SB 12
Modifies provisions relating to public health
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/3/2021 - Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection
Journal Page:
SCS SBs 12, 20, 21, 31, 56, 67 & 68
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
Emergency clause

Current Bill Summary

SS/SCS/SBs 12, 20, 21, 31, 56, 67, & 68 - This act modifies several provisions relating to public health. This act provides that the state, any state agency, political subdivision, county commission, county health center board, or person is prohibited from enacting, adopting, maintaining, or enforcing measures during a declared state of emergency that would restrict, directly or indirectly, the free exercise of religion.

A political subdivision shall not issue a public health order that, directly or indirectly, closes, partially closes, or restricts the operation of businesses, churches, schools, or other places of public or private gatherings for longer than 15 calendar days in a 180-day period, unless authorized as follows: (1) for a second period of an additional 15 days in the same 180-day period, upon a two-thirds vote of the political subdivision's governing body; (2) for a third period of an additional 7 days in the same 180-day period, upon a two-thirds vote of the political subdivision's governing body; (3) for a fourth period of an additional 7 days in the same 180-day period, upon a two-thirds vote of the political subdivision's governing body; and (4) for anything in excess of the previous four periods of extension, the General Assembly, through a concurrent resolution, may authorize all political subdivisions of the state to issue such orders for a specified period of time. The political subdivision's governing body shall at all times have the authority to terminate a public health order issued under this provision upon a simple majority vote. Any public health order issued shall also be accompanied by a publicly available report supporting the issuance of the order, as described in the act.

Additionally, this act prohibits orders, rules, or regulations promulgated by political subdivisions from governing the number of people gathering or residing on private residential property during a state of emergency relating to public health.

Beginning January 1, 2021, this act allows a taxpayer that is a resident of a city or county that imposes any public health order in violation of this act prohibiting or restricting the use of the taxpayer's real property to receive a credit against property taxes owed on such affected property. The amount of the credit shall be a percentage of the property tax liability that is equal to the percentage of the calendar year that the restrictions on the use of the property were in place. The credit authorized by this act shall only apply to real property tax liabilities owed to a city or county imposing such an ordinance, and shall not apply to property tax liabilities owed to any other taxing jurisdiction.

No quarantine order issued by a county health board shall require, under penalty of law, that a person subject to quarantine isolate himself or herself from members of the same physical household.

No public health order issued by any political subdivision, county health board, or state agency shall infringe on the parental rights of an individual, including decisions relating to the minor child's care and custody, upbringing, education, religious instruction, place of habitation, and physical and mental health care. Nothing in this provision shall be interpreted to limit the ability of such political subdivision or state agency to protect a child from child abuse or neglect. A positive test result for COVID-19 of a parent, guardian, or child shall not be the sole or determinative reason to remove a child from the care and custody of a parent or guardian.

No hospital shall adopt, and no political subdivision shall impose, any policy restricting the presence of or visitation by, in accordance with the hospital's regular visitation hours and security protocols, the following: (1) one visitor if requested by a pregnant or new mother, (2) one member of the clergy or one person ordained for religious or pastoral duties if requested by the patient or the patient's family, or (3) the child's legal parent or guardian, provided such parent or guardian has either legal custody with no protective orders or unsupervised visitation.

Finally, candidates for county health board of trustees positions, under current law, are not required to run for election if the number of candidates is no greater than the number of positions to be filled. This act repeals this provision.

This act has an emergency clause.