The Florida Republicans took action on Wednesday in a close confrontation with Biden management over Covid-19 rules by enacting a law that would impose fines on employers with the right to vaccinate them without providing much exemption.
In a majority vote of the party, the GOP-led Legislature passed a series of bills aimed at coronavirus policies in a special forum called by the Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who fought in the civil war against mask laws and vaccines. He is expected to sign all four steps.
A bill that directs President Joe Biden vaccination requirements for private employers, which would allow for certain exemptions for medical and religious reasons, will fine businesses with regulations that do not comply with future national guidelines. The Associated Press reported that the country's Department of Health, led by Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo, a Covid-based critic, would decide what was to be released after the law was signed.
The bill will also prevent schools from requiring students to be vaccinated or to wear a mask. The Food and Drug Administration approved a low-dose Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 late last month.
The other three measures will remove the state from the safety and health management system, protect Covid-related complaints from the public eye and remove the authority of state health officials to order vaccinations during health emergencies.
"If you want to get vaccinated, you can get vaccinated. If you do not want to get vaccinated, you can choose not to get vaccinated," said GOP Sen. Danny Burgess, according to the Associated Press. "That is the whole point of this bill, to trust the Floridians and to allow us to make that choice."
The State Democrats welcomed the measure and argued that the session was an attempt to improve DeSantis' national profile.
"Is this bill really trying to keep the Floridians safe, or was it designed to start our governor's presidential campaign?" said Rep. Angie Nixon, a Democrat, according to the AP.
The minister's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
DeSantis called for a special legislature last month - and released the agenda last week - which is not in line with Biden's law that big companies ensure their employees are regularly vaccinated or screened. Strengthening management policy, planned for Jan. 4, the state of the appellate court was recently adjourned.
DeSantis, who could be the next president of 2024 and a close ally of former President Donald Trump, has been challenging Covid's restrictions at state, local and organizational levels. You have blocked the approval of the mask and prevented businesses and government agencies from needing proof of vaccination. Florida has also sued Biden officials for their authority to vaccinate state contractors, claiming the president has violated his legal authority.