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Gov. DeSantis calls for special session to combat federal vaccine mandates

Find a fact sheet about the special session from the governor’s office at the bottom of this story.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference at Universal Studios Wednesday, June 3,...
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference at Universal Studios Wednesday, June 3, 2020, in Orlando, Fla. The Universal Studios theme park reopened today for season pass holders and will open to the general public on Friday. Bars and theme parks will be part of Florida's Phase 2 reopening after closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/John Raoux)(John Raoux | AP)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 9:31 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 21, 2021 at 11:50 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling for a special session of the Florida Legislature to draft measures combating federal vaccine mandates for large employers.

DeSantis spoke Thursday morning from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Hangar with Attorney General Ashley Moody and Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo.

DeSantis said he expects the special session to happen in Nov. 2021, because the issue can’t wait until the normal session next year.

“We want to provide protection for people,” DeSantis said. “We want to make it clear that in Florida your right to make a living is not contingent on these choices you’re making.”

The governor said that an executive order wouldn’t be sufficient to block the federal mandate.

“I don’t have the authority to just dictate. That’s why you have to have the legislature come in,” DeSantis said.

One policy DeSantis proposed during the press conference would prevent city and county governments from requiring their employees to get the vaccine. Another measure he proposed would hold businesses responsible if an employee has a negative medical reaction from the COVID shot.

DeSantis said losing nurses, police officers, firefighters and airline workers, whose employers are the target of the federal vaccine mandate, would harm Florida’s economy.

The governor also said he hopes the session will address the Parents Bill of Rights, saying its “teeth need to be strengthened.”

“As we bring the legislature back to provide protections for Florida for their jobs, I think it’s important we fortify parents’ rights,” DeSantis said. “Parents have not been provided their rights in a handful of counties.”

Additionally, DeSantis believes parents need to have the ability to sue a school district and have relief if they are not given the choice of whether their child wears a mask to school.

The governor also said the state has a responsibility to fight back and protect the constitutional system if the federal government passes unconstitutional mandates.

Below, you’ll find a fact sheet from the governor’s office regarding the special session. Additionally, you can view it at this link.

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