House Bill 4275/Senate Bill 2028: An Act Relative to Pandemic and Disaster Preparation and Response

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Last Updated: January 11, 2010
House Bill 4275/Senate Bill 2028: An Act Relative to Pandemic and Disaster Preparation and Response
House Senate
Sponsors:
Representative Jeffrey Sanchez
Sponsors:
Senator Richard Moore
Summary:

House Bill 4275 reflects the House amendments to Senate Bill 2028 (the Pandemic Response bill).

While the bill does authorize the governor to declare a public health emergency, it defines a public health emergency as "an occurrence or imminent threat of a disease or condition dangerous to the public health whose scale, timing or unpredictability threatens to overwhelm routine capabilities."

House Bill 4275 would significantly reduce the authority given to the commissioner and local public health authorities in S.B. 2028. For example the commissioner would not have the authority to:

  • Require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;
  • Decontaminate, cause to be decontaminated, or destroy any material; or
  • Restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;

Moreover, the House bill does not permit either warrantless arrests, warrantless searches of a home, or forced immunizations.

Summary:

This Massachusetts pandemic response bill, Senate Bill 2028, was passed by the Massachusetts state Senate on April 28 and is now awaiting approval in the House.

The bill authorizes the governor to declare an emergency if conditions exist that are considered detrimental to public health. Under the emergency the commissioner of public health and local public health authorities gain significant new powers, some of which would appear to conflict with provisions of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights. Some of these powers include the authority to:

  • Require the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises;
  • Close, direct, and compel the evacuation or decontamination of any building or facility, and allow the reopening of the building or facility when the danger has ended;
  • Decontaminate, cause to be decontaminated, or destroy any material;
  • Restrict or prohibit assemblages of persons;
  • Control ingress to and egress from any stricken or threatened public area, and the movement of persons and materials within the area;
  • 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.

This bill does not threaten homeschooling freedom, but because of its Fourth Amendment implications, HSLDA wishes to inform its members of the bill and encourage you to read it and take whatever action you deem appropriate in communicating with your elected representatives about it.

Status:

10/8/2009 (House) Substituted as a new text for S.B. 2028
This bill is dead.

Status:

/6/2009 (Senate) New draft of S.B. 18 and H.B. 108
4/8/2009 (Senate) Referred to Senate Committee on Ways and Means
4/27/2009 (Senate) Reported favorably as amended by Senate Committee
4/27/2009 (Senate) Ordered to a third reading
4/27/2009 Hearing Scheduled – 4/28/2009 2:00 p.m. Senate Chamber
4/28/2009 (Senate) Sen. Tarr amendment not adopted
4/28/2009 (Senate) Sen. R. Moore amendment adopted
4/28/2009 (Senate) Passed to be engrossed
4/30/2009 (House) Received in the House
4/30/2009 (House) Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means
10/7/2009 (House) House Committee recommended ought to pass with amendments, striking out all after the enacting clause and inserting thereof the text of H4271
10/7/2009 (House) Referred to the House Committee On Steering, Policy and Scheduling with amendments pending
10/8/2009 (House) Second reading
10/8/2009 (House) Rules suspended
10/8/2009 (House) Third reading
10/8/2009 (House) House amendments adopted
10/8/2009 (House) Passed to be engrossed (114 Yeas -36 Nays)
10/14/2009 (Senate) Did not concur with House amendments
10/14/2009 (Senate) Conference committee appointed (RT Moore-Fargo-Hedlund)
10/15/2009 (House) House insisted on its amendments
10/15/2009 (House) Conference committee appointed (Sanchez-Grant-Evangelidis)

HSLDA's Position:
Neutral.
HSLDA's Position:

Oppose. HSLDA believes that parents should always have the right, in every situation, to exempt themselves and their children from vaccinations. There are many medical, philosophical and religious reasons as to why this should be so. Unfortunately, this bill grants authority to local and even unlicensed government “appointees” to vaccinate. It grants police the power to incarcerate adults who refuse to be vaccinated, without a warrant, and the right to seize children if their parents refuse. These are unacceptable provisions.

Action Requested:
None at this time
Action Requested:
None at this time

 Other Resources

House Bill Text

House Bill History

 Other Resources

Senate Bill Text

Senate Bill History

MassResistance Analysis of MA SB 2028