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Businesses and governmental organizations are about to learn that Gov. Ron DeSantis doesn’t make idle threats. He backs up Florida law. Leon County, in an effort to protect its lawless and inconsiderate employees, passed a vaccine mandate and will pay the price:
Leon County’s vaccine mandate required more than 700 workers to be vaccinated or be terminated by Oct. 2. Two days later, 14 county workers who refused the vaccine were fired.
At $5,000 for each violation of a state law prohibiting vaccine mandates by government employers, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) Thursday fined the county $3.57 million and gave it 30 days to pay.
According to the DOH’s violation notice mailed to Leon County Administrator Vincent Long, the county is being fined for ‘714 counts of violating state statute’ established under Senate Bill 2006, which bans businesses from requiring ‘vaccine passports’ for customers and government employers from mandating vaccinations for employees.
I don’t know why Leon County went ahead with its mandates and then fired employees. DeSantis was clear on his expectations and his insistence on protecting Florida’s citizens, including its employees. It just seems like a foolish way to initiate a power struggle:
‘It is unacceptable that Leon County violated Florida law, infringed on current and former employees’ medical privacy, and fired loyal public servants because of their personal health decisions,’ Gov. Ron DeSantis said. ‘We will continue fighting for Floridians’ rights and the Florida Department of Health will continue to enforce the law. We’re going to stand up for Floridians’ jobs, stand up for Floridians’ livelihoods, and stand up for freedom.’
It seems to me that once again, DeSantis is one of the few government executives who will stand up for our rights.
Orange County and the city of Gainesville were going to require vaccinations of their employees. In response to the Florida Department of Health, both organizations have modified their positions. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings (yes, Sen. Val Demings’ husband) will only deliver a written reprimand to the county’s 541 firefighters instead of firing them; the city of Gainesville, after being warned that it was in violation of the new bill, rescinded its employee vaccine mandate.
These actions might be summed up in a statement from state Sen. Loranne Ausley, a Democrat who represents Leon County:
‘Florida has lost more than 56,000 lives to COVID-19, and the governor is spending his time punishing counties working to keep their citizens safe,’ she said in a statement ‘Unbelievable! We don’t need the state bullying our communities or private businesses who are simply trying to serve the people and get on the other side of this pandemic.’
I’d like to ask Ms. Ausley sincerely who is playing politics and bullying the communities in Florida.Published in