WASHINGTON – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is threatening to impose heavy fines on city and county governments that require their employees to be vaccinated against Covid.
DeSantis said Monday his state would fine local governments $ 5,000 for every employee who was forced to get vaccinated in order to continue working.
The threat stems from a law signed by DeSantis in May that prohibits “Florida government entities from requiring proof of vaccination or post-infection recovery to access, enter or serve their operations,” its office said. In addition, the law imposes a fine of $ 5,000 per violation on any entity, including government entities, that requests to see proof of vaccination in Florida.
The state is preparing to start enforcing the law on Thursday.
DeSantis said Monday that demands from the city of Gainesville and the counties of Orange and Leon that workers must be vaccinated or risk being made redundant “should alarm Floridians and raise important questions.”
“It’s political, it’s about using the power of government to control,” he said. “We’re going to protect these jobs, we’re going to protect livelihoods, and we’re going to protect families. “
The governor warned that these warrants would result in “potentially millions and millions of dollars in fines.”
The administration of DeSantis has already fought against the mandates of school masks. Late last week, a Florida appeals court allowed the state to continue to implement an order banning mask requirements in schools while the matter is under review.
Last Thursday, President Joe Biden announced that the federal government would require Covid vaccines for federal workers and contractors. He also announced an emergency rule requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to require that their staff be fully vaccinated or that unvaccinated workers produce a negative Covid test at least once a week.