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DeSantis Promised No Forced COVID-19 Vaccinations. Now There’s A Bill For That

Bottles coronavirus vaccine. sars-cov-2 / COVID-19
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Under state law, Florida's surgeon general can order vaccinations during a public health emergency. The governor has said all coronavirus inoculations will be voluntary.

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Lake County filed legislation that would strip Florida's surgeon general of the authority to order vaccinations during a public health emergency.

Florida has no plans to order people to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. Gov. Ron DeSantis announced in November that getting a vaccine, when it’s available, will be “the choice of each and every Floridian.”

But under state law, the surgeon general can order vaccinations — along with other measures — during a public health emergency.

And Republican state Rep. Anthony Sabatini of Lake County wants to change that. He filed a bill Monday to strip the state of that authority.

Sabatini has waged a months-long battle against government efforts to slow the virus. He has filed lawsuits against local mask mandates and opposed other restrictions in the name of personal freedom.

In two other bills filed Monday, Sabatini would limit school board members to eight years in office and allow concealed-carry permit holders to bring guns on college facilities.