Gov. DeSantis Signs Vaccine Mandate Ban And Other Policies In Package Bill

Governor Ron DeSantis took action in the state legislature Thursday, signing a “freedom agenda” of bills to curb different draconian COVID-19 policies and mandates.

The multi-bill signings come just after the legislature passed them during this week’s Special Session. DeSantis called the Special Session as the legislative effort to combat Joe Biden’s arguably unconstitutional vaccine mandates, which encompass a wide range of compulsory policies up to and including forcing COVID-19 shots on every private business in America that employs 100 or more workers.

DeSantis believes his opposition to the vaccine mandates is a defense of personal freedoms against unconstitutional orders by petty tyrants.

“To say it should be mandated when you can still get it, this is a personal choice, so that’s what we’re doing, and that’s the science-based approach to say it should be a personal choice,” the Governor said.

The most consequential bill signed during the session was likely HB 1B, reportedly dubbed by DeSantis as the “big enchilada.” It promises to block public and private entities from mandating vaccines to combat COVID-19. Public entities also cannot require masks.

General Bill by Grall and Massullo (CO-SPONSORS) Andrade; Botana; Harding; Leek; Overdorf; Payne; Plakon; Renner; Robinson, W.; Snyder; Tuck

COVID-19 Mandates: Prohibits private employers from imposing COVID-19 vaccination mandate for certain employees; requires employer to exempt certain employee from vaccination; authorizes employee who is terminated to file complaint with DLA; requires AG to impose administrative fine for violations; specifies eligibility for reemployment assistance for unlawfully terminated employee; prohibits educational institutions & elected or appointed local officials from imposing COVID-19 vaccination mandates on students; provides right of action to obtain declaratory judgment & injunctive relief for violations; prohibits educational institutions & governmental entities from imposing COVID-19 vaccination mandates for employees; declares null & void any ordinance, rule, or policy that imposes mandates; specifies eligibility for reemployment assistance for unlawfully terminated employee; prohibits mandating facial coverings or restricting certain activities for students based on quarantine policies; provides parents may allow their children to wear facial coverings; prohibits district school boards, district school superintendents, & elected or appointed local officials from prohibiting employees from returning to work or subjecting employees to restrictions or disparate treatment.

Effective Date: upon becoming a law

HB 1B – COVID-19 Mandates

Another measure, HB 3B, prevents private health and religious records from being made public over the course of an investigation into a COVID-19 policy or dispute.

Included in the signed legislation was bill HB 5B, which seeks to create a state plan for workplace safety. The measure is widely considered to be weaker than others, as it requires approvals derived from beuracratic agencies of the federal government. Some worry this could lead to roadblocks when attempting to address perceived infringements by national government agencies like the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Finally, bill HB 7B was signed in order to limit the Surgeon General’s emergency powers. This was brought up after concerns were given following a massive increase in oversight with emergency powers that were granted by the legislature following the anthrax scare in 2002.

“Important for sure, but Joe Ladapo was not going to forcibly stick anybody, so don’t worry about that,” DeSantis said.

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