Here’s what the Florida special session on vaccine mandates will address

DeSantis announces session to provide more protections against mandates

DeSantis vows lawsuit to stop Biden's vaccine mandate

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday called the Florida legislature to return for a special session, aiming to provide more protections against vaccine mandates threatening employment.

The governor said during a news conference in Clearwater that protections have been provided at the state level for corporations and government agencies, but the special session would also address federal mandates for workers in the state.

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In broad terms, DeSantis outlined policy goals for the special session, including holding businesses liable for adverse reactions to vaccines, removing legal liability protections for employers with vaccine mandates and added protections for people who are fired for not being vaccinated.

“We can provide protections at the state level for workers in both corporations and in government agencies, but the question is if a federal mandate comes in, what are they going to do if that conflicts, and that’s one of the reasons why we need to have a two-pronged strategy,” DeSantis said.

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The governor said no one should be “discriminated against based on your health decisions.”

“We want to provide protection for people, we want to make it clear that, in Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections,” he said. “If we can get legal redress where we can get that enjoin, then we’re going to be able to have all those jobs saved, but I think it’s going to require both. I think if a hospital, for example, is told that Florida wants to protect the nurses, but that the federal government wants to force the injections, then the question is, ‘Are they going to risk all their Medicare and Medicaid funding over that?’”

According to the governor’s office, DeSantis is proposing several items for the special session to address to provide protections “for employees facing unfair, discriminatory COVID-19 vaccine mandates.”

Read the full list below.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.