Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) called a special session over President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate and Florida Democrats are criticizing the effort. DeSantis has, numerous times, worked to ban mask mandates in Florida’s schools and vaccine mandates, and is seeking the Florida Legislature to codify those bans even further. The special session is scheduled to begin on November 15th.

“I think that we need to be making sure that people are healthy and safe, and that they can go to work and that our economy is booming, and that businesses are able to do what they need to do,” said Florida State Sen. Lauren Book (D- District 32).

On Twitter, Book also expressed her frustration with the special session by saying the end game is to take away Florida business owners’ freedom of choice.

“Instead of doing the people’s work during, the Legislature’s time & attention has been sequestered to what even Republicans have characterized as a ‘no-win’ battle against commonsense health & safety measures which aims to take freedom of choice away from business owners,” Book said.

Outspoken progressive State Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-District 47) criticized the governor and his legal efforts to fight Biden’s vaccine mandate, as well as saying the special session will cost taxpayers money.

“There is millions of dollars being spent right now on litigation over different COVID related issues,” said Eskamani. “This is public money. And of course, any special session costs public money as well.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D), one of DeSantis’ Democratic gubernatorial challengers, said the special session is a “manufactured crisis.”

“It’s a disgrace for the Governor to (be) taking a victory lap when so many preventable deaths happened on his watch,” Fried said. “That is what demands a Special Session, not this manufactured crisis that the Governor has created to feed his extremist base and score political points.”

As Florida’s Democrats are seemingly in lockstep with one another, Florida’s Republicans have also shown a unified effort as the special session approaches.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R- District 10) and Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R- District 65) issued a joint statement calling Biden’s vaccine mandate “un-American” and they will work to prevent Floridians from losing their jobs over the jab.

“During the special session, we will do everything within our power as a state to protect Floridians from the unconstitutional, un-American, and morally reprehensible overreaches on the part of the federal government,” the top Republicans said.

– – –

Grant Holcomb is a reporter at The Florida Capital Star and The Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Lauren Book” by Lauren Book. Photo “Nikki Fried” by Nikki Fried. Photo “Anna Eskamani” by Representative Anna V. Eskamani. Background Photo “COVID-19” by Gerd Altmann.