SLMMS Statement Opposing Missouri Proposed Legislation Limiting Local Public Health Authority
The St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society (SLMMS) opposes the bills currently under consideration in the Missouri legislature that would limit the ability of local health agencies to make public health rulings, including Senate Bill 12 and House Bill 75. These restrictive preemption bills could pose significant risk to the health and safety of Missourians. We stand together with the Missouri State Medical Association and other health organizations who have opposed this legislation.
The time frames proposed in the bills are unnecessarily restrictive in their limitation of local public health orders and implementation of regulations. We believe public health decisions should be driven by scientific data and the medical knowledge of our public health professionals, without excessive interference from Jefferson City.
Limiting our local health departments’ or agencies’ authority to implement rules, impose quarantines, or exercise safety measures could have potentially harmful, even deadly, consequences in various situations not limited to a pandemic, such as environmental contamination, chemical accidents, or an infectious disease outbreak. We strongly believe our local public health experts are uniquely qualified to respond and act on the public’s behalf.
The physician members of the St. Louis Metropolitan Medical Society oppose these measures in the interest of protecting the health of their patients and their communities.