Missouri lawmakers probe local emergency powers used to crack down on businesses
Added 01-25-21 09:23:02am EST - “The city of St. Louis Health Department ordered seven bars and restaurants to shutter their doors this week for violating COVID-19 public health orders.” - Washingtonexaminer.com
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The city of St. Louis Health Department ordered seven bars and restaurants to shutter their doors this week for violating COVID-19 public health orders.
St. Louis Health Director Dr. Fredrick Echols notified the owners of the businesses that they had violated his health orders for mask-wearing and social distancing. All seven were closed immediately, four for 30 days and three — repeated violators — for a year.
The city’s actions are exactly why Republicans in the Missouri Legislature have filed a bevy of 2021 bills that would preempt local health departments’ regulatory authority in a public health emergency.
The Senate Health & Pensions Committee is reviewing at least six proposed bills that would make it more difficult for city and state officials to close businesses or religious services during a public health emergency.
“Shutting down our economy won’t eradicate the virus,” said Sen. Andrew Koenig, R-Manchester, during a panel meeting Wednesday where several of the six measures were introduced.
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