DeSantis sets date for special session to ‘protect Florida jobs’ against vaccine mandates

Special session will start Nov. 15

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Friday the state’s legislature will hold a special session to attempt to protect jobs threatened by vaccine mandates.

The governor is calling on lawmakers to consider legislation that would protect current and prospective employees from COVID-19 vaccine mandates, fund the investigation of complaints regarding these mandates and limit COVID-19 mandates imposed by school districts.

He said the session, which starts Nov. 15 and will continue no later than Nov. 19, aims to help Floridians who have lost their jobs or can potentially lose their jobs when not complying with a vaccine mandate.

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“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We have somehow gone from 15 days to slow the spread to (three) jabs to keep your job. In Florida, we believe that the decision whether or not to get a COVID shot is a choice based on individual circumstances, so we are litigating against the Biden Administration and will be passing legislation in this Special Session to protect Florida jobs and protect parents’ rights when it comes to masking and quarantines.”

DeSantis called for the special session at a Clearwater news conference on Oct. 21, joined by former Orange County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Davis, who was fired after failing to follow a direct order over a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

House Speaker Chris Sprowls, of Palm Harbor, and Senate President Wilton Simpson, of Trilby, both Republicans, issued the following joint statement on the upcoming special session:

“Over the last two years, Floridians have watched the freedoms of our friends and relatives in other states get stripped away one at a time. We will not stand by as the Biden Administration imposes an illegal and unconstitutional nationwide vaccine mandate that robs the American people of the dignity of work.

“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature, Florida has been a beacon of hope, and we intend to keep it that way. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and our colleagues to craft, debate and pass thoughtful legislation that keeps Florida open for business and prioritizes people, parents and businesses over government.

“During the special session, we will do everything within our power as a state to protect Floridians from the unconstitutional, un-American, and morally reprehensible overreaches on the part of the federal government.”

The special session stirred mixed reactions among Central Florida lawmakers.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.