Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) recently scored yet another victory over the Biden administration, notably when he doubled down on anti-mandate laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DeSantis’s persistence has paid off, given that the Florida Legislature passed bills that limit COVID-19 vaccine mandates on Wednesday.
DeSantis had called for a special session designed for the legislators to pass the bills, which ensure nullification of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates for companies that employ 100 or more individuals.
“We’ve accomplished an awful lot in the state of Florida, [and] we’ve only begun to fight,” DeSantis declared, according to Politico.
The passage of the four bills was preceded by a few hours of debate, which were mainly occupied by Democrat concerns. However, state Republicans also do not agree with all of DeSantis’s measures, including removing COVID-related liability protections from private organizations that impose vaccine mandates upon their employees, as reported by Politico.
In remarks to Politico, Senate President Wilton Simpson remarked, “We philosophically were exactly where we are today … but we did not sit down and pre-negotiate.”
The legislation, which is known as “Keep Florida Free,” prevents private businesses from mandating COVID vaccines. Businesses will be unable to mandate vaccines unless they provide exemptions for religious beliefs, medical reasons, regular testing, and a natural immunity acquired from previous infection.
In addition, the bills will also prevent governments and schools from having vaccine mandates, as well as permit parents to launch lawsuits against schools over mask mandates.
As a result of successful passage of “Keep Florida Free” legislation, businesses are now tasked with following federal mandates or state laws.
In addition to the “Keep Florida Free” legislation, various Republicans are also arguing in favor of withdrawal from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA), which was responsible for drafting the vaccine requirements of the Biden administration.
An additional measure will also prevent the public release of various records regarding the state’s investigations of different vaccine policies across various businesses and organizations.
In October, DeSantis and the state of Florida launched a lawsuit against NASA, the Biden administration, and other governmental agencies regarding the “unlawful” COVID-19 vaccine mandates. These mandates command mandatory COVID vaccines for federal contractors, and DeSantis argues that such mandates pose a grave threat to Florida’s economy.
“The government’s unlawful vaccine requirement seeks to interfere with Florida’s employment policies,” DeSantis observed, noting that the Biden administration is “[threatening] Florida with economic harm and the loss of federal contracts.”
As a result, DeSantis’s lawsuit declares, “the State seeks relief from this Court,” per reports from Fox News.