21′ SB1573/HB0037 – Ogles/Bailey

Bill Description

As enacted, prohibits a local governmental entity or the executive head of a local government from, by executive order, ordinance, or resolution, creating categories or classes of nonessential businesses, trades, professions, or industries for the purpose of suspending lawful commerce, encumbering trade, or denying citizens the right to work if such activities are otherwise lawful in this state unless an explicit order of the local fire marshal or a court of competent jurisdiction declares that the business operating poses a clear and present danger to the citizenry of this state.

TLRC Position

TLRC approves this legislation. The constitution prohibits government from dictating to private business. That prohibition is violated regularly, but the dictating of who could or could not conduct business during the recent "pandemic" made no sense in regard to exposure to the virus, but certainly was damaging to small, locally-owned businesses that were not allowed to operate. ---Was this a "smart virus" that avoided big box stores but hung out at mom and pop enterprises?
The distinctions looked more like economic warfare than emergency medical precautions.

TLRC Observed Process

The bill passed on a partisan basis with only Windle (D, Livingston) voting with the majority. There were some questions from Democrat members indicating a preference for the status quo but cooler heads prevailed.

Vote Result: Passed

Score: +5

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