Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Monday that the state would impose a $5,000 fine on cities and counties for every worker required to be vaccinated, Tampa Bay Times reports.
why it matters: It is the governor’s latest threat against local officials who have implemented mask or vaccine mandates in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
- Several school districts have openly defied DeSantis’ mask mandate ban, prompting state officials to withdraw funds from at least two districts.
running news: Gainesville, Orange County and . local governments in Leon County are backing a new state law that prohibits businesses and governments from requiring proof of vaccination from employees and customers.
- They each require their employees to be vaccinated or face termination, with certain exemptions.
what is he saying: According to the Tampa Bay Times, DeSantis said at a news conference on Monday, “We will not let people lose their jobs because of the vaccine mandate.” “You don’t alienate people serving you honestly on this issue, which is basically a personal choice over their personal health.”
- “It’s potentially millions and millions of dollars in fines,” he said.
On the other end: Local governments stick to their decisions despite the dangers.
- “It is our belief that as an employer we uphold the right to require vaccination as a condition of employment,” said Gainesville spokeswoman Shelby Taylor. said in a statement to the AP.
- “That could be a lot of money, yes, [no] Question about it,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, a Democrat, told a news conference per AP. DeSantis called DeSantis’s moves politically motivated and said officials could avoid threats through the courts or any other avenue. “will deal”.
- “At the end of the day, it’s our goal to protect, keep people safe in our large community, which is a fundamental role of government.”
big picture: Florida has become the epicenter of the country’s outbreak this summer.
- Deaths in the state included more than 20% of COVID-related deaths per AP across the US last week.
go in: Biden plans COVID vaccine mandate for 80 million private sector employees
Get more stories from the Tampa Bay Area by signing up for axios tampa bay The newsletter is designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news coming out in their own backyard.