Florida is ready to welcome police officers who are losing their jobs nationwide because of COVID-19 vaccination mandates, Gov. Ron DeSantis says, adding that he wants to offer a $5,000 bonus to any officer who relocates to the Sunshine State.
"So New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, if you're not being treated well, we'll treat you better here," the Florida Republican said Sunday on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo." "You can fill important needs for us, and we'll compensate you as a result."
Florida's economy is booming, said DeSantis, because the state "protected people's right to work and businesses' right to operate" by remaining mostly open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"In September the nation as a whole reported 195,000 new jobs," said DeSantis. "Florida shared in that with 84,900 jobs. If you look at August 2021 and look at our hotel revenue compared to August of 2019, pre-COVID, we were up 11% over that while the nation as a whole was down 5%...we have 400-500,000 job openings right now in Florida."
Part of that is because Florida has fought back against mandates, including those imposed that are harming the police and fire departments, and that's why Florida is welcoming law enforcement officers who have lost their jobs in other states, said the governor.
"These people we've been hailing as heroes, the nurses we've said have been heroes this whole time, they've been working day in and day out," he said. "They couldn't do their jobs on Zoom. They had to be there, and they did it with honor and integrity. Now you have people that want to kick them out of their job over this shot, which is basically a personal decision? What Biden's doing is unconstitutional."
Florida's legislature is planning a special session to rule that nobody should lose their jobs over vaccine mandates, said DeSantis.
DeSantis also emphasized that Florida is ready to help with the nation's supply-chain logjam by welcoming the ships that can't unload their cargoes in California
"We're really proud of our seaports," DSeSantis said. "Since I've been governor, we've invested about $1 billion into modernizing them and making them even more effective, so we have capacity."
Some ships that were docked out of Savannah, Georgia, have already been rerouted to Florida, and the state's seaports have the capacity for more, said DeSantis.
Opening California ports for around-the-clock unloading has been floated, but Florida's ports are "always" at that point, he continued.
"Each individual port can offer companies incentive packages to be able to do it," he said. "Obviously, that's a good thing for Florida because we're driving economic activity in our state, and we've been doing very well, but it's also good for the country to be able to alleviate these logjams as shortages continue to pile up," said DeSantis. "Especially as we get into the Christmas season, this drives inflation even higher. I mean, it's a huge problem, and so Florida can step up and help be a partial solution to this really national crisis. We want to do it."
He also dismissed comments of President Joe Biden's call, which has been walked back, to send the National Guard to California to help with the supply logjam, and said the Guard would not be needed in Florida at all.
"Well, we have the logistical know-how and capacity with our ports of the supply chain," said DeSantis. "You can bring it; we'll handle it. There will be no need to do that in Florida because we're modernized. We're ready to go. If you're going to start talking about National Guard, what he should be doing is sending them to the southern border to get that under control, because that's a catastrophe month after month."
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