The state of Florida is mulling several options to resist Covid-19 vaccine mandates from the Biden administration and employers, including a potential withdrawal from oversight of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the agency enforcing a presidential mandate that businesses with at least 100 employees force them to take the vaccine or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests.
“If OSHA, the Department of Labor and OSHA, is going to be weaponized as a way to hold hostage businesses throughout the state of Florida, no problem. We want a different plan,” said state House speaker Chris Sprowls during a press conference to discuss a special state congressional session set to be held next week through Nov. 19, Fox13 Tampa Bay reports.
“We want out of OSHA. We’ll submit our own regulatory authority and say goodbye to the federal government.“
In a prepared statement, Senate President Wilton Simpson said: “After 40 years in the private sector running businesses that depend on an in-person workforce, where significant safety risks have to be mitigated, I am shocked to see such an unconstitutional mockery of the important role of OSHA,” he said of the Biden rule.
That said, even if Florida legislators are able to agree to ditch OSHA, the process “could take several years,” according to the report, citing the proposal sponsored by Republicans Sen. Travis Hutson and Rep. Ardian Zika. This of course wouldn’t allow enough time for Florida businesses to avoid OSHA fines, which have a deadline of Jan. 4, after which “wilful” violators will be charged up to $136,532.
State lawmakers will also discuss proposals to prevent government employees to be forced to vaccinate, requiring businesses to allow vaccine exemptions, and prohibiting the Florida surgeon general from forcing citizens to get vaccinated.