Later this month, the great state of Florida, which is led by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, will begin issuing a $5,000 fine to businesses, schools, and even government agencies that require people to show proof of having gotten the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Promises made, promises kept,” DeSantis spokesperson Taryn Fenske told The Orlando Sentinel.
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The new statute, which goes into effect on September 16, reads that a business entity “…may not require patrons or customers to provide any documentation certifying COVID-19 vaccination or postinfection recovery to gain access to, entry upon, or service from the business operations in this state.”
It goes on to say that it does not otherwise restrict businesses, government entities or educational institutions “from instituting screening protocols consistent with authoritative or controlling government-issued guidance to protect public health.”
“The department may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation,” the statute concludes.
However, the fines won’t apply to cruise lines, just because of a federal order that blocked enforcement of the law for that industry, at least temporarily. DeSantis has already appealed this decision.
“We believe the ruling will be overturned upon appeal, and we are confident in the legal basis for Florida’s vaccine passport ban,” said press secretary Christina Pushaw.
DeSantis defended his plan to issues fines to places asking for proof of vaccination in a press conference.
“One, I’m vaccinated, I am offended that someone would make me show something just to go to a restaurant or just to live life,” DeSantis said, according to News4Jax. “My view is we got to protect people’s ability to live their lives. I don’t want a biomedical security state in which are constantly having to do this just to be able to live everyday life.”
He went on to explain that his job as governor is to protect individual freedom, not to protect corporate freedom.
Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide elected Democrat who is planning to challenge DeSantis in the gubernatorial race next year, is planning to challenge DeSantis over the fines.
“Once again, Governor DeSantis is retaliating against Floridians who are trying to protect themselves and their communities from COVID-19,” Fried said. “This not only goes against common sense — it’s also an insult to the free market principles that he claims to champion.”
My statement on Florida's new punishments for entities that require proof of vaccination: pic.twitter.com/om8JdwXdcr
— Commissioner Nikki Fried (@NikkiFriedFL) September 1, 2021
DeSantis has long been taking a stand against the ridiculous COVID-19 restrictions that many liberal governors have put in place in their states.
“Florida, we’re a free state,” DeSantis said earlier this month, according to US News. “People are going to be free to choose to make their own decisions about themselves, about their families, about their kids’ education and about putting food on the table.”
The people of Florida really are lucky to have DeSantis as a governor.
This piece was written by James Samson on September 3, 2021. It originally appeared in RedVoiceMedia.com and is used by permission
The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Drew Berquist.