Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis opposed legislation that would remove funds used to implement mask mandates. Instead, he suggested that parents have the right of suing for the harm masking caused to their children.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, DeSantis stated that he would not accept money that could penalize a teacher, student, or another educational worker because of the actions taken by some union-controlled school board members. “But you could say that any parent whose child was illegally forced to masked in Florida this year, in any of these districts, should be able to sue their children if they have any adverse effects.
DeSantis said that students with speech, emotional, or physical problems due to masking should have the right to sue school districts that “flouted” the law.
DeSantis stated that if the legislature follows that path, he believes it would be very beneficial. It would strike a balance between punishing politicians who break the law and not doing so in a way that is ham-handed and could deprive innocent school kids of their right to participate in a program.
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DeSantis was referring specifically to a proposal in Florida House’s 2022/23 budget proposal titled “Putting Parents First”, which could take $200 million from school districts that impose strict mask mandates.
Randy Fine, Florida State Representative, is the Chair of the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee. He stated that the money would go to the districts that followed the state’s masking rules. This was a “reward.”
Fine stated that he agreed with DeSantis.
Fine stated in an interview that Fine had just suggested another way to do it. Fine said that the proposed method could cost more than $200 million.