Politics

Florida passes slew of bills in effort to restrict President Biden’s federal COVID-19 vaccine mandates

In response to mandates issued by President Biden’s administration, the Florida legislature passed a series of bills restricting the federal government’s ability to enforce the vaccine and mask mandates.

The bills were passed mostly along party lines Wednesday during a special session called by Gov. Ron DeSantis to discuss the joint legislation agenda titled “Keep Florida Free” that will now be sent to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.

“We have passed the smartest, strongest legislation in America to combat the Biden administration’s unlawful vaccine mandate,” Senate Speaker Chris Sprowls said in a statement upon the agenda’s passing. “The result of this week’s work is simple: No one who is subject to Florida law will be forced to get a vaccine who does not want one.”

The series of four bills passed by the Florida House and Senate prohibit COVID-19 vaccination mandates for government and public education employees as well as for private businesses. It prohibits mask mandates in public schools and protects unvaccinated employees from losing their jobs to federal mandates.

It also repeals the surgeon general’s authority to mandate vaccinations. The laws were introduced in direct response to Biden mandating federal employees, employees of private businesses with a workforce of at least 100 people and medical professionals at Medicare and Medicaid facilities be fully vaccinated.

The passing of the bills follows an appeals court of Friday extending a hold on Biden’s vaccine-or-test mandate for private businesses. The White House has said the vaccine mandates aim to ensure that about 100 million U.S. workers are vaccinated in order to save lives.

“Today, we are sending a clear message that Florida stands for Freedom,” Senate President Wilton Simpson said. “We will not allow the Biden administration to make political pawns of the very people who put their lives on the line to keep our economy running while everyone else was safe at home, and we will never cede the responsibility of parenting to the school system or bureaucrats in the federal government” [UPI].

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: MIAMI HERALD

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