New Missouri law limits public health restrictions, vaccine passports

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signs a new law limiting public health restrictions and the use of vaccine passports.

Parson signed HB 271 which takes effect immediately.

“This legislation I am signing today requires local leaders to be more transparent in their reasoning and accountable for their decisions when it comes to public health orders,” Governor Parson said. “It also prohibits local, publicly funded entities from requiring a vaccine passport in order for residents to use public services, and while we encourage all Missourians to get vaccinated against COVID-19, it is not the government’s job to force them.”

Most Missouri cities and counties already ended their coronavirus restrictions on businesses and public gatherings. Today’s law will primarily affect future public health crises.

The law limits emergency orders restricting businesses, churches, schools or gatherings to 30 days. Local governing bodies can extend those. Parson says he generally supports local control, but that they need the new law to curb overreach during a pandemic.

If the governor has not issued a state of emergency, they can only issue orders limiting access for 21 calendar days in a 180-day period. They can extend these orders more than once with a two-thirds vote by the local governing body.

According to Governor Parson’s office, the law also prohibits local COVID-19 vaccine passports. It limits county or municipal governments that get public funding. They can’t require residents to show COVID-19 vaccination documentation for public services.

“We appreciate the leadership of Senator Sandy Crawford and Representative John Wiemann in working to get this legislation passed,” Governor Parson said.

You can view HB 271 below, or, click here.

Missouri HB 271 - signed by Gov. Parson (June 15, 2021)