The Republican-controlled Florida House of Representatives Wednesday passed a bill that would ban “vaccine passports.”
SB 2006 passed by a vote of 76-40 in the House. It now heads back to the Florida Senate after the House added an amendment.
According to FloridaPolitics.com, the bill imposes fines for businesses or other organizations that require proof of vaccination to before service, commonly called vaccine passports. Health officials in some states are suggesting that such regulations be implemented as the COVID-19 pandemic winds down.
“Proposed fines for vaccine passports under the bill are similar to an emergency order signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in early April that said businesses that require vaccine documentation are ineligible for state contracts or grants,” according to FloridaPolitics.com. “Businesses or schools that require proof of a COVID-19 vaccination could get slapped with a $5,000 fine for each affected customer or student under the bill.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has publicly stated his position against vaccine passports since the idea was first introduced into the public square.
In fact, he signed an executive order banning the state from producing vaccine passports earlier this month.
“No Florida government entity, or its subdivisions, agents, or assigns, shall be permitted to issue vaccine passports, vaccine passes, or other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status to a third party, or otherwise publish or share any individual’s COVID-19 vaccination record or similar health information,” the executive order said.
“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society,” DeSantis said when he signed the order.
He said at the time that working to legislature was looking to codify his executive order, and that he was looking forward to signing a bill banning vaccine passports into law:
Today I issued an executive order prohibiting the use of so-called COVID-19 vaccine passports. The Legislature is working on making permanent these protections for Floridians and I look forward to signing them into law soon. Read my EO here – https://t.co/6QwLsLWEWm
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 2, 2021
It appears that soon, DeSantis will get his wish.
The House approved an amendment clarifying that businesses and other entities can implement COVID-19 screening measures, like taking a person’s temperature, before granting them service.
If that amendment clears the Senate, the bill will head to DeSantis’ desk.
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