Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida Speaker Announce Legislative Agenda for Special Session of the Florida Legislature
By Space Coast Daily // November 8, 2021
DeSantis: Private Employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are prohibited
ABOVE VIDEO: Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Florida Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson on Monday to announce the legislative agenda for a special session of the Florida Legislature that will meet next week to Protect Florida Jobs.
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by Florida Speaker Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson on Monday to announce the legislative agenda for a special session of the Florida Legislature that will meet next week to Protect Florida Jobs.
Below is the full legislative agenda:
During a special session next week, the Florida Legislature will stand up to protect Florida jobs:
◾Private Employer COVID-19 vaccine mandates are prohibited
*If employers do have a vaccine policy, then they must afford the following exceptions:
◾Employees with health or religious concerns are exempt from any vaccine requirements
◾Pregnant women or women who anticipate pregnancy are exempt
◾Employees who have recovered from COVID-19 are exempt
◾Employers must provide ALL EMPLOYEES the option to choose periodic COVID-19 testing or PPE as an alternative to vaccine requirements (at no cost to employees) – test frequency to be determined by the Florida Department of Health
– Employers who violate these employee health protections will be fined
◾Small businesses (99 employees or less) will face $10,000 per employee violation
◾Medium and big businesses will face $50,000 per employee violation
◾Government entities may not require COVID-19 vaccinations of anyone, including employees.
The Florida Legislature will also stand up to protect Florida families:
◾Educational institutions may not require students to be COVID-19 vaccinated
◾School districts may not require students to wear face masks
◾School districts may not quarantine healthy students
◾Students and parents may sue violating school districts and recover costs and attorney’s fees
“No cop, no firefighter, no nurse, nobody should be losing their job because of these jabs – we must stand up for people and protect their jobs and livelihoods,” said Governor Ron DeSantis.
“What the federal government is doing is wrong. It is wrong to kick people out of work; it is wrong to try to micromanage businesses; and it is wrong to deprive key industries of people that we need. Most importantly, what they are doing is unconstitutional and we have a responsibility to stand up for the Constitution and protect Floridians. I called a special session of the Florida Legislature to address this, and today I am proud to roll out our agenda to Protect Florida Jobs. These may be the strongest protections for both private- and public-sector employees anywhere in the country. I want to thank Speaker Sprowls and President Simpson for stepping up to make this possible.”
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez
“Governor DeSantis’ common sense leadership throughout the course of the pandemic is the reason why Florida remains to be the freest state in the union,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “This upcoming Special Session is a response to Biden’s heavy-handed overreach. We look forward to working with the legislature to protect Florida’s families.
Senate President Wilton Simpson
“I am proud to stand with Governor DeSantis, Speaker Sprowls, my legislative colleagues, and freedom-loving Floridians across this state who are just trying to raise their families and make a living,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “We were appalled by the unworkable, 490-page totalitarian edict the Biden Administration issued last week. After 40 years in the private sector running businesses that depend on an in-person workforce, where significant safety risks have to be mitigated, I am shocked to see such an unconstitutional mockery of the important role of OSHA. As a parent and grandparent, I continue to be dismayed at school district bureaucrats who think they know better than parents. Enough is enough. Our legislation to keep Florida free inserts some common-sense and clarity into the chaos we have seen in Washington by giving workers more options to stay safe on the job and honoring the rights and responsibilities of parents.”
“Authoritarian edicts from the Biden regime stop here,” said House Speaker Chris Sprowls. “The ‘Keep Florida Free’ agenda represents the strongest response in America against attacks on personal health decisions, livelihoods and liberty. From exploring separation from the federal Occupational Standards and Health Administration to affirming parents’ rightful role to decide whether their child wears a mask or gets a vaccine, I am proud to stand with President Simpson and Governor DeSantis on the front lines of this common-sense American fight for freedom. In Florida, we will do everything in our power to ensure that no one will be forced to get a vaccine who does not want one.”
“We keep 100 trucks running up and down the road, and we worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic,” said Doc Hyder, President of Rowland Transportation. “Back then, people finally began to understand that trucking is the backbone of our stores. This arbitrary 100-person rule from Biden and OSHA makes no sense to us. We are struggling every day to get clarification and figure out what is actually going on because there are so many things that are unclear. The vaccine mandate will mean more chaos on the supply chain, less on the shelves, and it is going to hurt families, companies and the economy. I want to thank Governor DeSantis for protecting the rights of all Floridians. He makes me grateful to be an owner of a company in a state with a leader who understands the ramifications of overreach of the federal government. We know you have our backs, and we will fight for the people of Florida to protect our economy as a free state that is open for business.”
“I am a single mom and I have been a flight attendant for 31 years with a major U.S. airline,” said Lisa Williams, a flight attendant for 31 years. “I am here as a representative of Airline Employees for Health Freedom, a group of over 2,000 of my coworkers who are suing our airlines for unreasonable accommodations of indefinite unpaid leave in lieu of taking the vaccine. We are not anti-vaccine, we are anti-mandate. My employer has done everything possible to prevent folks like me from exercising our rights to protect our faith and our medical autonomy. Governor DeSantis has our full support. We cannot thank you enough for your courage and determination in defending everyday Floridians like myself against unconstitutional mandates. Employees must have the right to choose what is best for their individual faith and for their personal, medical situations.”
“Hurricanes and wildfires do not stop for a pandemic and I have been right there working with the Red Cross through all of that,” said Axl David, an employee at the Red Cross. “I’m now being told if I don’t sacrifice my principles, my integrity and my bodily autonomy they are going to fire me. A lot of people want to paint me as anti-vax, that’s not what this is about, I actually helped my grandmother get her vaccine and her booster shot. My opposition to this is the unconstitutional and illegal mandate from the Biden regime. I want to thank Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislative leaders for these critical efforts to send a signal to D.C. that this will not be tolerated in the Sunshine State of Freedom.”
Donna Lusczynski, Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office Chief Deputy
“I’d like to thank Governor DeSantis for his strong efforts to ensure vaccinations are not a mandatory requirement for employment,” said Donna Lusczynski, Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office Chief Deputy. “The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has always encouraged vaccinations, but it has never been mandatory, nor do we have any plans to do so. If that were to be the case it would be debilitating. We have over 300 deputy vacancies currently; even a large agency like ours could not sustain additional manpower vacancies because of overreach of the federal government. A vaccine mandate creates a public safety issue that would put all Floridians at risk. Thankfully, we have a Governor who continues to combat this overreach by ensuring first responders are at work protecting the citizens we serve.”
“As the parent of a Hillsborough County student, I am relieved to report that the removal of the mask requirement is making all the difference for my daughter in better learning this year,” said Sarah Pope, parent of a student in Hillsborough County Schools. “The mandatory mask wearing seriously impacted learning in a very negative way. My student said it was very hard to stay awake during standardized tests and most days she would come home with a headache, fatigue and sometimes nausea from hours of wearing a mask in the classroom. On top of the impaired learning was constant uncertainty of not knowing on any given day if they would be called to leave school and quarantine at home for a week or two, despite being healthy with no symptoms. Thankfully due to the common-sense leadership of our Governor, those measures have been sent to the dustbin of history, and I am happy to report that my student is enjoying a normal schooling year with a dependable routine that facilitates her learning, rather than putting the brakes on it.”