By Carolyn Martin (CHEC Director of Government Relations)
Good Bills Die
Attempts were made this session to bring forth good policy, but all of them were thwarted by the majority party who has control of the General Assembly, and every state office, board, and commission. All the bills listed below were killed in committee by a select few legislators on a party-line vote. Remember this as you vote during the next election.
There was a bill to give a tax credit to families who began homeschooling or sent their children to a private school during the shutdown of the schools this past year (HB21-1080 Nonpublic Education & COVID-19 Relief Act).
A series of bills were introduced to address the confidence issues surrounding the last election.
- Several required audits of the voter rolls (HB21-1088 Annual Audit Statewide Voter Registration System, HB21-1176 Election Integrity & Voter Accuracy).
- Another one created a committee to evaluate and recommend improvements of the electronic voting systems (HB21-1170 Advisement Committee on Elections and Information Technology).
Many bills were written to address the extraordinary power the governor has the authority to exercise during a declared emergency.
- Two of these bills tried to give more power to local authorities who are more in tune with their communities’ needs (HB21-1036 Local Control of Health Orders, HB21-1032 Local Government Authority Statewide Disaster Emergency Declarations).
- Two others attempted to give protections to businesses and other entities from civil liabilities during the pandemic if they tried in good faith to comply with the public health guidelines (HB21-1074 Immunity for Entities During COVID-19, SB21-080 Protections for Entities During COVID-19).
- One bill would have made it illegal to close small businesses while big box stores remained open (SB21-005 Business Exempt from Public Health Order to Close).
- Another bill would limit the governor’s ability to extend an emergency beyond 60 days (HB21-1081 Disaster Emergency Duration Limits).
- One bill would have repealed the governor’s authority to restrict firearm and ammunition purchases during declared emergencies (HB21-1185 Repeal Government Firearms Regulations & Training Class Requirements).
- Two bills tried to make sure the public could weigh in when the public health department formulated its orders during an emergency by forcing them to follow the “State Administrative Procedure Act” (SB21-028 Promulgation of Public Health Rules & Orders, SB21-036 Additional Requirements Issue Emergency Public Health Order).
Bills to address some of the rules that trampled the rights of individuals and doctors during this crisis were killed despite hours of emotional and meaningful testimony.
- One would have given every patient in a hospital or a long-term care facility the ability to have at least one visitor (HB21-1172 Hospital Patient Long-term Care Resident Visit Rights).
- Another one would have prohibited an employer from forcing an employee to be injected with an experimental medical technology as a condition of employment (HB21-1191 Prohibit Discrimination COVID-19 Vaccine Status).
- And the last one would have allowed doctors to prescribe, and pharmacists to dispense, Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine without penalty for the treatment of Sars-Cov-2 (HB21-1202 Off-label Use of Approved Drugs to Treat COVID-19).
Follow the links to the bills to find out who sponsored these good bills. I encourage you to send them an email thanking them for their efforts!
Trusting in the mighty power and grace of Jesus,
Carolyn Martin, CHEC Director of Government Relations