Massresistance Update MA House could vote on Radical "Pandemic control bill" S2028 this Thursday -- possibly become law by weekend! Would give MA broad powers to enter & search homes, take property, detain people without warrants if Governor declares "emergency". (See our analysis of bill.) The "Pandemic control bill" S2028 will likely be taken out of the House Ways and Means Committee this week and voted on by the full House on Thursday, a committee staffer told MassResistance today. If it passed, it could be signed by the Governor by this weekend.
Bill S2028 passed the Senate unanimously last April. But since then it has received national attention, including coverage on national Fox TV newscasts, as the public has realized what is actually in the bill.
VIDEO: National Fox News report on Bill S2028 with Judge Andrew Napolitano. (NOTE: The report erroneously says that it already passed the legislature.) Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiusxYyw16o
As fears of an H1N1 swine flu epidemic emerged, a draconian "pandemic control bill" has surfaced that would give broad extra-constitutional powers to the state to enter and search houses, take property, detain people, order vaccinations and more during a declared "state of emergency." This bill re-writes or repeals a large number of Massachusetts statutes. It gives broad extra-legal powers to the unelected Commissioner of Public Health during such emergencies (declared by the Governor) and sets penalties for non-compliance at $1000.00 per day and jail time.
Of particular concern is the fact that the Governor of Massachusetts has a wide latitude to declare an official "state of emergency" for a number of reasons. This can include a breakout of disease, imminent threats of civil disturbance, riots, a declared war, threat of foreign attack, and also natural disasters, floods, absence of rainfall, food shortage, and other reasons.
Of further concern is the fact that the Commissioner of Public Health, John Auerbach, is not a doctor. He has an MBA with a concentration in health care administration from Boston University School of Management. State law requires that a city Commissioner of Health be "graduated from a medical school" who is "eligible to be registered to practice medicine" in Massachusetts.
But during any declared "emergencies" broad extra-constitutional powers of S2028 would be used by the state.
MassResistance report: What you need to know about Bill S2028 http://www.massresistance.org/docs/govt09/pandemic_bill/index.html
DPH working behind the scenes to get it passed
In recent weeks, as public outrage grew stronger and this gained national attention, the bill seem to get stalled in the House Ways and Means Committee. A number of legislators have expressed concern about the bill publicly. But the Department of Public Health, as they admit on web postings, has been working behind the scenes with House staffers to get the bill back on the fast track. Last month the DPH initiated an internal PR campaign with the Legislature, sending them letters and emails and meeting with them, to persuade them that citizens' fears were unfounded.