Bill Text: MS HB1163 | 2021 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: COVID-19; prohibit use of state funds for mandatory administration of vaccine against.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2021-02-02 - Died In Committee [HB1163 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2021-HB1163-Introduced.html


2021 Regular Session

To: Public Health and Human Services; Appropriations

By: Representative Arnold

House Bill 1163



     SECTION 1.  (1)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law or any executive order by the Governor in effect on the effective date of this act or subsequently enacted or issued, a public agency, as defined in subsection (3) of this section, may not expend state funds to require a person, against the person's objection, to receive an immunization or vaccination against Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

     (2)  The prohibition against expending state funds for the purpose of requiring a person to receive an immunization or vaccination against COVID-19 under this section includes, but is not limited to, expenditures for the following:

          (a)  Costs of the vaccination and supplies and equipment necessary for the administration of the vaccination.

          (b)  Personnel and administrative costs, including wages for employees of the public agency responsible for administering the vaccination, maintaining related records, preparing and submitting necessary reports, and performing such other duties associated with the mandatory administration of the COVID-19 vaccination.

          (c)  Costs related to the ownership or leasing by the public agency of the property housing that public agency.

          (d)  Any transportation costs that may be incurred in connection with the mandatory administration of the vaccination, including the administration of the vaccination at a site other than where the public agency is housed.

     (3)  For the purposes of this section, "public agency" means any executive or legislative agency or entity of the State of Mississippi or of any district, county or municipality in the state, including a school, hospital or health clinic, which is created by or operating under the laws of this state and which receives state funding to support, in whole or in part, its operations.

     SECTION 2.  Section 33-15-11, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     33-15-11.  (a)  The Governor shall have general direction and control of the activities of the Emergency Management Agency and Council and shall be responsible for the carrying out of the provisions of this article, and in the event of a man-made, technological or natural disaster or emergency beyond local control, may assume direct operational control over all or any part of the emergency management functions within this state.

     (b)  In performing his duties under this article, the Governor is further authorized and empowered:

          (1)  To make, amend and rescind the necessary orders, rules and regulations to carry out the provisions of this article with due consideration of the plans of the federal government, and to enter into disaster assistance grants and agreements with the federal government under the terms as may be required by federal law.

          (2)  To work with the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency in preparing a comprehensive plan and program for the emergency management of this state, such plan and program to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plans of the federal government and of other states to the fullest possible extent, and to coordinate the preparation of plans and programs for emergency management by the political subdivisions of this state, such local plans to be integrated into and coordinated with the emergency management plan and program of this state to the fullest possible extent.

          (3)  In accordance with such plan and program for emergency management of this state, to ascertain the requirements of the state or the political subdivisions thereof for food or clothing or other necessities of life in the event of attack or natural or man-made or technological disasters and to plan for and procure supplies, medicines, materials and equipment, and to use and employ from time to time any of the property, services and resources within the state, for the purposes set forth in this article; to make surveys of the industries, resources and facilities within the state as are necessary to carry out the purposes of this article; to institute training programs and public information programs, and to take all other preparatory steps, including the partial or full mobilization of emergency management organizations in advance of actual disaster, to insure the furnishing of adequately trained and equipped forces of emergency management personnel in time of need.

          (4)  To cooperate with the President and the heads of the Armed Forces, and the Emergency Management Agency of the United States, and with the officers and agencies of other states in matters pertaining to the emergency management of the state and nation and the incidents thereof; and in connection therewith, to take any measures which he may deem proper to carry into effect any request of the President and the appropriate federal officers and agencies, for any action looking to emergency management, including the direction or control of (a) blackouts and practice blackouts, air raid drills, mobilization of emergency management forces, and other tests and exercises, (b) warnings and signals for drills or attacks and the mechanical devices to be used in connection therewith, (c) the effective screening or extinguishing of all lights and lighting devices and appliances, (d) shutting off water mains, gas mains, electric power connections and the suspension of all other utility services, (e) the conduct of civilians and the movement and cessation of movement of pedestrians and vehicular traffic during, prior and subsequent to drills or attack, (f) public meetings or gatherings under emergency conditions, and (g) the evacuation and reception of the civilian population.

          (5)  To take such action and give such directions to state and local law enforcement officers and agencies as may be reasonable and necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this article and with the orders, rules and regulations made pursuant thereto.

          (6)  To employ such measures and give such directions to the state or local boards of health as may be reasonably necessary for the purpose of securing compliance with the provisions of this article or with the findings or recommendations of such boards of health by reason of conditions arising from enemy attack or the threat of enemy attack or natural, man-made or technological disaster.

          (7)  To utilize the services and facilities of existing officers and agencies of the state and of the political subdivisions thereof; and all such officers and agencies shall cooperate with and extend their services and facilities to the Governor as he may request.

          (8)  To establish agencies and offices and to appoint executive, technical, clerical and other personnel as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article including, with due consideration to the recommendation of the local authorities, part-time or full-time state and regional area directors.

          (9)  To delegate any authority vested in him under this article, and to provide for the subdelegation of any such authority.

          (10)  On behalf of this state to enter into reciprocal aid agreements or compacts with other states and the federal government, either on a statewide basis or local political subdivision basis or with a neighboring state or province of a foreign country.  Such mutual aid arrangements shall be limited to the furnishings or exchange of food, clothing, medicine and other supplies; engineering services; emergency housing; police services; national or state guards while under the control of the state; health, medical and related services; firefighting, rescue, transportation and construction services and equipment; personnel necessary to provide or conduct these services; and such other supplies, equipment, facilities, personnel and services as may be needed; the reimbursement of costs and expenses for equipment, supplies, personnel and similar items for mobile support units, firefighting and police units and health units; and on such terms and conditions as are deemed necessary.

          (11)  To sponsor and develop mutual aid plans and agreements between the political subdivisions of the state, similar to the mutual aid arrangements with other states referred to above.

          (12)  To collect information and data for assessment of vulnerabilities and capabilities within the borders of Mississippi as it pertains to the nation and state's security and homeland defense.  This information shall be exempt from the Mississippi Public Records Act, Section 25-61-1 et seq.

          (13)  Authorize any agency or arm of the state to create a special emergency management revolving fund, accept donations, contributions, fees, grants, including federal funds, as may be necessary for such agency or arm of the state to administer its functions of this article as set forth in the Executive Order of the Governor.

          (14)  To authorize the Commissioner of Public Safety to select, train, organize and equip a ready reserve of auxiliary highway patrolmen.

          (15)  To suspend or limit the sale, dispensing or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives and combustibles.

          (16)  To control, restrict and regulate by rationing, freezing, use of quotas, prohibitions on shipments, price-fixing, allocation or other means, the use, sale or distribution of food, feed, fuel, clothing and other commodities, materials, goods or services.

          (17)  To proclaim a state of emergency in an area affected or likely to be affected thereby when he finds that the conditions described in Section 33-15-5(g) exist, or when he is requested to do so by the mayor of a municipality or by the president of the board of supervisors of a county, or when he finds that a local authority is unable to cope with the emergency. Such proclamation shall be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon its execution by the Governor.  As soon thereafter as possible, such proclamation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and be given widespread notice and publicity.  The Governor, upon advice of the director, shall review the need for continuing the state of emergency at least every thirty (30) days until the emergency is terminated and shall proclaim a reduction of area or the termination of the state of emergency at the earliest possible date that conditions warrant.

          (18)  To declare an emergency impact area when he finds that the conditions described in Section 33-15-5(o) exist.  The proclamation shall be in writing and shall take effect immediately upon its execution by the Governor.  As soon as possible, the proclamation shall be filed with the Secretary of State and be given widespread notice and publicity.  The Governor shall review the need for continuing the declaration of emergency impact area at least every thirty (30) days until the emergency is terminated, and shall proclaim the reduction of the emergency impact area or termination of the declaration of emergency impact area at the earliest date or dates possible.

     (c)  In addition to the powers conferred upon the Governor in this section, the Legislature hereby expressly delegates to the Governor the following powers and duties in the event of an impending enemy attack, an enemy attack, or a man-made, technological or natural disaster where such disaster is beyond local control:

          (1)  To suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business, or the orders, rules or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster or emergency.

          (2)  To transfer the direction, personnel or functions of state agencies, boards, commissions or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating disaster or emergency services.

          (3)  To commandeer or utilize any private property if necessary to cope with a disaster or emergency, provided that such private property so commandeered or utilized shall be paid for under terms and conditions agreed upon by the participating parties.  The owner of said property shall immediately be given a receipt for the said private property and said receipt shall serve as a valid claim against the Treasury of the State of Mississippi for the agreed upon market value of said property.

          (4)  To perform and exercise such other functions, powers and duties as may be necessary to promote and secure the safety and protection of the civilian population in coping with a disaster or emergency.

     (d)  This section does not authorize the Governor or a designee of the Governor to act in contravention of Section 33-7-303 or Section 1 of House Bill No. ____, 2021 Regular Session.

     SECTION 3.  Section 41-23-43, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-23-43.  (1)  As used in this section:

          (a)  "Department" means the Mississippi State Department of Health, Bioterrorism Division;

          (b)  "Director" means the Executive Director of the State Board of Health;

          (c)  "Bioterrorism" means the intentional use of any microorganism, virus, infectious substance or biological product that may be engineered as a result of biotechnology or any naturally occurring or bioengineered component of any microorganism, virus, infectious substance or biological product, to cause or attempt to cause death, disease or other biological malfunction in any living organism;

          (d)  "Disaster locations" means any geographical location where a bioterrorism attack, terrorist attack, catastrophic or natural disaster or emergency occurs;

          (e)  "First responders" means state and local law enforcement personnel, fire department personnel, emergency medical personnel, emergency management personnel and public works personnel who may be deployed to bioterrorism attacks, terrorist attacks, catastrophic or natural disasters and emergencies.

     (2)  The department shall offer a vaccination program for first responders who may be exposed to infectious diseases when deployed to disaster locations.  The vaccinations shall include, but are not limited to, hepatitis A vaccination, hepatitis B vaccination, diphtheria-tetanus vaccination, influenza vaccination, pneumococcal vaccination and other vaccinations when recommended by the United States Public Health Service and in accordance with Federal Emergency Management Directors Policy.  Immune globulin will be made available when necessary.

     (3)  Participation in the vaccination program shall be voluntary by the first responders, except for first responders who are classified as having "occupational exposure" to blood borne pathogens as defined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Standard contained at 29 CFR 1910.10300 who shall be required to take the designated vaccinations or otherwise required by law.

     (4)  A first responder shall be exempt from vaccinations when a written statement from a licensed physician is presented indicating that a vaccine is medically contraindicated for that person or the first responder signs a written statement that the administration of a vaccination conflicts with their religious tenets.

     (5)  If there is a vaccine shortage, the director, in consultation with the Governor and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shall give priority for vaccination to first responders.

     (6)  The department shall notify first responders to the availability of the vaccination program and shall provide educational materials on ways to prevent exposure to infectious diseases.

     (7)  The department may contract with county and local health departments, not-for-profit home health care agencies, hospitals and physicians to administer a vaccination program for first responders.

     (8)  This section shall be effective upon receipt of federal funding and/or federal grants for administering a first responders vaccination program.  Upon receipt of that funding, the department shall make available the vaccines to first responders as provided in this section.

     SECTION 4.  Section 41-23-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-23-37.  Whenever indicated, the State Health Officer shall specify such immunization practices as may be considered best for the control of vaccine preventable diseases.  A listing shall be promulgated annually or more often, if necessary.

     Except as provided hereinafter, it shall be unlawful for any child to attend any school, kindergarten or similar type facility intended for the instruction of children (hereinafter called "schools"), either public or private, with the exception of any legitimate home instruction program as defined in Section 37-13-91, Mississippi Code of 1972, for ten (10) or less children who are related within the third degree computed according to the civil law to the operator, unless they shall first have been vaccinated against those diseases specified by the State Health Officer.

     A certificate of exemption from vaccination for medical reasons may be offered on behalf of a child by a duly licensed physician and may be accepted by the local health officer when, in his opinion, such exemption will not cause undue risk to the community.

     Certificates of vaccination shall be issued by local health officers or physicians on forms specified by the Mississippi State Board of Health.  These forms shall be the only acceptable means for showing compliance with these immunization requirements, and the responsible school officials shall file the form with the child's record.

     If a child shall offer to enroll at a school without having completed the required vaccinations, the local health officer may grant a period of time up to ninety (90) days for such completion when, in the opinion of the health officer, such delay will not cause undue risk to the child, the school or the community.  No child shall be enrolled without having had at least one (1) dose of each specified vaccine.

     Within thirty (30) days after the opening of the fall term of school (on or before October 1 of each year) the person in charge of each school shall report to the county or local health officer, on forms provided by the Mississippi State Board of Health, the number of children enrolled by age or grade or both, the number fully vaccinated, the number in process of completing vaccination requirements, and the number exempt from vaccination by reason for such exemption.

     Within one hundred twenty (120) days after the opening of the fall term (on or before December 31), the person in charge of each school shall certify to the local or county health officer that all children enrolled are in compliance with immunization requirements.

     For the purpose of assisting in supervising the immunization status of the children the local health officer, or his designee, may inspect the children's records or be furnished certificates of immunization compliance by the school.

     It shall be the responsibility of the person in charge of each school to enforce the requirements for immunization.  Any child not in compliance at the end of ninety (90) days from the opening of the fall term must be suspended until in compliance, unless the health officer shall attribute the delay to lack of supply of vaccine or some other such factor clearly making compliance impossible.

     Failure to enforce provisions of this section shall constitute a misdemeanor and upon conviction be punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.

     SECTION 5.  Section 41-88-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:

     41-88-3.  (1)  The State Department of Health is responsible for assuring that all children in the state are appropriately immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases.  In order to improve the state's immunization levels in children, the State Department of Health shall enhance current immunization activities and focus on children receiving all recommended immunizations by twenty-four (24) months of age.  The immunizations shall be administered according to the recommendations of the national Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).  The administration of vaccine shall not be delayed due to a reluctance of the health care provider to administer multiple immunizations in a visit.  The department shall improve parent compliance and provide more timely scheduling, recall and follow-up in order to achieve national and state immunization level goals.

     (2)  The State Department of Health shall establish a statewide childhood immunization registry to which all health care providers will report the administration of childhood immunizations.  The State Board of Health will promulgate rules and regulations needed to implement this section.  The department shall make information regarding the immunization status of children in the registry available to the parents/guardians of the child, health care providers and individuals or organizations that are required to report on the immunizations status of children in their care.

     SECTION 6.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.