Mo. Gov. Parson signs bill limiting powers of county health officials, bans vaccine passports
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 271 on Tuesday morning, June 15 that will limit the powers of county health officials.
The measure was sparked by COVID-19-related restrictions in St. Louis County and elsewhere in the state.
In the Heartland, the Cape Girardeau County Health Center Board put a mask mandate in place in July 2020 that stood for nearly eight months.
HB 271 calls for any order by local health agencies that restrict businesses, churches, schools and other public places to last no longer than 30 days when the governor has declared a state of emergency.
Any extension of a public health order would have to be approved by a simple majority of that county’s governing body.
If the governor has not issued a state of emergency, officials may only issue orders for 21 days.
“This legislation I am signing today requires local leaders to be more transparent in their reasoning and accountable for their decisions when it comes to public health orders,” said Gov. Parson.
The measure also bans local COVID-19 vaccine passports and reduces penalties for late property tax payments made by residents of St. Louis County.
These provisions of the accountability and transparency bill go into effect immediately.
Other provisions under HB 271 include the creation of a database to track spending and payments received by local and county governments, efforts to help expand broadband internet and to crack down on the theft of copper and catalytic convertors. They go into effect on August 28.
To read the measure in full, click here.
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