Post # 193, Bob McKnight's Florida Commentary
The Urgency is the Need for Political Cover...Now.
For those keeping track of the cost/benefit of our state government, the upcoming Special Session will be an extra cost for the tax payers. The annual budget anticipates the cost of a 60 day Session, and in some cases a short extension is budgeted. But a Special Session is
normally considered an emergency for the person(s) calling it--in this case, our Governor. Leaders of the House of Representatives and Senate could also call for a Special Session, but they are not doing so, pending receipt of the Call from Governor DeSantis. Some legislative leaders like the House Speaker Designate, a Republican, have expressed confusion on the purpose of the Call at all. The already funded and scheduled Regular 60 day Session starts in 60 days making the whole exercise somewhat mysterious.
Most political observers expect the Governor to continue his fixation about Federal government mandates for Covid-19 vaccines and masks in the presence of others. Large businesses would like to mandate their employees get vaccinated to protect their businesses and employees. Contagion for Floridians is finally starting down from it's record highs for the country. Polls indicate that the Trump base like the argument that the people, not the government, should decide about any mandates, whether they affect the individual or others. So the Special Session Call may include a laundry list of legislation designed to protest and object to the Federal Government usurping the power of a State to self regulate. Since Republicans dominate both Houses of the Legislature, passage of the Governor's laundry is almost certain. But, the Special Session is not expected to accomplish much other than what the Governor wants to lay the groundwork for his re-election campaign next year.
Now we have a new controversary surfacing at the time of the Special Session. It deals with the Governor on his appointment of a new Surgeon General, who questions Covid-19 vaccines and face masks. This appointment requires confirmation by the Senate, which according the Republican Senate President is now uncertain. Some of the Governor's key supporters affiliated with UF have already been disclosed as shepherding the Surgeon General unprecedented appointment to the UF medical school staff. It is said that the Special Session ill provide political cover for the Governor's new appointment.
So, here is the real purpose of the Governor calling the Special Session:
Our Governor wants to exploit former President Trump's freedom at any cost narrative in his re-election bid next year and potential campaign for President in 2024. The Special Session will let him illuminate DeSantis quest for freedom at any cost to the public
Our Governor has already withheld significant public appropriations for School Boards to fight the epidemic in our public schools. He may add more penalties against elected School officials.
Our Governor has appointed a Surgeon General, who echoes his same medically objections to the Covid-19 vaccines and face mask protections. The appointment was made outside normal checks and balances. The Governor will probably pressure legislators to silence about the new Surgeon General.
Our Governor is silent on his stewardship of over 60,000 lives of Floridians, lost to the Covid-19 pandemic. There are rumors of the Governor considering exempting individuals and businesses from liability for ignoring the protection of vaccines and masks against Covid-19.
Political cover for these developments is why the Special Session is so urgent.