CLEARWATER -- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he's calling a special session to tighten rules against vaccine mandates in the public and private sectors.
Speaking to a cheering audience at the Pinellas Sheriff's Office aviation hangar, DeSantis says workers should be able to get unemployment compensation if they refuse to get a shot, and businesses that require vaccinations should lose COVID liability protection given to them by the legislature last year. He says businesses who complained about liability and then required workers to get "injections" are "stabbing us in the back." DeSantis says it can't wait for the regular session because people are losing their jobs over the issue.
He and State Attorney General Ashley Moody are taking the side of Orange County firefighters who are suing to stop their employer from imposing a vaccine mandate. Moody filed a friend of the court brief that asserts the Orange County rule is a threat to public safety because it would lead to fewer first responders in the county.
DeSantis also reiterated plans to sue the federal government over both the OSHA vaccine mandate for private employers, and the requirement that federal contractors enforce a vaccine mandate. He says the state has to step in because contractors would fear reprisals if they did so.
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