The extraordinary legislative session in Florida can be summarized in one sentence: what Ron DeSantis wants, Ron DeSantis gets.
It’s All About Standing Up to Biden
In October, DeSantis called a special meeting to oppose the Biden government’s coronavirus vaccination requirements. The Florida House and Florida Senate adopted four pieces of legislation in just three days, undermining President Biden’s vaccination campaign.
DeSantis did not appear during the extraordinary state legislature sitting in Tallahassee; however, he was able to get his laws enacted, thanks to his enormous political clout in the Republican-controlled legislature.
One bill allows workers to opt out of getting the vaccine. It also contains a provision that fines small firms $10,000 and larger organizations $50,000 if they fire individuals who refuse to obtain the vaccine.
NOW – Florida's Gov. DeSantis lets 2nd-grader, who was suspended 38 times for refusing to wear a mask, speak at his bill signing to stop vaccine mandates.pic.twitter.com/6PhMDBYa2U
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) November 18, 2021
This Thursday, Rep. Ardian Zika declared, “The governor can do whatever he wants.” Democrats quizzed him on the House floor about a bill that would give the administration $1 million to explore Florida’s withdrawal from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA designed the Biden government’s plan to mandate immunizations for major enterprises. Legislators also passed a bill prohibiting the Florida surgeon general from requiring vaccines in the event of a public health crisis.
They then passed another bill that keeps grievances submitted by workers who were not granted waivers hidden from the public eye.
Where Will DeSantis Go from Here?
DeSantis, on the other hand, never spoke out against the procedure or visited the Capitol in public. As he plans for his re-election and a possible White House candidacy in 2024, the governor is gaining popularity among Republicans around the country and has a growing platform.
As a consequence, conservatives in the state legislature are wary of crossing DeSantis for fear of jeopardizing their own political prospects; also, they also don’t want to stifle his electoral rise.
The Florida Legislature and my administration are committed to protecting Florida jobs.
Today, I signed legislation protecting the right of Floridians to earn a living and to make health decisions for themselves. pic.twitter.com/rGnutyg8aH
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 19, 2021
“At the end of the day, isn’t it about power,” asked state Democrat Rep. Fentrice Driskell. “This whole legislative session was a strategic move by the governor. It doesn’t make sense for the parliamentary leadership (which appears to be in synch with this governor) to come out in a way that would have been detrimental to him.”
It was a popular line of attack from Democrats who were overpowered and couldn’t do much to stop the bills from passing. Liberals also pointed out the Republican-led House previously opposed GOP governors’ policy agendas, such as during former Gov. Rick Scott’s administration.
“I’ve seen this place when the governor orders something and we scream it down.” During a lengthy floor conference address, state Democrat Rep. Nicholas Duran declared, “We are no longer witnessing that. We’re debasing the purpose of a special session.”
The plan authorizing employers to give exemption based on a variety of criteria, including medical problems and religious views, received the most attention. The bill also allocates $5 million to Attorney General Ashley Moody to examine labor concerns.