Florida gov. signs bill banning schools from requiring COVID vaccines
TALLAHASSEE, Florida, May 4, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — The Florida legislature passed a bill last Thursday regulating the state’s emergency powers if faced with any public health emergency in the future. Among other things, the bill bans compulsory COVID-19 vaccines for students.
“Thrilled to sign legislation that prohibits COVID-19 vaccine passports in Florida. Neither government, nor private businesses, will be able to condition your participation in everyday life on producing private health information,” Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) tweeted.
Thrilled to sign legislation that prohibits COVID-19 vaccine passports in Florida. Neither government, nor private businesses, will be able to condition your participation in everyday life on producing private health information. https://t.co/0NMBk1l9zI— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) May 3, 2021
In early March, DeSantis signed an executive order banning both government entities and businesses from requiring proof of vaccinations. Now, the legislature helped turning this into law by passing SB 2006, which fortifies the ban and includes schools.
Schools in Florida already require certain vaccinations. However, State Rep. Tom Leek (R) told the Miami Herald that an experimental gene therapy COVID shot would not “have the same proven history of the same vaccines we require our school children to get. We must recognize that vaccine hesitancy is real and understandable.”
The law prevents schools, businesses, and government entities from requiring it. Violators can be fined up to $5,000.
“In Florida, your personal choice regarding vaccinations will be protected and no business or government entity will be able to deny you services based on your decision,” Gov. DeSantis said.
DeSantis is the first elected official in the country to take a hard stance against vaccine passports. “You have a right to participate in society without them asking you to divulge this type of health information like just to go to a movie, just to go to a ball game,’’ he told the Miami Herald. “Our Legislature has passed what I asked for, and I’ll be signing that very soon.”
Additionally, the law prohibits state and local governments from closing businesses “or keep students out of in-person instruction at Florida schools, except for hurricane emergencies, and caps all local emergency at seven-day increments,” a press release stated.
The governor is now in a position “to invalidate a local emergency order if it unnecessarily restricts individual rights or liberties.”