The Republican Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is currently pushing for a bill that would allow workers payments- those who refused the vaccine. This comes as an open defiance to the vaccine mandate put up by President Joe Biden.
A major part of SB2- one of the four bills that were brought up as a vital part of the campaign of the governor against mask and vaccine mandates- would pay a large section of unemployment benefits at the expense of taxpayers to workers who were fired because they refused to comply with the vaccine mandates in place to stem the spread of COVID-19.
Ron DeSantis Has Decided To Bring New Legislation
The bill will be introduced by the Republican-ruled state legislature in a special session that would be convening the next week. It can be stated that Ron DeSantis would be pulling out all stops to get this legislated. Kim Reynolds, the Republican Governor of Iowa, also signed a similar law the previous month which provided unemployment benefits to workers who refused the requirement of the employers to get the vaccine. The law was then passed under a special session and then brought into effect.
As for the push of Ron DeSantis, Rich Templon, one of the policy directors for the Florida AFL-CIO, has considered that this measure sets up a very extraordinary precedent. In his interview with the Florida Phoenix, he stated that this would be the first time that a voluntary quit would be rendered eligible for a stimulus payment.
Interestingly, Ron DeSantis had previously removed enhanced federal unemployment benefits the previous year amidst vast unemployment which was created by the pandemic. The reasoning he provided was that they led to the creation of an incentive for workers to not get back to jobs that need to be filled by the companies.