Missouri Gov. Parson signs bill regarding local public health orders, vaccine passports
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson enacted a new law Tuesday limiting the duration of local public health restrictions and barring governments from requiring proof of COVID-19 vaccination to use public facilities and transportation.
The law took effect immediately upon Parson’s signature, but it may have little immediate effect because most local officials already lifted their coronavirus restrictions on businesses and public gatherings and have not been checking people’s vaccination status.
Parson, a Republican, said the law still is important for the future.
“Then next time we do get in a crisis, we’re going to have a little bit more safeguards for the general public to make sure they have more transparency and more of a voice in the process,” he said.
The law limits emergency orders restricting businesses, churches, schools or gatherings to 30 days, unless extended by the local governing body. It also lets local governing bodies halt public health orders at any time by a majority vote. The Republican-led House and Senate passed the measure overwhelmingly during its session that ended in May.
The measure was driven by lawmakers upset that some local officials — primarily in the state’s more populated areas — kept coronavirus capacity limits in place long after Parson lifted statewide restrictions.
“When this pandemic occurred, there was overreach on the local levels,” Parson said.
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