Florida House OKs budget that punishes mask mandate schools

Florida House of Representatives
Posted at 10:27 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-02 15:52:40-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — School districts that ignored Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order banning mask mandates will face a $200 million penalty under a budget bill passed by the Florida House.

The funding stripped from those districts would be spread among the state’s other districts. Republican Rep. Randy Fine angrily defended the proposal to punish the 12 districts, saying that they broke the law. Democrats who opposed the bill Wednesday cited the idea as one of the reasons they voted no.

Some Democrats supported the bill, but expressed hope that the punishment provision will be taken out when the House and Senate negotiate differences in their spending proposals.