Leading House Dem: Republicans will scale back Ron DeSantis’ vaccine mandate ban
Evan Jenne. Image via AP.

Some businesses don't appreciate what the Governor is doing, Jenne says.

House Democratic Co-Leader Evan Jenne thinks the Legislature will scale back Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ proposal to prevent businesses and government entities from mandating COVID-19 vaccines for employees.

DeSantis on Friday issued his formal proclamation for the Special Session on vaccine mandates scheduled later this month, including the related issues the Governor wants addressed. However, Senate President Wilton Simpson and House Speaker Chris Sprowls have equivocated, saying they intend to support businesses and Floridians against President Joe Biden‘s “illegal and unconstitutional” vaccine mandate without saying they will pass state laws preventing vaccine mandates.

The Republican-led Legislature has frequently backed business, but some influential corporations like Disney have implemented vaccine policies that run contrary to DeSantis’ anti-mandate proposal.

“I have a feeling that some business entities that may be quite important to folks in this building have said, ‘Hey, we don’t appreciate what you’re doing here,'” Jenne told reporters Monday. “So I think you’re going to see that scale back a little bit.”

However, some Republican lawmakers have already voiced support for vaccine mandate bans, including Gainesville Sen. Keith Perry, whose district has played significant roles in both the vaccine and mask mandate fights. He drafted legislation before the Special Session was announced to codify vaccine and mask mandate bans.

Apart from DeSantis’ central call to ban vaccine mandates, the Governor is also asking lawmakers to provide recourse for employees affected by vaccine policies and to strengthen the Parents’ Bill of Rights regarding school masking policies.

Jenne isn’t sure yet how Democrats will counter Republican proposals during the Special Session, which is scheduled to begin Nov. 15.

“This thing was rolled out so haphazardly, without much thought in concrete detail, that it’s given them some wiggle room in terms of what they’ll actually try to accomplish,” Jenne said.

However, Simpson and Sprowls have named at least one specific area of interest — creating a state job safety agency to replace the role of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The Biden administration intends to use OSHA to implement vaccine and testing requirements in businesses with 100 or more employees.

Jenne said getting OSHA to approve the proposed state agency, which must at least meet OSHA’s minimum standards, could take years.

“It will be a massive, massive expansion of Florida state government, and the simple fact that it will take years to actually accomplish this shows that it really has nothing to do with COVID,” Jenne said. “It has more to do with trying to score political points on the national stage, which seems to be everyone’s interest in Florida these days.”

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


  • Ron Ogden

    November 1, 2021 at 11:38 am

    The freedom of people is what is most important. The rub is this: businesses are run by people, too. Businesses should be able to set their terms of employment, but those terms, obviously, are subject to law. It is odd to see, in a nation that has allowed itself to impose often nonsense regulations on business for decades, that the Dems should suddenly claim to be “pro-business”. They aren’t; it is just that they have to cuss DeSantis anyway they can. The politics of the moment can make people’s heads spin.

    • Alex

      November 1, 2021 at 12:10 pm

      “The freedom of people is what is most important.”

      Not when it endangers others.

      Sounds like sanity will somewhat prevail in the Legislature.

      • Chuchumaco

        November 1, 2021 at 12:33 pm

        What in the freedom of not putting an mRNA therapeutic jab into one’s body endangers others?

        • Alex

          November 1, 2021 at 12:37 pm

          If you don’t know yet, you need to start paying attention.

      • Tad Toll

        November 1, 2021 at 12:57 pm

        Right, like forcing people to inject an unproven concoction into their bodies that is claimed to be a vaccine, but which does not confer immunity or prevent transmission, but which can cause severe side effects, including death.

        • Alex

          November 1, 2021 at 1:34 pm

          Another ignoramus.

          I’d educate you, but I doubt it’d take in the first 20 tries.

          • Tad Toll

            November 1, 2021 at 6:51 pm

            Direct to argumentum ad hominem, bravo.

        • Alex

          November 1, 2021 at 10:19 pm

          You have nothing.

      • Jerry

        November 1, 2021 at 5:48 pm

        Me getting the vaccine will not protect you. You getting the vaccine won’t protect me. This vaccine doesn’t stop the spread.

        The average time it takes for a vaccine to be approved is 5-10 years. You are telling me that not only is this vaccine approved in 10 months, but you are going to force it into people’s arms? You people are sick!

        There is zero long term safety data! It took over a decade of testing before the Polio vaccine became mandatory in schools. It took a decade before measles and chicken pox vaccines were mandated in schools. And now you want to mandate a new mRNA vaccine for the entire country that isn’t even a year old? Seriously what the hell is wrong with you people? Huh? Seriously I think you liberals are F-ed in the head!

        • Alex

          November 1, 2021 at 7:02 pm

          Yada yada

          You read headlines, so you actually know nothing.

          Keep lying to everyone, and most importantly keep lying to yourself.

          • Jerry

            November 1, 2021 at 9:16 pm

            I read studies and do my own research. And I trust my own eyes. I have family members with significant side effects from these vaccines. I will NEVER get an mRNA vaccine. Never! And now there is a new study out that people who got the J&J have a 3.5 times higher chance of blood clots. So that one is bad too. None of these vaccines are safe. They are rushed.

            I will not touch these vaccines. They were rushed in development and now they are being rushed with mandates.

            I don’t need the vaccine. I’m young, healthy, and already had COVID. The vaccine is a bigger risk to me than the virus.

          • Molly Baker

            November 4, 2021 at 8:33 am

            OMG you have literally said nothing that proved your point and it’s HILARIOUS. Typical Libtard. You getting vaccinated means you’re safe, correct? So why the hell bother anyone else about THEIR OWN health decisions if YOU are safe? There has not been ONE logical answer with this including all of your “comebacks”. You have nothing to back up why others should be vaccinated if you already got the vaccine. There have been 60k deaths from the vaccine itself. This is America, everyone deserves freedom. You have the freedom to stay away from the unvaccinated and I have the freedom to make my own medical decisions. You can throw a tantrum all you want but the government doesn’t care about your health. The government cares about compliance and control. That’s it.

        • Alex

          November 1, 2021 at 9:31 pm

          That’s because you’re an idiot who reads facebook and calls it research.


  • Zhombre

    November 1, 2021 at 11:43 am

    I believe an exception should be made for cruise ships, which have a history of viral outbreaks on board. They have reason to be cautious and require vaccination before boarding.

  • Akismet Support

    November 1, 2021 at 11:45 am

    This is a post to test Akismet

  • JT

    November 2, 2021 at 7:25 am

    One side here is fighting their hardest to get people fired. What a bunch of mentally disturbed individuals. Biden has become the dictator he said Trump was. But hey, you gotta give Joe credit for destroying literally everything faster than anyone in history.

  • Rowdy piper

    November 2, 2021 at 11:38 am

    Blood clots vaginally ulcers death. Just some side effects

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn