Ban On Mask Mandates Could Go Into State Law

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TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Amid a bid of ineligible battles, a Senate Republican connected Wednesday filed a connection that would enactment into authorities instrumentality a prohibition connected schoolhouse districts requiring students to deterioration masks.

The connection (SB 452), filed by Sen. Keith Perry, R-Gainesville, besides would barroom cities and counties from requiring radical to deterioration masks oregon acquisition aesculapian procedures oregon treatments.

It came a time aft the Florida Department of Health announced it had imposed a $3.57 cardinal good connected Leon County for requiring authorities employees to beryllium vaccinated against COVID-19.

The measure is filed for information during the 2022 legislative session, which volition commencement successful January, and is successful enactment with Gov. Ron DeSantis’ high-profile attempts to forestall disguise and vaccination mandates.

The DeSantis medication has been embroiled successful ineligible fights during the past 2 months successful state, federal, and administrative courts astir whether schools should beryllium capable to necessitate students to deterioration masks to forestall the dispersed of COVID-19.

DeSantis issued an enforcement bid connected July 30 aimed astatine preventing pupil disguise mandates, and the authorities Department of Health followed by issuing rules to transportation retired the order.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran and the State Board of Education besides person pursued fiscal penalties against 8 districts that person defied DeSantis.

Perry’s measure would springiness added unit — and permanence — by putting the prohibition connected schoolhouse disguise requirements into authorities law.

It besides would marque void immoderate schoolhouse “policy, rule, codification of behaviour oregon order” requiring masks.

DeSantis contends that parents should beryllium capable to determine whether children deterioration masks, and his July 30 enforcement bid was based, astatine slightest successful part, connected a instrumentality passed this twelvemonth known arsenic the “Parents’ Bill of Rights.”

The enforcement bid appeared to expect that lawmakers could code the disguise contented successful the future.

“This (the enforcement order) does not prohibit the Florida Legislature from exploring authorities to further support the cardinal rights of students and parents to beryllium escaped from excessive, harmful regularisation successful schools,” the bid said.

Perry is from Alachua County, wherever the schoolhouse committee has bucked DeSantis connected the disguise issue.

The Alachua board, on with schoolhouse boards successful Miami-Dade, Broward, Orange, Duval, and Leon counties, are challenging the latest mentation of the Department of Health regularisation successful a lawsuit astatine the authorities Division of Administrative Hearings.

DeSantis’ effort to forestall schoolhouse disguise mandates besides has been challenged by groups of parents successful authorities and national courts, including a lawsuit filed by parents of children with disabilities.

Meanwhile, opponents of disguise requirements person filed lawsuits against schoolhouse districts.

While the DeSantis medication has targeted school-district disguise requirements since summer, it much precocious has sought to forestall section governments from requiring employees to beryllium vaccinated against COVID-19.

Perry’s measure does not specifically notation metropolis and region COVID-19 vaccination requirements, but it would enactment into instrumentality that a “county oregon municipality, straight oregon indirectly, whitethorn not necessitate that immoderate national of the United States taxable to immoderate aesculapian process oregon person immoderate aesculapian treatment.

Counties and municipalities whitethorn not information citizens’ entree to nationalist spot oregon services based connected whether a national has submitted to immoderate aesculapian process oregon received immoderate aesculapian treatment.”

Also, it would forestall cities and counties from imposing disguise requirements.

The Department of Health announced Tuesday that it had fined Leon County due to the fact that 714 employees had been required to amusement impervious of vaccination — with 14 radical losing their jobs implicit the issue. The wellness section cited what is known arsenic a “vaccine passport” prohibition that DeSantis signed into instrumentality successful May.

Leon County Administrator Vince Long indicated that the region could situation the legality of the fine.

“There is simply a genuine disagreement astir the applicability of the (state vaccine passport) statute and rule, and the region volition enforce its rights utilizing immoderate remedies disposable astatine law, if necessary,” Long said successful a connection Tuesday.

With bills gradually being filed successful beforehand of the 2022 session, the House does not person a connection that is identical to Perry’s measure.

But Rep. Anthony Sabatini, R-Howey-in-the-Hills, filed a measure (HB 75) past period that seeks to forestall authorities agencies from requiring masks and COVID-19 vaccinations.

(©2021 CBS Local Media. All rights reserved. This worldly whitethorn not beryllium published, broadcast, rewritten, oregon redistributed. The News Service of Florida’s Jim Saunders contributed to this report.)

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