Florida lawmakers to take part in special legislative session, focusing on mask and vaccine mandates

ORLANDO, Fla. — Lawmakers from across the state and here in central Florida are making their way to Tallahassee on Monday to take part in a special legislative session.

Monday’s session will focus on mask mandates and vaccine requirements.


Florida Democrats have been calling for a special session for months, following the start of the pandemic.

Gov. DeSantis said his goal is to give more power over the right to choose when it comes to getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Parents will have a right to go in and sue and also recovering the legal costs for having to do it,” DeSantis said. “I think it will be clear here are the parent’s prerogatives and that is going to make it a lot better”

Read: Brevard County to begin offering COVID-19 vaccine for kids on Monday

DeSantis said he’ll achieve this by enhancing the parents’ bill of rights for masks, vaccines and quarantining.

As for adults who get fired for refusing to get vaccinated, DeSantis said he wants to make sure they can still receive the state’s unemployment benefit of $275 a week for 12 weeks.

This comes as a federal appeals court put President Joe Biden’s mandate on hold.

Read: Orange County offers COVID-19 vaccine for kids at Barnett Park

It would require vaccines for any company with more than 100 employees and all federal contractors to be vaccinated.

The court decided it was too broad.

Here in Central Florida local firefighters have been standing against the Orange County vaccine mandate since it was first passed.

Read: White House reports nearly 1 million kids under 12 vaccinated

Protests turned into a lawsuit following the firing of Battalion Chief Stephen Davis.

Firefighters are getting state backing from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

“You know first and foremost I think it’s incredibly reckless to mandate something that you know will result in more vacancies in these importantly important ranks. The safety and stability of any community rests on folks like this willing to sign up and do these,” Moody said.

Read: Orange County firefighters give update on lawsuit challenging vaccine mandate

Davis refused to follow a direct order by not disciplining firefighters who didn’t get the vaccine.

“We are going to protect Floridians to make sure they are able to work earn a living,” DeSantis said.

Channel 9′s Shannon Butler will be at the Capitol and will report what comes out of the special session starting Sunday night on Eyewitness News at 10 and 11 p.m.


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