WITNESS FORMS NEEDED IN OPPOSITION TO
HB 2381 Rep. Chris Brown (R)
Business Shutdowns During Emergencies
Hearing: Wed Jan 17 at 12:00 pm
Special Committee on Small Business (H)
HB 2381 is called the “Protecting Missouri’s Small Businesses Act”. However, this bill does NOT protect Missouri businesses during emergencies. It only reinforces the government’s assumption that it can close them in the first place.
This language on pg. 1 of the bill, ironically, gives the government license to repeat the illegal actions health departments took during the Covid shutdowns in 2020:
44.251 3. (3) The state and its political subdivisions may be required to take necessary emergency actions for the protection of Missourians that may adversely affect the economic viability and well-being of Missourians and businesses in the state.
Legislators seem to think they can do anything UNLESS the Constitution says they can’t. Whenever they consider bills they instead should be asking, “What is our authority to do this. What are we allowed to do?”
“Health emergency” is not in the Constitution as being within their authority. We never gave government authority to close our business, deny us our livelihood, take our property, lock us in our homes, deny us due process and equal protection of the laws. Read again the Bill of Rights which applies to the States through the 14th amendment.
The US and Missouri Constitutions are the best protection against government overreach and unlawful business closures that violate due process and equal protection of the law. The current and very old state of emergency statute in Missouri is very protective of people’s rights but was not followed during the state of emergency in 2020. The closing of private businesses that occurred were illegal and outside of government’s constitutional authority.
There are currently 500,000 small businesses in Missouri. A shutdown takes away the ability of these business owners and their employees and suppliers to pay their bills, provide childcare, and put food on the table.
Those who write legislation like this think they are helping, but they are making things worse. Bills like HB 2381 reinforce the false assumption that the state and local governments can close businesses for emergencies. In return government has to reduce license fees and real estate taxes for the time the business is shut down. That doesn’t compensate them for lost sales and fixed costs they bear to keep the business open.
Instead of writing deceptive bills like this, Missourians would be better served by our legislature studying what was done in 2020 and making sure government never does it again.
Please click the link and fill out a witness form. Be sure to check that you are in OPPOSITION to this bill. Witness forms must be submitted by the end of the day, Wed. 1/17.
Thank you for helping us protect health freedom in Missouri!
IHC Legislative Team