Governor DeSantis, Attorney General Ashley Moody, Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo, and Floridians threatened with job loss due to vaccine mandates stood together today as the Governor called a Special Session of the Florida Legislature to provide protections for employees.
“Your right to earn a living should not be contingent upon COVID shots,” Governor DeSantis said. “When the vaccines first came out, we worked very hard to provide them, particularly to our elderly, but we said from day one: we will make it available for all, but we will mandate it on none because ultimately we want individuals to make the determinations about what is right for them. I want a state in which people are able to maintain their livelihoods, earn a living, and provide for their families. And if the federal government or big corporations are hurting people, then we have a responsibility to step up and lead.”
During this Special Session, Governor DeSantis is asking the Florida Legislature to provide protections for employees facing termination because of discriminatory vaccine mandates and to make clear that government entities, including school districts, may not fire any employee based on vaccine status. Employers’ broad liability protections should also be reevaluated if they harm their employees through vaccine mandates.
Further, the Governor is asking the Florida Legislature to provide greater protections to parents to manage the health care decisions of their children, including the freedom to opt their children out of mask mandates. According to Florida Department of Health data over the last twelve to fourteen months, COVID-19 infection data from Florida counties reflects no meaningful difference between counties with parent opt-outs for mask requirements.
There is strong support for these freedom-protecting steps in Florida leadership.
Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez: “Mandates have no place in the free state of Florida.”
Attorney General Moody: “We will always fight illegal government actions that negatively impact first responders, America’s workers, and public safety.”
Dr. Joseph Ladapo: “Condemning Americans to financial instability is detrimental to the well-being of this country and to public health.”
Florida Ports helping break supply chain logjam
Governor DeSantis is making it clear that Florida Seaports have the available capacity to help unclog the supply chain in America and meet holiday demand, while other seaports across the country, particularly in California, are struggling to keep up.
At an event with the Governor, Jaxport officials announced this week that they will be offering incentives to any company that chooses to bring its business to the port, freeing up backlogs at other ports while ensuring Americans are able to receive the goods they order.
“Year after year we continue to invest in our seaports, in infrastructure and in workforce education to make sure our supply chain is resilient,” Governor DeSantis said. “I’m especially proud of Florida’s seaports. They are crown jewels in our state.”
While California is just now opening their ports 24/7, that is the norm in Florida.
“While other U.S. ports are just now announcing around-the-clock operations, in Florida many of our ports are used to serving Florida farmers, families and businesses with 24-hour operations,” Governor DeSantis during a press conference at Jaxport. “As the rest of the nation faces rampant inflation and businesses stare down unprecedented supply chain problems, our message is this: Florida is here, we have capacity, we have incentive packages to help businesses who want to move here and we are going to make sure Americans get their Christmas Gifts this season.”
The Governor pointed out that at least one European container ship supplier has chosen Jaxport for its U.S. unloading destination bringing an extra 1,000 shipping containers a week through the port, highlighting an incentive package aimed at gaining more customers to the state.
The Governor also said that Port Everglades unloaded nearly 7,000 containers from a ship this past weekend, and a second ship from India is coming to the port with more than 9,000 containers.
“We in Florida have the ability to help alleviate the logjams and help ameliorate the problems with the supply chain,” the Governor said. “Part of it is because we’ve long been committed to reliable, modern and accessible port facilities.”