Florida Gov. DeSantis Plans To Fine Government Agencies That Follow Biden’s Vaccine Mandate

But does he have that power?

governor ron desantis YES Market Media / Shutterstock.com

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues his fight against COVID relief efforts following President Joe Biden’s COVID Plan that he released last Thursday.

It seems like DeSantis wants to directly challenge Biden after the president stated that the federal government would reimburse the salaries of teachers who had their pay withheld if they defied DeSantis’ orders.

Now, after Biden announced that all governmental employees would be required to get vaccinated with minimal exemptions, DeSantis announced that he would fine cities and counties that require employees to get vaccinated $5,000 per infraction.


RELATED: Florida Will Start Issuing $5,000 Fines To Businesses, Schools & Government Agencies That Ask For Proof Of Vaccination

Can Florida fine businesses complying with Biden's vaccine mandate?

In the new law, written by Governor DeSantis, he claims that “the department may impose a fine not to exceed $5,000 per violation” for any governmental entity, educational institution, or business entity that requires vaccinations or proof thereof. 

“We are not going to let people get fired because of the vaccine mandate,” DeSantis said in a news conference on Monday. “You don’t just cast aside people who have been serving faithfully over this issue, over what’s basically a personal choice over their individual health.”


The problem is, this isn’t just about their individual health, it’s about public health, and there are a lot of counties and cities that are fully prepared to continue upholding the president's laws.

“The health, safety and welfare of our city’s workforce and those we serve is our number one priority,” spokesperson for the City of Gainesville Shelby Taylor said.

“The city has taken the steps necessary to achieve that priority and stand by that decision. It is our belief that as an employer, we retain the right and responsibility to require vaccinations as a condition of employment.”

Fortunately, it isn’t in DeSantis’ power to defy a federal requirement like that.


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DeSantis' legislative power is inferior to Biden.

As the Governor of the state of Florida, DeSantis is capable of signing executive orders that affect legislation in his state alone.

However, according to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution of the United States (Article VI, Clause 2) states that all federal laws made pursuant to the constitution of the United States constitute the “supreme Law of the Land.”

This means that if the federal government passes a law, states cannot pass laws in direct defiance of that federal law.


Governor DeSantis will likely sign this law as an executive order in direct defiance of President Biden’s new COVID plan, but will be overturned when put under judicial review because it interferes with federal law.

This wouldn’t be the first time DeSantis has had his laws overturned.

Back in May of this year, DeSantis proposed a law that would prohibit social media platforms from banning political candidates and “journalistic enterprises” from their networks.

The Stop Social Media Censorship Act was in direct response to conservative opinion that social media websites were silencing the views of right-wing politicians and pundits.

Without any proof, these opinions fall on deaf ears and never amount to any significant change in how these social media platforms govern their websites.


Industry groups that represent the Big Tech companies affected sued the state — asking to overturn the law because it violated their First and 14th Amendment rights and that content moderation was allowed under Section 230.

Section 230 is a federal law that allows for platforms to moderate content, and as such, no states may pass any laws in direct violation of that law — overturning the law signed by Governor DeSantis.

“This decision upholding the Constitution and federal law is encouraging, and reaffirms what we have been saying: Florida’s statute is an extraordinary overreach, designed to penalize private businesses for their perceived lack of deference to the government’s political ideology,” CCIA President Matt Schruers said in a statement.


“The court’s ruling is a win for internet users and the First Amendment.”

On the off-chance that DeSantis’ new law proposing city and county fines gets passed and those institutions will have to pay fines while still requiring the vaccine, it’s likely that president Biden will step in like he did in the past.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice and politics.