Gov. DeSantis looks to ban COVID-19 mandates; What’s Florida doing to protect natural resources?
Gov. Ron DeSantis is calling on Florida lawmakers to permanently enact a number of bans on COVID-19 related mandates in the state.
DeSantis announced his proposed legislation earlier this week at a news conference in Panama City Beach, where he shared the stage with a local dermatologist known for spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on Twitter.
The governor’s proposal would make permanent a number of temporary measures that the Republican-controlled Legislature passed during a 2021 special session.
Those measures are set to expire June 1, including bans on mask and COVID-19 vaccine mandates in schools, COVID-19 passports and employers making hiring or firing decisions based on someone’s vaccine status.
- Stephanie Colombini, WUSF and Health News Florida health reporter
- Dr. Nancy Staats, founding member of Doctors Fighting COVID
Is Florida doing enough to protect its natural resources?
In his inauguration speech at the start of his second term a couple of weeks ago, DeSantis said his administration had ushered in a “new era in stewardship for Florida’s natural resources.”
DeSantis said he’d promoted water quality and touted $2.5 billion promised in his first term for Everglades restoration. Two weeks ago he pledged another $3.5 billion.
While DeSantis has garnered praise from some environmental advocates for channeling more money into Everglades restoration, others say he comes up short on environmental issues. They accuse him of “greenwashing” and say they want DeSantis to do more to combat climate change. Meanwhile, many of the state’s waterways are in poor health. A new study puts Florida at the top of the list for the most polluted lakes in the country.
- Erik Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation
- Jenny Staletovich, WLRN reporter
- Steve Newborn, WUSF reporter
- Amy Green, WMFE reporter
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