Chock this up to another day I’m glad I do not reside in Massachusetts. I’ve been hearing a lot about the bill that is making its way through the Massachusetts legislation – Pandemic and Disaster Preparation (Bill S2028). The bill has passed through the Senate and approval is expected in the House as early as this week. So, time to read the bill.
This piece of legislation has an eerie effect on the Constitution and by that I mean that it completely tramples it.
This legislation is triggered by the Governor declaring an emergency that is detrimental to the public health or a state of emergency. This is fairly wide latitude in a State that has issued a state of emergency many times in recent history due to weather.
Based on the language in the legislation, the state of emergency can remain in perpetual effect. The initial period will be 90 days and then can be renewed for 90 day periods thereafter until ended by the Governor.
The state of emergency will give the state the right to exercise powers over routes of transportation and over materials and facilities including but no limited to communication devices, carriers, public utilities, fuels, food, clothing and shelter.
This piece of legislation also bans our right to free assembly.
- Law enforcement will have the right to assist with “involuntary transportation”.
- Requires the owner or occupier of premises to permit entry into and investigation of the premises.
- Requires placarding of premises.
- Non-compliance will allow law enforcement to arrest without warrant.
- Any person who knowingly violates an order shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 30 days or a fine of not more than one thousand dollars per day that the violation continues, or both.
- Isolation or quarantine of any person unable or unwilling to submit to vaccination or treatment.
- Authority to decontaminate, perform physical examinations, tests and specimen collection. This will require a court order, however during the time necessary to obtain the court order, such individual may be isolated or quarantined.
- If it is determined that you may have been exposed, the health authority may detain the person for as long as may be reasonably necessary.
No worries, if you are isolated or quarantined you will be eligible for unemployment benefits.
If you think you can protect your family by stockpiling medications – think again. This bill gives the commissioner the right to take immediate possession from any source and distribute under such conditions and restrictions as it may prescribe.
We should be paying attention to this bill. The Administration is working hard to turn this into the newest “crisis” and there have already been comments regarding vaccination of our school age children – vaccines that are considered experimental.
If you think this can’t happen to you, think again. The government already has regulations in place providing for the apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases via Executive Orders 13295 and 13375 which added:
‘‘Influenza caused by novel or reemergent influenza viruses that are causing, or have the potential to cause, a pandemic.’’
The authority to implement these Executive Orders lays squarely in the hands of Kathleen Sebelius.
This video provides important additional details.