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  • What ELSE is in the Sausage? GNDC's follow-up breakdown of Special Session Work: The Policy Bills

    What ELSE is in the Sausage? GNDC's follow-up breakdown of Special Session Work: The Policy Bills

    Special Session has begun with gaveling in, State of the State, Committee on Committees, Rules Committee, and the Delayed Bills Committee. If you've walked the Capitol halls, you've probably heard an expression related to "making sausage." It boils down and equates to writing and working through the drafting of legislation considering the multiple parts, pieces, and end results. GNDC is engaged in this "sausage-making" process. Previously we covered an overview primer of how the “sausage” is going to be made as well as an overview of the ARPA and redistricting sausage, this post will shift into what exactly is going on in the policy bills – the seemingly quiet add-on to the agenda.
     
    Twenty-six proposed policy bills were heard in front of the Delayed Bills Committees within the first hours of Special Session. These committees did not provide recommendations on the merit of the bills but instead if they should be heard and acted upon during the Special Session. Of these 26, 9 bills were carried forward – 8 from the House of Representatives and 1 from the Senate.
     
    These proposals boil down to this list:

    • 21.1078.01000 - Relating to prohibiting the teaching of critical race theory in public schools
    • 21.1106.01000 - Relating to charitable gaming tax
    • 21.1115.01000 - Relating to district party organization
    • 21.1116.02000 - Relating to a hospital patient's right to try off-label use drugs, a hospital ban on discrimination based on vaccine status, pharmacist fulfillment of off-label drug use prescriptions, and the board of medicine's authority to bring disciplinary actions
    • 21.1117.01000 - Relating to the asset allocation plan of the legacy fund
    • 21.3126.01000 - A concurrent resolution recognizing parents as the chief stakeholders of the future and education of their children
    • 21.1082.03000 - Relating to discrimination based on vaccination status or possession of an immunity passport
    • 21.1105.01000 - Relating to employer-required COVID-19 vaccinations
    • 21.1121.01000 - Relating to career and technical education scholarship eligibility requirements 

    Of these policy bills, GNDC’s watch list includes specific bills from Representatives Nathe, Weisz, and Paulson. We’ve reviewed this list and have broken down the specifics here:
    • 21.1117.01000 - Relating to the asset allocation plan of the legacy fund
      • Creates an in-state impact investment committee to review and approve proposals for the 7% set-aside of Legacy Fund interest income.
    • 21.1105.01000 - Relating to employer-required COVID-19 vaccinations
      • Government entities and businesses may not require documentation of vaccination status, including antibody or recovery status.
      • Employer vaccine mandate exemptions
        • Federal law would supersede this act.
        • If failure to comply with federal vaccine mandate would result in direct financial loss.
        • Proof of antibodies - 12 month proof through testing
        • Periodic testing - bi-weekly testing max
        • Physicians note
        • Religious, philosophical, or moral beliefs.
    • 21.1082.03000 - Relating to discrimination based on vaccination status or possession of an immunity passport
      • Employee and customer vaccine prohibition mandate for services and employment.
        • Exemptions
          • Recommendations are allowable
          • Health care facilities can reasonably segregate unvaccinated people for public health
          • Long term care facilities, if it would violate Medicare and Medicaid regulations
      • Department of Labor will investigate complaints
      • Students - COVID vaccine will not be considered as an age-appropriate immunization 
    All 9 of these bills will soon have a specific bill number and hearings will begin on November 9. All but one will be heard in front of the Joint Technical Corrections Committee, comprised of both House and Senate members. This committee will provide a recommendation (or not as a split vote is possible) and all 9 will proceed to chambers for floor votes. We will keep watching and update you as this Special Session rolls along.