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DeSantis calls special session for bills aimed against vaccine mandates

They gaveled in for a special legislative session in Tallahassee and went into committees to "debate" four bills.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called a special session of the state’s legislature starting Monday to pass bills aimed at blocking COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

The four bills under consideration include those that would increase fines for business, local governments and other companies that require workers mandatory vaccines and schools that require masks.

The Governor called for the session in his run up to announcing his reelection. Many critics are saying that the session is a political stunt for the DeSantis to gain national attention as he picks a fight with the Biden administration.

On Monday, while in Miami where he announced funding for an overhaul of the historic Freedom Tower, DeSantis didn’t mention the session happening in Tallahassee.

Many are saying that the bills will pass and are a done deal, but that is not stopping lawmakers who are opposed from speaking out.

Some House and Senate Democrats are saying that the four bills have too little detail on how the money will be spent and too little transparency for how the violations will be enforced.

Senator Jason Pizzo, a Democrat representing Florida’s District 38, said that the bills create “extra layers of confusion and regulation and control.”

State Sentator Tina Polsky (D-Boca Raton) said: “There are a lot of holes in this bill as my colleagues have said. Just so we understand what this bill does is very important and that we can’t agree to a bill until we know exactly what is in it.”

The passing of the COVID mandate bill could put companies in a position of deciding whether to follow state or federal laws.

“Nobody should be losing their jobs because of these jabs,” Desantis said at a recent press conference.

About the Authors:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.