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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to call special session of legislature to ban vaccine mandates

Posted By on Thu, Oct 21, 2021 at 1:09 PM

  • Screenshot via Twitter/Ron DeSantis

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced his intention on Thursday to call a special session of the Florida legislature to pass a law barring vaccine mandates in the state.

At a a rally in Clearwater, DeSantis told the crowd he plans to call legislators back for an emergency session in November with the purpose of passing a law barring vaccine requirements in the state.

“We will be calling the Legislature back for a Special Session. We want to make sure that individuals in the state of Florida have their rights protected,” DeSantis said.

The announcement comes as federal mandates loom, with Joe Biden's presidential administration ordering that all federal employees and contractors require their employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19. At the same time, many Florida municipalities have mandated that civil servants get vaccinated, including Orange County.

DeSantis has threatened (and, in one case, issued) fines for county governments that require vaccination. Leon County was hit with $3.5 million in fines from the state Department of Health for requiring vaccines among employees.

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings believes that the county is within their rights to issue a mandate under the current rules, though that might change if the state legislature signs a bill into law barring those requirements.

“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent on COVID shots,” DeSantis said at the rally.

Just this week, Orange County Fire and Rescue dismissed a battalion chief for refusing to discipline firefighters who refused to get vaccinated. Dozens of Orange County firefighters are currently suing the county government over the requirement.

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