TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at a Friday press conference in Marianna said that he wanted parents to be able to sue school districts that defied the state’s ban on mask mandates for students.
The governor called for families to be able to sue if they have a child who “was illegally forced-masked this year in Florida.” The governor cited “any negative effects of it, if they have speech problems, if they have emotional problems, physical problems.”
“They flouted the law and they should be liable for the consequences of their actions,” DeSantis said.
In all, 12 counties decided to enforce mask mandates, including Sarasota County and Hillsborough County Schools. Now those districts could face losing $200 million in state funds for that decision.
State Rep. Randy Fine represents southern Brevard County and also serves as the chairman of the K-12 Appropriations Committee. Last week, he unveiled the “Putting Parents First Adjustment” in Tallahassee. The budget proposal would take $200 million from the 12 districts that enforced mask mandates last fall and re-direct those funds to the 55 others that did not.
The proposed budget was approved during the House Appropriations Committee meeting Wednesday. It still has to go to the full House floor for further debate.
The governor also announced over $91 million in funding to communities across the Panhandle region and recovery for communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. Projects include improvements to wastewater and sanitary sewer, potable water, and stormwater systems.