TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Florida Senate President Releases Anti-Mandate Joint Legislative Agenda for Special Session

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (FNN) – After standing alongside Governor Ron DeSantis during his press conference in Zephyrhills Monday morning, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson published the State Senate’s legislative agenda for the upcoming Special Session in a press release.

The full joint legislative agenda laser focuses on combating COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the state of Florida for businesses and schools.

 

‘KEEP FLORIDA FREE’ JOINT LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

 

SB 2B / HB 1B: REJECT COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATES

Sponsored by Senator Danny Burgess (R-Zephyrhills) and Representatives Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach) and Ralph Massullo (R-Lecanto), this comprehensive legislation protects students, parents, employees and employers in our state by creating a framework for employees to make the best decision for their health and affirming the rights of parents to make health care decisions for their children.

 

Creates Options for Private-Sector Employers and Employees

Specifically, the legislation prohibits employers from having a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees without providing at least the five following individual exemptions:

1.      Medical reasons, as determined by a physician, advanced practice registered nurse, or physician assistant. Medical reasons include pregnancy or expectation of pregnancy.

2.      Religious reasons, based on a sincerely held belief

3.      Immunity based on prior COVID-19 infection, as documented by a lab test

4.      Periodic testing, agreeing to comply with regular testing at no cost to the employee

5.      Personal protective equipment (PPE), agreeing to comply with use of employer-provided PPE

 

Prohibits Vaccine Mandates for Government and Education Employees

The legislation builds on provisions of SB 2006, passed earlier this year, by affirming that no public educational institution or governmental entity may require COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of employment.

 

Protects Parents as the Sole Decision Makers for their Children

The legislation makes it clear that parents and guardians have the sole discretion regarding whether their child will wear a mask in school and prohibits schools from requiring a COVID-19 vaccine. The legislation also prohibits quarantining of asymptomatic students and teachers to mitigate harm of learning loss.

 

Enforces Measures with Fines and Parent Cause of Action 

If an employee is improperly denied an exemption, they can file a complaint with the Attorney General. Fines of up to $50,000 apply for employers who improperly terminate an employee, or the employer can reinstate the employee. If a public employee rights’ are violated, the Department of Health may fine per violation, not to exceed $5,000. Furthermore, parents and guardians have the right to sue to stop the mandate and can recover their attorney fees and court costs to help ensure that the above provisions regarding their children are not violated.

SB 4B/ HB 3B: PROTECT PRIVATE HEALTH CARE AND RELIGIOUS INFORMATION

Sponsored by Senator Burgess and Representatives Massullo and Grall, the legislation protects workers from undue retaliation by creating a public records exemption for certain information, such as personal medical information or information regarding an employee’s religious beliefs, contained in files created during an investigation of an employer that refuses to provide the individual exemptions or terminates an employee based on COVID-19 vaccination status.

 

SB 6B/ HB 5B: BEGIN WITHDRAWING FROM OSHA

Sponsored by Senator Travis Hutson (R-St. Augustine) and Representative Ardian Zika (R-Land O’Lakes), the legislation takes the first step toward developing a proposal to withdraw from the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and assert state jurisdiction over occupational safety and health issues.

 

SB 8B/ HB 7B: REMOVE AUTHORITY OF STATE HEALTH OFFICER TO ORDER VACCINATIONS 

Sponsored by President Pro Tempore Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) and Representative Alex Andrade (R-Pensacola), the legislation repeals provisions of existing law, which have never been used, that could allow the State Health Officer to force vaccinations on Floridians.

 

Special Session B begins Monday, November 15, 2021.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *