Today, Governor Ron DeSantis released his Freedom First budget recommendations to the Legislature for Fiscal Year 2022-2023. The budget reaffirms Governor DeSantis’ commitment to high priority conservation items including red tide research and manatee rescue, and provides additional resources and support for law enforcement.

“Don’t Tread On Florida” Gov. DeSantis Calls Special Legislative Session To Fight Federal Vaccine Mandates

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has called for a special legislative session to address vaccine mandates impacting jobs throughout the state.

On Thursday morning in Clearwater, Gov. DeSantis voiced his opposition to people losing their jobs for not having a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We’re here to announce that we need to take action to protect Florida jobs,” DeSantis said, “Your right to earn a living should not be contingent on COVID shots.”

“I don’t think we can wait until next year,” DeSantis said about calling the special session, “As we bring the legislature back to provide protections for Floridians for their jobs, I think it’s also important that we fortify parents’ rights related to some of the things we’ve been seeing going on.”

“This idea that the vaccines are needed to create, that vaccine mandates are needed to create safe workplaces, is a complete lie,” Florida Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo said. “It’s not backed up by science.”

During this Special Session, Governor DeSantis is asking the Florida Legislature to provide protections for employees facing termination because of unfair, discriminatory COVID-19 vaccine mandates and to reaffirm that government entities including school districts may not fire any employee based on COVID-19 vaccine status.

Violating government entities should be held accountable. Employers’ broad liability protections should also be reevaluated if they harm employees through vaccine mandates.

In addition, DeSantis is asking the Florida Legislature to provide greater protections to parents to manage the health care decisions of their children, including the freedom to opt their children out of mask mandates.

According to Florida Department of Health data over the last twelve to fourteen months, COVID-19 infection data from Florida counties reflects no meaningful difference between counties with parent opt-outs for mask requirements. 

The state surgeon general called for a more open and honest discussion about vaccinations, saying the lack of transparency was adding to vaccine hesitancy in the state, and promised to “work like hell” to help Floridians.

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