Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for Feb. 25, 2021

Providing Certainty During Uncertain Times

Since the start of the pandemic, the coronavirus has had a devastating effect on our state. The virus has caused shutdowns and disruptions, and it has changed the way we live our lives. Despite the uncertainty caused by the virus, countless Missourians have stepped up and answered the call to serve those in need.

Whether it was the frontline health care worker caring for patients infected with COVID-19 or the manufacturer who retooled production lines to create life-saving PPE, the heroic actions of these individuals and others allowed our state to navigate the trials of the pandemic and move forward.

Unfortunately, I believe our health care providers, first responders, small businesses, manufacturers and others are faced with a greater risk of lawsuits related to COVID-19. This week, the Missouri Senate passed Senate Bill 51 to prevent Missourians from being the subject of costly and burdensome lawsuits.

Through SB 51, I believe we are providing our business community with the confidence needed to reopen their doors and get back to work without fear of being dragged into court and forced to deal with costly legal battles. Senate Bill 51 also ensures our health care workers, first responders and manufacturers of critical PPE are not punished for their good-faith efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19.

The legislation now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration; I am hopeful they will approve this priority legislation and quickly send it to the governor.

Missourians who stepped up and served their communities in a time of need shouldn’t live in fear of a pandemic-related lawsuit — no one should be punished for trying to do the right thing. The Missouri Senate took an important step toward providing legal certainty and protecting our state’s small businesses, health care workers and manufacturers, while helping Missourians safely get back to work, provide for their families and return to a sense of normalcy during these uncertain times.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.