Vaccine fraud bill getting teed up in Florida House

Tray Ling

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, making the issue a priority, the House Judiciary Committee on Monday will consider a bill that would crack down on scammers who provide fraudulent information about COVID-19 vaccines. If the bill (HB 9), sponsored by Rep. Ardian Zika, R-Land O’Lakes, gets […]

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – With Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, making the issue a priority, the House Judiciary Committee on Monday will consider a bill that would crack down on scammers who provide fraudulent information about COVID-19 vaccines.

If the bill (HB 9), sponsored by Rep. Ardian Zika, R-Land O’Lakes, gets approved by the Judiciary Committee, it would be ready to go to the full House after the annual legislative session starts March 2.

Sprowls told reporters last week that Zika’s bill and a measure that would provide COVID-19 liability protections for businesses (HB 7) are priorities for early passage in the House.

A news release last month announcing the filing of Zika’s bill pointed to such things as fake websites that offer access to vaccines in exchange for payments.

“Floridians need to be on the lookout for vaccine scams, but these criminals are using very slick, official-looking websites to run their operations,” Zika said in a prepared statement. “This legislation puts them on notice and helps protect Floridians from getting scammed.”

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The House is tentatively scheduled to hold two floor sessions next week in which it could take up the bills.

Those floor sessions are slated for March 4 and March 5.

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