At last minute: Legislature re-writes radical pandemic control bill S2028! Bill goes to MA House today
Committee takes out offensive language: forced vaccinations, seizure of property, illegal searches, and more. Reaction to your citizen pressure!
POSTED: Wednesday Oct. 7, 2009
At 1:58 this afternoon the House Ways and Means Committee released a completely re-written version of the "Pandemic control bill" S2028. The new version, which is now H4271, is an obvious reaction to the overwhelming outrage in Massachusetts and across the country at the radical and unconstitutional nature of the bill (which had passed the Senate 36-0 last April).
MassResistance report on the outrage over S2028
The outrage over the bill and the absurd attempts of the Department of Public Health to defend it had reached national proportions.
The Legislature had scheduled a full House vote Thursday, and we were told today by a committee staffer that vote that will still take place. This was clearly a reaction to citizens' feedback.
More time needed to study this version before vote!
However, as in Washington DC, it is very disturbing that a virtually NEW bill which has not gone through a hearing and was not posted in time for careful review by citizens or legislators is scheduled to be voted on within 24 hours! This is not the way our government should work! Hopefully, House members will postpone the vote for at least several days.
New version of bill appears to be tamed considerably, tho not perfect
Although we are still studying the new 15-page version of the bill and hope to have our analysis done soon, we are posting it immediately because of the scheduled vote tomorrow (Thursday). But it's clearly is a big difference from the previous version, and it appears a reasonable amount of thought went into making it palatable to citizens who are worried about their constitutional rights.
Full text of NEW BILL H4271 -- SEE FOR YOURSELF
COMPARE: Text and commentary of previous version, bill S2028
Among the highlights of the new bill that we noticed (though we'd need a thorough examination to make sure):
It's meant to apply specifically only to a "public health emergency" and not a wide range of general emergencies.
The Commissioner of Public Health can act only with the approval of the Governor during such period of emergency.
There are no forced (or otherwise coerced) vaccinations in the bill. It doesn't appear to force health care providers to do vaccinations against their will, as the original bill did.
Language regarding entering and taking property, prohibiting assemblages of persons, taking human and animal remains, and other extra-constitutional language also seems to be removed. Authorities may still force evacuations on public buildings.
The "quarantine" language is better defined and made more reasonable, and involves a court order rather than just a bureaucrat's opinion.
Although the government can still obtain peoples' medical records very quickly and without normal restrictions, in the new bill there is a fine of $1000 for misuse of those records.
There are still some fines imposed for non-compliance, but only a total of $1000 -- not $1000 per day, and the conditions of their imposition seems more reasonable.
Unfortunately, the bill still excludes HIV/AIDS, which is very curious.
There are still concerns that "public health emergency" is not defined. Could they decide to declare "trans fats" or smoking in public a public health emergency? (With the current administration anything is possible!)
We will be continuing to update you on this bill, and adding commentary, etc to the posted text.