The Florida Congress, controlled by the Republican Party, approved this Wednesday four bills to shield this state against federal measures that require workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican and politically sponsored by former President Donald Trump, called the Florida Congress to a special legislative session to shore up the armor, which began on Monday and concluded with the approval of the bills on Wednesday.
DeSantis, who will seek reelection in 2022, is faced off with Democratic President Joe Biden, especially regarding the management of the pandemic and vaccines.
One of the approved projects gives DeSantis until January 17 to outline a plan to present to the federal authorities to allow the creation of an entity in Florida to assume the functions of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The media indicated that the process before federal authorities for a Florida OSHA can take years.
Another project Eliminates a law that gives Florida’s surgeon general the authority to establish a vaccination mandate in a state of emergency.
The most intense debate was that of the project that imposes more exceptions to the federal rule that requires private companies with more than 100 employees to require them to be vaccinated.
In addition to this offensive in Congress, the Florida government filed a lawsuit against the Biden Administration on October 28 for forcing all federal government employees and contractors to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before December 8. The bills approved today grant the governor an allocation of five million dollars to meet the costs of the lawsuit.
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson said Florida is sending a clear message that it “is free” with these proposals that the governor must sign by Nov. 24.
Florida is one of the states with the most accumulated cases of COVID-19 (3.67 million) and more than 60,000 deaths.
“Your (employees’) right to earn a living should not depend on COVID-19 injections,” DeSantis said in a statement late last October when announcing this special legislative session.
The governor considers that the decision to “receive a vaccine or not is a choice” that should be based on “individual circumstances”, not on the federal mandate, which requires companies with more than one hundred employees the mandatory vaccination of these or have a weekly COVID-19 test. “We are going to strike for freedom,” he emphasized.
(With information from EFE)
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