Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said he will call state lawmakers back to work early to pass legislation to combat coronavirus vaccine mandates enacted by businesses.
The Republican governor didn’t specify a starting date for the special session of the GOP-controlled statehouse in November. “At the end of the day, you shouldn’t be discriminated against based on your health decisions,” he said during a news conference. “We want to provide protection for people, we want to make it clear that, in Florida, your right to earn a living is not contingent upon whatever choices you’re making in terms of these injections.”
Many other states are considering anti-mandate bills. GOP Texas Gov. Greg Abbott last week issued an executive order to prohibit any entity from requiring vaccines. DeSantis has been a vocal critic of vaccine mandates and has also fined local school boards who defied a state ban on mask mandates in classrooms and has moved to withhold funding from districts that receive federal grants meant to blunt the state’s fines.
Sen. Annette Taddeo (D) hit out at DeSantis. “He’s behaving like the dictators that supposedly we all hate,” said Taddeo, who this week announced she is running for governor. “Why are we telling private businesses what they can and cannot do?”