ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday announced that any city or county that requires its employees to get the vaccine will face a fine. That fine will be $5,000 every time proof of vaccination is requested.
DeSantis said the state will not require anyone to make a decision on their personal health.
"We cannot let these folks be cast aside and we cannot allow their jobs to be destroyed and their families and livelihoods to be destroyed," said DeSantis.
The governor's recent stand comes in response to President Joe Biden’s call for companies with over 100 employees to require they be vaccinated or tested weekly. The governor argues mandates like that from federal or local governments break Florida law.
"We are going to support the men and women serving us. We are going to protect Florida jobs," said DeSantis.
The governor called out Orange County specifically in his Monday afternoon news conference. He alluded to them facing potentially millions of dollars in fines.
"This is the consequences of a divided nation over political ideologies as opposed to what is necessary during a public health crisis," said Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
Demings was frustrated over the political back and forth that he said leaves local governments stuck in the middle.
Orange County requires employees to get vaccinated although they are not required to show proof of vaccination. Those in violation of the mandate could be fired.
"I would not take actions that would adversely impact safety of our community," said Demings. "Sometimes, quite frankly, I question whether or not the governor really sees it that way."
Demings says 72% of Orange County employees are vaccinated. He will be looking into the Governors statements more before making any policy changes.
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