HB 4212A Omnibus COVID Bill – codifies Executive Orders into law

06/25/2020

PASSED WITH AMENDMENTS

THERE WERE 39 AMENDMENTS ON THE TABLE FOR DISCUSSION.


This bill allows public bodies to meet electronically without having the public physically present; Allows the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to extend court deadlines during the COVID emergency; Allows emergency shelters to provide additional services for transitioning from unsheltered homeless status and to charge up to $300 per month to clients able to pay. Health care data collected must be reported to a lab if ordering a COVID-19 test. Allows physician assistant to provide patient care without first entering into practice agreement. Allows electronic notarization; among others.

Fiscal Responsibility
Sections 37-39 is permanent and not temporary for the current emergency and directly impacts critical local industries that we are depending on to lead our recovery, including health care providers that are struggling to survive. It puts landlords in a bad position that could force bankruptcy or sale. The pandemic is winding down, and it appears this bill intends to prolong government controls and jeopardize our freedoms permanently.

Limited Government
Replaces Exe Orders 20-11, 20-13, 20-16, and 20-18 to codify into law. Provides that recovery rebate payments made under CARES Act and deposited in debtor’s account in financial institution are not subject to garnishment. During the emergency period, a residential or commercial landlords may not threaten to terminate rental agreement based on nonpayment, or any related action, which puts landlords in a bad situation. Tenants may obtain injunctive relief if a landlord violates this section and may recover an amount up to three months’ rent plus damages. This isn’t just making a tenant whole, it’s vindictive forcing court costs to fight false claims.

Lenders may not foreclose during the emergency period putting a halt to prospective buyers. Public bodies may hold all meetings by telephone, video conferencing, or other virtual means and related provisions, making it difficult for public participator.

Authorizes the Chief Justice to extend or suspend a timelines to continue for 90 days after the emergency for COVID-19 is no longer in effect. Allows orders to appear for criminal citations issued to be more than 30 days after the date of issue. Authorizes the extension of pre-trial custody beyond statutory limits if findings of dangerousness nature. Extends expiration of period to commence or give notice of civil action by 90 days if civil claims, wrongful death actions, tort claims against public bodies, or any other civil cause of action. Excludes time periods for commencement of criminal actions, appeals to Tax Court or Court of Appeals, or initiation of cases or proceedings before the Supreme Court.

Defines “emergency shelter” and adds veterans’ shelters to the list of facilities eligible for approval as an emergency shelter. Allows emergency shelters to provide additional services assisting individuals transitioning from unsheltered homeless status and to charge a fee of up to $300 per month per client to clients able to pay the fee and who request the services.

Establishes the Low-Income Utility Payment Fund in the state treasury. Grants agent of an isolation shelter immunity from civil liability on claims of illness, injury, or death from COVID-19 or exposure. Establishes a system for a notary public an individual to communicate remotely. Extend the termination date from June 30,2020 to December 31,2020 for enterprise zones that would otherwise terminate on that date.

Expands the purposes that a fiduciary organization may approve the use of an Individual Development Account to include the establishment of savings for emergency expenses.

Health care data collected must be reported to a lab if ordering a COVID-19 test and the authority and the Department of Human Services. Allows physician assistant to perform services and provide patient care without first entering into practice agreement, subject to limitations, and streamlines certain requirements during emergency period.

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