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July 2020 House Special Session Update

Posted on July 28, 2020


I wanted to provide all of you with a little background information on each of the four bills the House voted on during Thursday into Friday morning’s Special Session.

Police Accountability Bill (HB-6004): Due to the magnitude of items that were addressed in this bill, the legislature should have taken this up in a new session when the general public, lawmakers, law enforcement officers, and others would have been able to spend the time necessary to address a bill of this type. Instead, we held a Zoom hearing and less than a week later were asked to vote on a bill that makes tremendous structural changes to how our law enforcement officers and state police must now do their jobs. Putting an end to qualified immunity will have a detrimental effect on our towns’ and state’s ability to retain current officers and recruit new ones. In addition, with the constant fear of litigation, these men and women will be forced to second guess their instinctual actions ultimately put their lives in jeopardy.

Absentee Ballot Bill (HB-6002): One of the most important and fundamental rights that Americans have is their right to vote and to have their voices heard throughout our election process. We’ve all heard stories of federal stimulus checks being sent to people who have passed away, or a previous homeowner and/or tenant and I’m concerned that mailing out ballots to everyone without proper or significant vetting could open the door for abuse or fraud.

Telehealth Bill (HB-6001): I don’t believe government should be intervening in these types of decisions; they should instead be left to be decided by a patient and their doctor. However, this bill will help individuals who are in a compromised position due to COVID-19 and need to speak to a medical professional without having to go to an office. At the present time, extending the date through March 15, 2021 is the right thing to do.

Insulin Bill (HB-6003): This bill continues to pick winners and losers. While it addresses one group of people, it completely ignores others. Those who have coverage but high deductibles and the uninsured are not factored into the current language of this bill. This legislation now mandates companies cover the remaining costs associated with these drugs which will result in increased costs to insurance policy holders across the state.