Gov. DeSantis Sets Special Session for Nov. 15-19

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This afternoon, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that he is calling the legislature to a special session starting Nov. 15 and concluding no later than Nov. 19. This is a scheduled committee week when legislators will already be in Tallahassee.

Additionally, the governor, along with Attorney General Ashley Moody, announced a lawsuit yesterday against President Biden's Administration regarding vaccine mandates for federal contractors. Ten more states have since filed suit against the administration on similar grounds. Read more about Florida's lawsuit here.

The governor's proclamation calls on the legislature to consider legislation on the following topics:

  • Protect current and prospective employees against unfair discrimination on the basis of COVID-19 vaccination status and ensure robust enforcement for this protection;
  • Ensure that educational institutions and government entities are prohibited from unfairly discriminating against current and prospective employees, students, and residents on the basis of COVID-19 vaccination status;
  • Ensure that employees improperly denied employment on the basis of COVID-19 vaccination status can be eligible for reemployment benefits and, if needed, ensure that employees injured by a COVID-19 vaccination taken pursuant to a company policy are covered by workers’ compensation;
  • Appropriate a sufficient amount of funds to investigate complaints regarding COVID-19 vaccination mandates and to take legal action against such mandates, including mandates imposed by the federal government;
  • Clarify that the Parents’ Bill of Rights, Chapter 1014, Florida Statutes, vests the decision on masking with parents, not government entities, and that schools must comply with Department of Health rules that govern student health, including rules that ensure healthy students can remain in school; 
  • Limit mandates by school districts on students or employees regarding COVID-19 and related mitigation measures;
  • Provide adequate enforcement mechanisms to ensure that Florida law is followed and the rights of parents are honored;
  • Direct the State to evaluate whether it should assert jurisdiction over occupational safety and health issues for government and private employees;
  • Repeal the authority for the State Health Officer to order forced injections or vaccinations under Section 381.00315, Florida Statutes, originally enacted in 2002; and
  • Create as necessary public records exemptions related to complaints and investigations described herein.

Read the full proclamation here and the governor's press release here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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