Florida House approves bill that could impose fines for businesses requiring COVID-19 vaccine

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida businesses could soon face fines of $10,000 to $50,000 if they require employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Florida House voted to approve a bill pushed by Gov. Ron DeSantis that would require businesses to offer worker exemptions.

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Democrats are calling it a campaign stop, not a special session.

READ: Debate over COVID-19 vaccine mandates to take center stage at Florida’s special session

The Senate is now meeting on those bills.

Republicans argued the bill would push back on vaccine mandates issued by President Joe Biden’s administration and prevent firings of employees who refuse to get a vaccine.

READ: Disney Cruise Line to require children ages 5 and up to be vaccinated for COVID-19

Republicans say this is the way to protect not just Floridian’s jobs, but also their rights. Democrats were disappointed in the process, saying they could not get any amendments to the bills passed with a Republican-controlled House, and called the session a political theater.

The House also passed a bill to strip the Florida surgeon general of the power to order vaccines during a public health emergency.

The bill put forth by DeSantis to develop a plan to withdraw from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration also passed.

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