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Gov. DeSantis announces special legislative session dates to fight vaccine mandates

Lawmakers are expected to discuss policies that would protect Floridians' right to choose whether they want to get vaccinated against the virus.

FLORIDA, USA — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced the dates for a special legislative session that aims to combat COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The governor said the session to "provide protections for Floridians who have lost their jobs or are having their employment threatened due to vaccine mandates" will begin Nov. 15, 2021, and end no later than Nov. 19. 

Lawmakers are expected to discuss policies that would protect Floridians' right to choose whether they want to get vaccinated against the virus. DeSantis has revealed the proposed legislation would include a law preventing local governments from requiring their employees to get the vaccine. 

He also proposed legislation that would make businesses liable for any adverse medical reactions an employee experiences as a result of the COVID shot.

The final proposed legislation relates to the governor's ongoing battle with school districts over coronavirus protocols for students in the classroom. He plans to introduce a measure allowing parents to collect attorney's fees if they win a lawsuit against a school district over the matter.

DeSantis' battle against vaccine mandates has recently gone beyond the state level. On Thursday, the governor's administration filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over vaccine mandates for federal contractors. 

The mandate, which was announced by President Joe Biden on Sept. 9, requires millions who work as employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government to get the COVID-19 vaccine. 

In addition to Biden, DeSantis and Moody are filing the lawsuit against NASA, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson and officials within the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Defense. 

Although, according to doctors, data shows that vaccine mandates are effective in curbing the spread of COVID-19, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called the federal mandate "a complete and gross overreach of the federal government into the personal autonomy of American workers."

A White House official sent the following statement to 10 Tampa Bay regarding the lawsuit: 

"This is a once in a generation pandemic that has taken the lives of more than 700,000 Americans, and the President has committed to pulling every lever possible to save lives and stop the spread of the virus. Vaccine requirements work: they’re good for workers, good for the economy, and good for the country. The President has authority to protect the federal workforce and promote efficiency in federal contracting in this way. The Department of Justice and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have already determined that COVID vaccines can be required by employers."


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