A bill that would create a state counterpart to the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) is primed and ready to be considered on the floor of the Florida House. While the bill would not create the new state department outright, it would develop a plan to seek federal approval to create it.
The intention of the bill, HB 5B, would be to withdraw Florida from the purview of OSHA, and President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate, and move the state under the jurisdiction of a state department. Florida State Rep. Ardian Zika (R-FL-37) said Florida is more equipped to deal with Florida’s needs, compared to Washington D.C.
“Florida knows Florida better than Washington, D.C., will ever know Florida, and at the end of the day, we have a responsibility as Floridians to ensure Florida remains a launching pad for the American dream,” Zika said.
Florida Democrats submitted a number of amendments ensuring the new state-run department would not conflict with federal safety standards.
“It just makes sense. If we’re going to do it, do it right,” said State Rep. Joe Geller (D- District 100).
However, the amendments were rejected by voice vote.
State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D- District 49) said HB 5B was not a serious proposal.
“LOL, this is not a serious proposal,” Smith said. “The proposal is not going anywhere. That’s why it’s a plan for a plan.”
Smith continued his comments by saying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is focused on 2024 White House aspirations.
“We are the Legislature, and we should not kowtow to anyone, including a Governor that wants very badly to run for President,” Smith said.
Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-District 102) said the good news for the Republicans’ plan is that the vaccine mandate by the Biden administration will likely not hold up in court.
“Let’s be honest, if there was a legal mechanism by which the Biden administration could move about by just doing forced vaccinations and not having to contort themselves into this OSHA pretzel or the CMS pretzel, that’s exactly what they would do,” Sprowls said. “They can’t find any legal way to do that.”
– – –