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Force Vacinations on Children and Jail Parents



Force Vacinations on Children and Jail Parents Bill in State of Mass.

Look what Massachusetts is up to now!
Emergency powers plan advances through House, Senate

Posted: October 12, 2009

A bill has been approved by the Massachusetts House of Representatives to take the state closer to giving the governor nearly unlimited power to declare states of emergency and public health emergencies.

By a better than 3-1 margin, House Resolution 4271 has sailed through the House with little opposition. The bill is a rewrite of the more controversial Senate Bill 2028, on which WND has reported.

As stated in SB 2028, upon declaration by the governor that an emergency exists that is considered detrimental to public health or upon declaration of a state of emergency, a local public health authority, with approval of the commissioner, could exercise the following authorities:

-to require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;

-to close, direct, and compel the evacuation of, or to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated any building or facility, and to allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;

-to decontaminate or cause to be decontaminated, or to destroy any material;

-to restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;

-to require a health care facility to provide services or the use of its facility, or to transfer the management and supervision of the health care facility to the department or to a local public health authority;

-to control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;

-to adopt and enforce measures to provide for the safe disposal of infectious waste and human remains, provided that religious, cultural, family, and individual beliefs of the deceased person shall be followed to the extent possible when disposing of human remains, whenever that may be done without endangering the public health;

-to procure, take immediate possession from any source, store, or distribute any anti-toxins, serums, vaccines, immunizing agents, antibiotics, and other pharmaceutical agents or medical supplies located within the commonwealth as may be necessary to respond to the emergency;

-to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in the commonwealth;

-to waive the commonwealth's licensing requirements for health care professionals with a valid license from another state in the United States or whose professional training would otherwise qualify them for an appropriate professional license in the commonwealth;

-to allow for the dispensing of controlled substance by appropriate personnel consistent with federal statutes as necessary for the prevention or treatment of illness;

-to authorize the chief medical examiner to appoint and prescribe the duties of such emergency assistant medical examiners as may be required for the proper performance of the duties of office;

-to collect specimens and perform tests on any animal, living or deceased;

-to care for any emerging mental health or crisis counseling needs that individuals may exhibit, with the consent of the individuals

While HR 4271 removed much of the most contentious language from the Senate version, the bill still will allow the governor wide latitude to declare both states of emergency and public health emergencies.

Rep. Steve DiNitale said, "People were concerned about individual liberties, but many of the provisions for declaring emergencies have been around for decades. The bill tightens up the language."

He said, "It will not allow for officials to enter people's homes or allow for seizing property."

Republican Jeff Perry agreed.

"Some of the provisions in the Senate version were, frankly, unconstitutional. These were the issues of warrantless searches, the issues of prohibiting lawful assembly and the taking away of due process," he said.

"The bill was a huge concern and the redraft is a pretty good bill," Perry said.

But Susan Allen of Citizens for Government Accountability says the bill still doesn't put limits on how an emergency is defined.

"What are the parameters on a health care emergency? What are the requirements for an individual to be quarantined?" she asked. "If we don’t get the definitions, it can be arbitrarily defined by any official."

Don McGonigle of the Liberty Preservation Association agreed.

"We're concerned about the open-ended lack of liability for health care personnel. We're concerned about rights violations and no accountability for any deaths or injuries," he said.

Allen said the basic problem is that the bill still violates constitutional protections.

"The bill proposes to bypass the requirement of court orders or judicial warrants to conduct searches and seizures under a declared emergency," she said.

Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez disagreed, saying the plan is to clarify existing law and establish a chain of command for an emergency.

But he conceded the bill doesn't repeal Chapter 639 of a 1950 law which reads in Section Four, "The governor shall have general direction and control of the civil defense agency, and shall be responsible for carrying out the provisions of this act and may assume direct operational control over any or all parts of the civil defense functions within the commonwealth."

Section Five of the same law states, "Whenever the governor has proclaimed the existence of such a state of emergency, he may employ every agency and all members of every department and division of the government of the commonwealth to protect the lives and property of its citizens and to enforce the law."

Further, the law states, "After such proclamation has been made, the governor may, in the event of disaster or shortage making such action necessary for the protection of the public, take possession (1) of any land or building, machinery or equipment…"

The biggest concern comes in Section 10, the section that gives military and law enforcement personnel the right to enter private homes.

"Such members may at any time enter upon private property in compliance with the written order of the governor, for the sole purpose of enforcing the laws, rules, regulations, by-laws or ordinances specifically set forth by the governor in such orders," it states.

Section Nine of the House bill specifically reauthorizes the emergency provisions of Chapter 639.

The bill goes back to the Senate for reconsideration where it is expected to pass and be signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick.

Brian Camenker is president of the public policy group Mass Resistance and he has urged Massachusetts residents to contact their lawmakers and oppose the bill.

"The bill is crazy. There is no way that bill should pass either house of the legislature," he said. "The worst part is that this is how the Massachusetts legislature always does business. There's no concern over whether this bill tramples on the people's liberties."



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