Melissa McKinlay

Palm Beach County Commissioner Slams Governor DeSantis On Vaccine Stance

COVID-19 Florida News Palm Beach County

DeSantis Wants To Create State Version Of OSHA To Avoid Federal Oversight Of Workers. Commissioner McKinlay Calls It A Stunt.

Melissa McKinlay
Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay

BY: STAFF REPORT | BocaNewsNow.com

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay is calling out Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for what she says is are stunts that will hurt police officers, other state employees, and private citizens.

DeSantis is calling for Florida to create its own version of OSHA to avoid federal vaccine mandates.

This is the media release transmitted by McKinlay’s team:

Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay today blasted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Wilton Simpson, and House Speaker Chris Sprowls for their announcement of a special session on vaccine mandates and proposal to withdraw from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to set up Florida’s own workplace safety agency. 

“During a global health pandemic, these moves are nothing more than politically motivated stunts,” she said. “Not only will these actions waste taxpayer funds, but they also threaten worker protections.”

The proposed OSHA-rule would require employers with 100 or more employees to fully vaccinate their workforce or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test on at least a weekly basis. However, this rule would only apply to public sector employees in the 26 states with OSHA-approved state plans covering state and local governments. Florida is not one of those

“The Governor argues that the proposed OSHA-rule could cause police officers to lose their jobs. Let’s be clear: he is not telling the truth. Florida police officers or any other public employee in our state would not be affected—because for over twenty years Florida leadership has refused to implement an OSHA-approved plan to protect them.”

The Florida Legislature repealed the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Act in 2000 and subsequently Governor Jeb Bush abolished the Florida Department of Labor. Since then, public sector workers have had little protection in the state.  

“If Legislative leadership is so concerned with public workers, why have they, for over twenty years, refused to pass a plan protecting them? Now protections for private workers are on the table as well. Any Florida workplace safety plan must create real protections for both public and private workers, and not just use them as pawns in a political chess game.” 

 

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