The Florida House and Senate are holding special sessions this week to debate COVID-19 related mandates.
Florida could become the first state to pass a law fining businesses and hospitals that comply with President Biden’s vaccine mandate. That session began on Monday, but there’s no telling how long it could take for this bill to become law.
Republican legislators also want to pull out of OSHA, the federal organizations that set relations for businesses and create a separate, state-run, business oversight committee.
On Tuesday, Democrats introduced amendments and opposition to the proposal. They left it all on the floor, but when it came time to vote, their yay’s were drowned out by the no’s from the other side of the aisle.
Republicans appear poised to win the fight over whether Florida should pull out of OSHA.
As the bill advanced in Tallahassee, more than 400 miles away in Naples, Gov. DeSantis gave it his blessing.
He told reporters that OSHA’s employer vaccine mandate is not very “Florida.” “It’s 500 pages of ignorance run amok. Its bureaucracy run amok.”
The bill, if it passes the full legislature, gives DeSantis one million dollars just to plan a withdrawal from OSHA.
Tampa Democrat Dentrice Driskell said, “what I don’t want to see happen is we allocated a million dollars and it be a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.”
If the plan to leave OSHA is adopted, there’s no telling yet how much that will cost but it would create a new state agency from scratch.
Tampa Democrat Janet Cruz said, “our own agency at our Florida taxpayer expense? I think that’s ridiculous.”
WINK News tracked down two of our local Republican representatives Spencer Roach and Mike Giallombardo.
North Fort Myers Republican Roach said, “I would like to see that even absent of these COVID issues that we’re talking about I am a de-reg, low-reg guy.”
Cape Coral Republican Mike Giallombardo wants people to take a step back before they judge the plan. “I think people just need to relax for a second. It is a plan to see if we can do this.”
If that plan one day becomes reality, Republicans acknowledged it could take years.
The House will take the bill up for a vote on Wednesday. The Senate could too, the latest will be Thursday.