This Week in Statehouse Motion: These Individuals Make Legal guidelines version

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Because the starting of the pandemic, at least 26 legislatures passed new laws to strip state and local officials of powers they use to guard the general public from … pandemics.

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And nonetheless extra payments are pending in a handful of states with legislatures nonetheless in session.

A sampling of a few of these new statutes:

  • In Arkansas, legislators banned masks mandates besides in non-public companies or state-run well being care settings.
  • In Idaho, county commissioners (who often have zero public well being experience) can veto countywide public well being orders.
  • In Kansas and Tennessee, faculty boards (which often even have zero public well being experience) have the facility to shut faculties as a substitute of precise well being officers.
  • In Ohio, lawmakers gave themselves the facility to overturn well being orders, and so they weakened faculty vaccine mandates.
  • In Utah and Iowa, faculties are prohibited from requiring masks.
  • In Alabama, faculties can’t require COVID-19 vaccinations, and state and native governments can’t concern vaccine passports.
  • In North Dakota, the legislature banned companies from asking whether or not patrons are vaccinated in opposition to or contaminated with the coronavirus and curbed the governor’s emergency powers.
  • Lawmakers in Montana handed a few of the most restrictive legal guidelines of all:
    • They severely curbed public well being’s quarantine and isolation powers, prevented limits on non secular gatherings, and banned employers—together with in hospitals and different well being care settings—from requiring vaccinations not just for COVID-19, but in addition the flu or the mumps or, like, anything.

A recent Kaiser Health News review of associated laws additionally revealed that

  • Legislators in at the least 16 states have restricted the facility of public well being officers to order masks mandates, quarantines, or isolation.
  • In some instances, lawmakers gave themselves or native elected (non-health) officers the authority to attempt to stop the unfold of infectious illnesses.
  • Legislators in least 17 states handed legal guidelines banning COVID-19 vaccine mandates or passports or made it simpler to evade vaccine necessities.
  • Legislators in at the least 9 states have new legal guidelines banning or limiting masks mandates.
  • Government orders or courtroom rulings curb masks necessities in 5 extra.

What do all these states have in frequent?

GOP-controlled legislatures, after all.

However why? Why make it simpler for lethal viruses to unfold? Why place energy over choices that would actually imply life or loss of life for some of us within the arms of individuals with no precise schooling, coaching, or expertise in public well being or drugs?

One Republican lawmaker in Arkansas had a solution, of a kind.

  • In accordance the Rep. Trent Garner, ”what the folks of Arkansas need is the choice to be left of their arms, to them and their household … It’s time to take the facility away from the so-called specialists, whose concepts have been woefully insufficient.”

Yeah that’s an silly reply as a result of individuals are silly, that’s why now we have “so-called specialists” who know issues we, as silly folks, don’t

However there’s a greater reply to why, truly:

As a result of ALEC advised them to.

  • Yup, the American Legislative Trade Council (a conservative group backed by numerous companies that’s been behind scads of shitty anti-voting, anti-union, anti-environment, anti-public schooling, anti-[honestly, insert anything right and good here, ALEC probably has a model bill that would kill it] legal guidelines handed in Republican-controlled legislatures over the previous couple of a long time) promoted mannequin laws to limit the emergency powers of governors and different state and native officers.

According to Kaiser, this draft laws seems to have impressed dozens of the payments that are actually legislation in these numerous states.

Not a shock—lawmakers are at finest under-resourced by way of analysis and invoice writing and at worst … nicely, lazy.

So cut-and-paste measures like these are tremendous well-liked.

Okay, so we’ve obtained slightly “what” and a contact of “why” … however who’re the folks passing these shortsighted, harmful payments?

  • Nicely, it’s folks like Alaska Sen. Laura Reinbold, whose strident anti-mask sentiments led to Alaska Airways banning her indefinitely the previous spring after she refused to comply with each airline guidelines and a federal mandate requiring passengers put on masks.
    • The factor about Alaska is that … nicely, it’s large.
      • It’s actually, REALLY large.
    • And Alaska Airways is the one service that runs common flights between her (Anchorage-area) district and Juneau.
      • So, technically Reinbold can nonetheless journey from her district to the capitol to do the folks’s enterprise.
        • It’s simply … tremendous laborious now.
    • Reinbold’s resolution?
      • She’s requested the legislature to excuse her from “legislative enterprise” till mid-January of subsequent yr, simply days earlier than the subsequent legislative session is ready to start.
  • Basically, Reinbold continues to be going to attract a paycheck (over $50k/year) as a legislator however received’t be doing any precise legislating as a result of she refuses to take a fundamental (and federally mandated) precaution in opposition to COVID-19.

Why received’t anybody pay me $50k/yr to be a ineffective asshole

  • Michigan GOP Senate Majority Chief Mike Shirkey, who believes the federal government ought to completely believes that authorities ought to dictate the non-public well being choices of its residents when it comes to abortion, thinks that the federal government has an “obsession” with vaccines.

It’s about management when the federal government dictates the non-public well being choices of its residents. It’s about management when the federal government restricts acceptable well being therapies to 1 particular choice. It’s about management when the federal government forces non-public enterprise to make a selected standing a situation of employment.

oh

  • This genius, who, by the by, has zero medical coaching or precise public well being experience, additionally thinks that the pure COVID-19 immunity somebody will get after surviving the illness lasts “forever” (it definitely doesn’t) so possibly this man shouldn’t be operating half of the GOP-controlled legislature that’s supposed to assist shield Michiganders from a lethal pandemic.

 And one remaining merchandise … as a result of to most Republicans, the 2020 presidential election nonetheless in some way isn’t over.

  • We’ve seen this anti-democratic farce play out over the previous a number of months in Arizona, the place a pathetic and extended try by GOP Trump sympathizers to “show” that Joe Biden didn’t win Maricopa County (he did) shambles on.
    • Not solely has “Cyber Ninjas” (greater than 4 months on and I nonetheless can’t kind that with a straight face) nonetheless not produced the already LONG overdue report on the so-called “audit” the agency presupposed to carry out final spring, however in addition they just got their asses handed to them in court.
      • Earlier this week, the Arizona Supreme Courtroom upheld a decrease courtroom order for the state Senate to make public all of Cyber Ninjas’ paperwork and communications associated to the “audit.”
    • For her half, Trump cheerleader and “audit” ringmaster Karen Fann did her half to adjust to the ruling.
    • Cyber Ninjas responded by whining that the three-day deadline specified by the unique ruling is unreasonable, however the courts have indicated they’re keen to increase it to Sept. 29.

Keep tuned!

And now this unhappy obsession with the Huge Lie has taken full hold in Pennsylvania.

… the place, by the by, Biden received by more than 80,000 votes

  • On Wednesday, a GOP-controlled state Senate subcommittee voting alongside celebration strains to approve a subpoena of hundreds of thousands of voters’ private info, together with driver’s license numbers, addresses, and the final 4 digits of their Social Safety numbers.
    • Pennsylvania’s Democratic statewide officeholders (together with Secretary of State Josh Shapiro) have vowed to struggle the subpoena, but when it succeeds, this data may completely find yourself within the arms of the non-public distributors affiliated with Trump’s broader work to validate the Huge Lie.
      • … to say nothing of potential (okay, probably) safety breaches that would expose that delicate information to malevolent events.
    • Bear in mind, the committee tasked with overseeing this new bullshit “audit” is led by Republican Sen. Cris Dush, who was a part of the Pennsylvania pilgrimage to the Arizona audit site over the summer.
    • And whereas the Arizona debacle was at the least partly funded by Trump-affiliated dark money groups, the approaching Pennsylvania fiasco will be funded by taxpayers.

I’m so outdated I bear in mind when Republicans at the least pretended to care about losing public funds

So undoubtedly anticipate this Pennsylvania “audit” to be simply as sinister as its Arizona counterpart.

Welp! That’s a wrap for this version. Keep protected on the market! The world is a wild and fantastic place, however it’s additionally replete with strife and turpitude.

Handle your self.

You’re vital.

We want you.

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