to head off the Biden administration at the pass.
Keep Florida Free
In October, DeSantis announced he would call a special legislative session, dubbed “Keep Florida Free,” to address the vaccine mandates handed down by the Biden Administration. The governor’s objective: he wanted to strike “a blow for freedom,” fighting for the rights of the Sunshine State’s citizens to make their own decisions on whether or not to receive the vaccine.
The special session began on Monday, November 15 and is set to take place across five days. During the meeting, four bills are up for review, including a measure seeking to fine businesses for mandating inoculations and schools for mandating students wear face coverings.
The bills offer employers different options outside of OSHA’s directives to vaccinate or test regularly. If passed, employers could allow their employees to:
- Request exemption for religious or medical reasons
- Wear personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Provide proof of prior infection
- Agree to test periodically
These options give employers much greater flexibility in running their businesses, rather than the stringent requirements set forth by OSHA that could see thousands of people unemployed.
DeSantis’ actions aren’t without pushback, even from within his own party. Several Republicans have voiced concerns about DeSantis putting politics before peoples’ well-being. Yet, it’s clear from his actions the opposite is true. DeSantis simply wants to put the power of medical decisions back in the hands of individuals, where it belongs — not the government. “We’ve got to stop the coercion,” he says. “We’ve got to stop trying to browbeat people.”
Political observers expect the Florida governor to issue executive orders in addition to these proposed measures to strengthen and increase the rules already set in place.
So what would these bills mean for businesses in Florida? If they follow the federal mandate, they’ll likely receive state fines to the tune of $10,000 for small businesses and up to $50,000 for those who employ more than 100 workers.
Florida’s citizens largely seem to agree with DeSantis’ actions if his approval rating is any indicator. While President Joe Biden is quickly losing ground in the Sunshine State, DeSantis is soaring, and this plan may prove to be his biggest success yet, propelling him to win re-election in next year’s midterms.
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