October 21, 2021 Updated 2:28 P.M. ET
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) called for a Special Session of the Florida Legislature aimed at providing Floridians increased legal protection from vaccine mandates.
“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” DeSantis remarked.
DeSantis emphasized his support for voluntarily taking the vaccines, saying that his plan was to make them “available for all” but “mandate[d] on none.”
The measure drew words of support from Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez (R), who said, “Mandates have no place in the free state of Florida.”
The purpose of the Special Session will be to craft legislation protecting employees from being terminated on the grounds of COVID-19 vaccination status. It also aims to reaffirm that school districts cannot fire employees based on COVID-19 vaccination status.
DeSantis is additionally requesting that the legislature strengthen parental rights to their children’s education, specifically on the issue of opting out of school mask mandates.
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) characterized the state’s initiative as part of an effort to “provide protections for employees facing discrimination over vaccine status.”
Critics of COVID-19 vaccine mandates point out their discriminatory nature and emphasize personal medical responsibility.
DeSantis’ announcement comes after President Joe Biden’s (D) new, constitutionally questionable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule that would require employers of 100 employees or more to mandate vaccines, or administer weekly COVID-19 tests, to their employees.
OSHA has taken steps towards nationwide enforcement, submitting the official rule text to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review last week.
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