All Eyes On Florida – Special Legislative Sessions to Consider Banning OSHA!By Jim Turner, NSF for Orlando Weekly
The Florida House and Senate on Monday rolled out proposals for a special legislative session next week that will focus on opposing COVID-19 vaccine and mask mandates.
A series of bills were released as Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated what he sees as the need for the session, which will start Nov. 15. DeSantis appeared with House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, and Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, at Bahrs Aluminum and Construction in Zephyrhills
“We have got to stop trying to browbeat people,” DeSantis said. “From the very beginning, we’ve said, let’s not put people down, let’s lift people up. That’s what we are going to be doing, and we are going to be saving a lot of jobs in the state of Florida.”
The proposals, according to summaries issued by the House and Senate, include ensuring workers can receive exemptions from employer-required vaccinations; preventing government employers from requiring workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19; reinforcing the state’s so-called “Parents Bill of Rights” law to shield schoolchildren from mask and vaccination mandates; moving toward withdrawing from federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration oversight; and prohibiting the state surgeon general from forcing people to be vaccinated.
DeSantis, who is widely mentioned as a potential 2024 Republican presidential candidate, called the special session to push back against the Biden administration on federal vaccination requirements.
The state has filed lawsuits challenging vaccination requirements for federal contractors and businesses with 100 or more employees. The Biden administration wants those requirements to take effect Jan. 4, with OSHA issuing rules last week on the vaccination requirements for large businesses. DeSantis has also said the state will challenge a Biden administration move to require vaccination of workers at health-care facilities, such as hospitals and nursing homes, that take part in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.