The Florida state Senate recently passed a bill that not only bans so-called "COVID passports," but would levy fines on both private businesses and public schools that ask someone for it.
If signed, the bill, introduced by Republican state Sen. Danny Burgess and which passed 76-40 on April 22, would impose a $5,000 fine per violation for any business or school that asks to see a person’s vaccination documents before allowing them entrance. The bill is expected to be signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Ironically, many state Democrats, who had no problem with forcibly mandating businesses to remain closed during the COVID pandemic, have pushed back on the bill because they say it infringes on private business’ rights to make their own rules.
“If you care about our business community as certain elected officials in this state say that they do, why would you prevent people from enacting policies that give their customers the assurance, the confidence, that they can walk into a business, and that they’ll be safe?” Democrat state Rep. Omari Hardy pointed out, per the Washington Times.
Republicans, on the other hand, argue that there are millions of people, including many minorities, who are understandably hesitant about getting the vaccine and shouldn’t be singled out or denied service because they won’t reveal their personal medical choices.
DeSantis has already come out publicly against so-called “COVID passports” that would require individuals to show proof of vaccination to go about their lives, saying Florida will not impose such a mandate or allow the private sector to ask customers to show proof that they've gotten The Jab.
“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 in March.