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Missouri State Emergency Health Powers Act Is Not Just for Emergencies!
Action needed immediately!

02/19/2002

Missouri Senate Bill 712, known as the Missouri State Emergency Health Powers Act, contains some good legislation. For example, it will permit the temporary licensing of out of state physicians so they can help in Missouri during a crisis.

No doubt, it is a good idea to be prepared for possible terrorist activities, but Missouri First maintains that we should not give up one inch of the rights that so many of our forefathers fought and died to secure. Unfortunately, some of the provisions of this bill will do just that.

Perhaps the most onerous part of this bill will modify RSMo Section 192.320. At first blush, this bill seems to only add to the power of Missouri's government (and reduce the liberty of her citizens) once a state of emergency is declared, but that is not the case. Section 192.320 will make it a class A misdemeanor if you:

  • "Refuse to submit to medical examination or testing for an infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous disease as ordered by the department of health and senior services; or"

  • "Refuse to cooperate with the department or local public health agency in its investigation of an actual or threatened outbreak of an infectious, contagious, communicable or dangerous disease;" among other things.

These things will be a class A misdemeanor anytime, not just during emergencies! When an emergency is declared the penalty increases: "Any person violating the provisions of this section during an emergency as defined in section 44.010, RSMo, shall be deemed guilty of a class D felony."

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: This bill has been "perfected" and therefore cannot be amended. It will probably be voted on in the Missouri Senate tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2002. Fax, call, or email your senator early Wednesday morning and tell them to vote "no" on SB 712. Tell them there are two other senate bills coming up that could be fine emergency health bills, but this one must die now.

For copies of the perfected version of this bill, goto:
http://www.senate.state.mo.us/02info/pdf-bill/perf/SB712.pdf (pdf version)
http://www.senate.state.mo.us/02info/billtext/perf/SB712.htm (html version)
List of MO Senators

By: Ron Calzone
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