JEFFERSON CITY — Small business owners, frontline health care workers, schools and churches are one step closer to protection from pandemic-related lawsuits now that Senate Bill 51, sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, has received initial approval. The full Senate adopted a compromise version of the bill at 5 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, following 15 hours of debate.
“This legislation will provide Missouri‘s small businesses the confidence to reopen so our economy can thrive again, while also ensuring our brave first responders and health care heroes will not be punished for their good-faith efforts to combat the pandemic,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said.
The legislation protects small businesses, medical professionals and certain manufacturers from lawsuits arising from COVID-19, except in cases of recklessness or willful misconduct. A provision added during the negotiations provides heightened protections for religious institutions from pandemic-related lawsuits.
Perfection of SB 51 comes less than a week after the governor called for a COVID-19 liability protection bill to cross his desk before any other legislation introduced during the 2021 session. Senator Luetkemeyer’s legislation requires one more vote in the Senate before advancing onto the House of Representatives for its consideration.
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.