Tag Archives: public

1/3 Oklahoma’s Budget Dedicated to Corporate Incentive Payouts

The New Economy-How do we like it so far?

The New Economy-How do we like it so far?

Kaye Beach

Dec. 3, 2012

Welcome to the New Economy!

The New York Times spent 10 months investigating business incentives awarded by hundreds of cities, counties and states. Since there is no nationwide accounting of these incentives, The Times put together a database and found that local governments give up:

  • $80.3 billion in incentives each year
  • 1,874 No. of program

Check out the interactive map that shows spending incentive spending state by state here

Oklahoma

Oklahoma spends at least $2.19 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available. That is roughly:

  • $584 per capita
  • 37¢ per dollar of state budget

Read more about Oklahoma

Here is the NYT accompanying news report;

Tax Incentives to Companies Bleeding Towns Dry, With Few Results

Sunday, 02 December 2012 09:51 By Louise Story, The New York Times News Service | Report

In the end, the money that towns across America gave General Motors did not matter.

When the automaker released a list of factories it was closing during bankruptcy three years ago, communities that had considered themselves G.M.’s business partners were among the targets.

For years, mayors and governors anxious about local jobs had agreed to G.M.’s demands for cash rewards, free buildings, worker training and lucrative tax breaks. As late as 2007, the company was telling local officials that these sorts of incentives would “further G.M.’s strong relationship” with them and be a “win/win situation,” according to town council notes from one Michigan community.

Yet at least 50 properties on the 2009 liquidation list were in towns and states that had awarded incentives, adding up to billions in taxpayer dollars, according to data compiled by The New York Times.

Some officials, desperate to keep G.M., offered more. Ohio was proposing a $56 million deal to save its Moraine plant, and Wisconsin, fighting for its Janesville factory, offered $153 million.

But their overtures were to no avail. G.M. walked away and, thanks to a federal bailout, is once again profitable. The towns have not been so fortunate, having spent scarce funds in exchange for thousands of jobs that no longer exist.

One township, Ypsilanti, Mich., is suing over the automaker’s departure. “You can’t just make these promises and throw them around like they’re spare change in the drawer,” said Doug Winters, the township’s attorney.

Yet across the country, companies have been doing just that. And the giveaways are adding up to a gigantic bill for taxpayers.

A Times investigation has examined and tallied thousands of local incentives granted nationwide and has found that states, counties and cities are giving up more than $80 billion each year to companies. The beneficiaries come from virtually every corner of the corporate world, encompassing oil and coal conglomerates, technology and entertainment companies, banks and big-box retail chains.

The cost of the awards is certainly far higher. A full accounting, The Times discovered, is not possible because the incentives are granted by thousands of government agencies and officials, and many do not know the value of all their awards. Nor do they know if the money was worth it because they rarely track how many jobs are created. Even where officials do track incentives, they acknowledge that it is impossible to know whether the jobs would have been created without the aid.

“How can you even talk about rationalizing what you’re doing when you don’t even know what you’re doing?” said Timothy J. Bartik, a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research in Kalamazoo, Mich.

The Times analyzed more than 150,000 awards and created a searchable database of incentive spending. The survey was supplemented by interviews with more than 100 officials in government and business organizations as well as corporate executives and consultants.

A portrait arises of mayors and governors who are desperate to create jobs, outmatched by multinational corporations and short on tools to fact-check what companies tell them. Many of the officials said they feared that companies would move jobs overseas if they did not get subsidies in the United States.

Over the years, corporations have increasingly exploited that fear, creating a high-stakes bazaar where they pit local officials against one another to get the most lucrative packages. States compete with other states, cities compete with surrounding suburbs, and even small towns have entered the race with the goal of defeating their neighbors.

While some jobs have certainly migrated overseas, many companies receiving incentives were not considering leaving the country, according to interviews and incentive data.

Read more

A First! Florida Intelligence Officer Admits Investigating People in Public using Facial Recognition

Kaye Beach

September 17, 2012

This is the first public admission, to my knowledge, by law enforcement that confirms that they are doing exactly what myself and others have been warning about-using facial recognition on people in public.

Just a few days ago I updated readers on Oklahoma’s steady progress toward compliance with the federal Real ID Act in spite of the fact that implementation of that act is prohibited by law in our state.

The most egregious part of the Real ID Act is the capture and retention of our facial biometrics.   As I explained;

. . .facial biometrics is the governments biometric of choice.  Why?  It is not the most accurate biometric for identification purposes but it does allow us to be identified in public without our knowledge or consent. link

An intelligence officer from the St. Petersburg Police Dept. just let the cat completely put of the bag!

Here is a snippet of an explosive article just reported by the ACLU :

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced with sometimes unprofessional or abusive law enforcement officers, thanks to their built-in cameras and the constitutional right to record the police. But they also allow the police, according to the article, to blend in and transmit live video of protesters:

“The specialized applications gave law enforcement an advantage, allowing police officers to use everyday devices in a strategic and tactical way,” said Sgt. Dale Moushon, with the Intelligence Unit of the St. Petersburg Police Department….

While undercover police in most protests are often easily identified by their earpieces or microphones in their sleeves, Moushon told National Journal that using cell phones allowed police to remain completely undetected. “Everyone has a phone, so officers blend in easier,” he said….

He also pointed to an instance in which an officer was preparing to take a picture of a suspicious person so staff could use facial-recognition software to identify the person. Instead, the person happened to pull out a document that included his identifying information that was then captured in real-time by the officer’s live video feed. “That saved us a lot of time,” Moushon said.

We shouldn’t just accept that undercover police will infiltrate peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights, photograph them, and use face recognition or other techniques to identity them. We must not come to accept the existence of a secret police in our society.

. . . Mike German, who infiltrated numerous criminal groups as an undercover FBI operative, notes that there should be reasonable suspicion—an articulable basis in fact—that a crime has or will be committed before the police begin an investigation

Read More

This is an outrage!  Lawful dissent is supposed to be afforded the highest degree of First Amendment protection.  If you value  your right to chastise your wayward government without being investigated, harassed and intimidated-you should be very concerned about this development.

This is not just a matter of the local police.  Remember, Florida received 50 million dollars from the federal government to set up this system. They are connected with a variety of other intelligence centers including the Florida Fusion Center directly linking with federal agencies.

CTIC maintains an operational relationship with other state law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI and DHS. The role of CTIC continues to evolve as their participation in the Florida Fusion Center grows. Recently, CTIC began providing information for Department of Homeland Security Information Reports that are disseminated not only to other law enforcement elements, but to members of the United States Intelligence Community as well. Link

The absolute necessity of my lawsuit could not be any more apparent than it is right now.  If you are having difficulty in understanding the implications of this admission I suggest you simply mentally replace the RNC protestor with any unpopular group member you like; perhaps yourself.

Norman Oklahoma’s High Density Destiny

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Kaye Beach
June 7 2012
The City of Norman Oklahoma is apparently looking at adding high density development to its zoning regime.  Look at the map above.   Are we running out of open space in this state any time soon?
100- 165 dwelling units per acre that feature six story structures with “limited parking to encourage walking rather than using automobiles” are being discussed.

www.normanok.gov/…/154/…/2012-05-01%20Study%20Session.pdf

A series of public meetings beginning June 11 will be held to receive public input.

http://www.ci.norman.ok.us/cm/high-density-public-discussion-series

Norman city leaders set series of high-density discussions
By Joy Hampton

Posted:  06/07/2012

Infill, redevelopment, multi-family housing, high density — these terms have become common recently in Norman’s zoning and development discussions.

. . .High-density requests have been coming to Norman, but the city has no ordinances to allow for or guide high-density development. City leaders want to create a policy to address the growing area of concern. To that end, the city has scheduled several public meetings to discuss the issue.

A series of six public discussions regarding high-density regulations has been scheduled between June 11 and Aug. 30 to “gather public input regarding a number of factors involved in high-density development,” according to a  press release issued by the city this week.

. . .High-density infill is also a means of containing population growth to urbanized areas while protecting green space and agricultural designations on the edge of cities.

Read the article here

You are being tracked-the National Vehicle Location Service

Kaye Beach

April 1, 2012

You know what would really be disturbing?  If all of the ALPR (Automatic License Plate Recognition) tag scanning cameras (both public and private) were taking all of the millions of tags that they were capturing indiscriminately and uploading them into a searchable,  central database.  Remember that ALPR systems not only collect the tag number of the vehicle but also the exact time and location of the vehicle.  Now THAT would be very disturbing!    We could effectively be tracked wherever we go.

As a Los Angeles Police Department Chief of Detectives explained, “the real value” of ALPR “comes from the long-term investigative uses of being able to track [all] vehicles—where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing.” http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1956787

Well, they ARE doing it.  Want to see how many?

National LPR database counter

What is NVLS?

NVLS stands for National Vehicle Location Service and is a service delivered in conjunction with National Vehicle Service – NVS (http://www.nvsliens.org/) to LEA’s via the NLETS messaging system. The LPR data delivered as part of the NVLS web portal comes from a nationwide LPR data repository managed by Vigilant Video containing both private and publicly gathered LPR data.

Read more
Take a look at Vigilant Video’s PowerPoint;

NVLS_Tier_I_R1

Naturally, the first I heard of it was through the International Association of Chiefs of Police in their agenda for what I call The IACP’s Big Brother Fest 2010. (They have one every year)  If you are feeling brave,  take a look for yourself.   Forewarned is forearmed.

Here is a great article about Vigilant Video’s incredible new service.

Private company hoarding license-plate data on US drivers

January 12, 2012 | G.W. Schulz

Capitalizing on one of the fastest-growing trends in law enforcement, a private California-based company has compiled a database bulging with more than 550 million license-plate records on both innocent and criminal drivers that can be searched by police.

The technology has raised alarms among civil libertarians, who say it threatens the privacy of drivers. It’s also evidence that 21st-century technology may be evolving too quickly for the courts and public opinion to keep up.

. . .Meanwhile, police around the country have been affixing high-tech scanners to the exterior of their patrol cars, snapping a picture of every passing license plate and automatically comparing them to databases of outstanding warrants, stolen cars and wanted bank robbers.

The units work by sounding an in-car alert if the scanner comes across a license plate of interest to police, whereas before, patrol officers generally needed some reason to take an interest in the vehicle, like a traffic violation.

But when a license plate is scanned, the driver’s geographic location is also recorded and saved, along with the date and time, each of which amounts to a record or data point. Such data collection occurs regardless of whether the driver is a wanted criminal, and the vast majority are not.

While privacy rules restrict what police can do with their own databases, Vigilant Video, headquartered in Livermore, Calif., offers a loophole. It’s a private business not required to operate by those same rules.

Read More

Stupid in America

Hats Off to Jesse Ventura-Fusion Centers Exposed!

Oklahoma Information Fusion Center Power Point

Americans need to know about these new UN-American institutions.

Much appreciation to the Governor and his show for diving into the Fusion Centers!

Skeptical?  See the documents for yourself.

Operation DeFuse

These are the questions to ask about fusion centers

Oklahoma’s 2008 Catastrophic Health Emergency (CHE) Plan

September 19, 2009

OKLAHOMA PANDEMIC PLANNING POLICY

This is the bottom line at least insofar as outlined in Public Documentation.

The Health Commissioner seems to have ultimate authority on matters of treatment, isolation, quarantine, examination and release.

AxXiom

Oklahoma’s 2008 Catastrophic Health Emergency (CHE) Plan

www.ok.gov/health/documents/2008%20CHE%20Plan%20final.pdf

Recommended Actions from the Catastrophic Health Emergency Task Force 2008

Pg 50 copy/paste

ISOLATION/QUARANTINE

Issue #1: Law enforcement officials protect the peace and public safety based on rules and a

force continuum. However, the enforcement of isolation or quarantine orders during a

declared catastrophic health emergency lacks clarity. The Oklahoma Department of Public

Safety plans to request an Attorney General’s opinion on this issue before the 2005

Legislative Session commences.

Recommendation: Support statutory and/or regulatory changes that are requested by the

Oklahoma Department of Public Safety or the Oklahoma State Department of Health,

pursuant to the Attorney General’s opinion.

Outcome: Initially an Attorney General’s opinion was requested, but it was suggested the

issue be brought forth for each catastrophic health emergency because a more informed

decision could be made on an event-by-event basis. No singular event decision would be carried over to other catastrophic health emergencies.

To help define this issue, circumstances under which the Commissioner of Health may issue

orders of isolation and quarantine under the current authority provided pursuant to Title 63

O.S. §1-106 were clarified to apply to any communicable disease constituting a biologic

public health threat in a revision to Oklahoma Administrative Code 310: Chapter 521. The

new subchapter seven better outlines the procedures the Oklahoma State Department of

Health undertakes when implementing isolation and quarantine, including ordering of

treatment, determining suitable locations, providing for administrative hearings, monitoring

health status, and determining cessation of quarantine or isolation.

Recommended Actions from the Catastrophic Health Emergency Task Force 2008

Title 310 – Oklahoma State Department of Health

Find here

http://www.oar.state.ok.us/oar/codedoc02.nsf/All/6F1A5E874D5C9783862575F40010FE5C?OpenDocument

Chapter 521 – Control and Treatment of Communicable Disease


Subchapter 7 – Isolation or Quarantine

3

10:521-


310:521-7-1. Examination

The Commissioner may issue an order for the examination of any individual upon the suspicion or confirmation that said individual has a communicable disease. Such examination may include a clinical examination, a specific diagnostic test or tests, or a specific laboratory test or tests. The purpose of such examination(s) and/or test(s) is to determine the presence of the suspected infectious organism or the presence of indicators of the suspected infectious organism, and to determine the contagious state of the individual to the extent possible.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-2. Treatment

The Commissioner may issue an order for the treatment of any individual
suspected or confirmed to have a communicable disease. The Commissioner may also order the treatment of any individual or individuals exposed to certain infectious agents. Such treatment plans will be according to procedures developed within the Department.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-

310:521-7-3. Isolation or quarantine

  1. Isolation.
    The Commissioner may issue an order for the isolation of any individual or group of individuals upon determination:

(1)    That such individual or individuals who are reasonably known or suspected to have a communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat and who remain within the transmission period for said disease; and

(2)    That isolation is the necessary means to control the spread of the agent and the disease constituting a biologic public health threat.

(b)    Quarantine. The Commissioner may issue an order for the quarantine of any individual or group of individuals upon determination:

(1)    That such individual or individuals who are reasonably known or suspected to have been exposed to a communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat and who remain within the incubation period for said disease; and

(2)    That quarantine is the necessary means to contain the communicable disease constituting a biologic public health threat to which an individual or individuals have been or may have been exposed.

(c)    Affected area. The Commissioner may issue an order for the quarantine of a facility, complex, or campus including but not limited to an apartment complex, dormitory, health care facility, hotel, correctional facility, or the individuals therein.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-4. Means of isolation or quarantine

The Department
shall recommend to the Commissioner the appropriate means of isolation or quarantine, which shall generally be the least restrictive means that effectively protects unexposed and susceptible individuals. The place of isolation selected shall meet such infection control standards that it effectively complies with nationally accepted guidelines for the prevention of transmission of the infectious agent. The place of quarantine selected shall allow the most freedom of movement and communication with family members and other contacts without allowing transmission of the suspected infectious agent to others.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-5. Delivery of orders

A representative of the Department shall deliver orders of examination, treatment, quarantine, or isolation, or shall ensure the delivery of the order by an appropriate party, to the affected individual or individuals in person to the extent practicable.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-6. Administrative hearings and court enforcement

  1. Any person who is subject to an order of the Commissioner for isolation or quarantine and who contests such an order
    may request an individual proceeding or hearing. In order to uphold a quarantine order the Department must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent was, or was suspected of having been, exposed to an infectious disease constituting a biologic public health threat. In order to uphold an isolation order the Department must prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the Respondent has, or is suspected of having, an infectious disease constituting a biologic public health threat. If requested, an individual proceeding pursuant to this subsection shall be convened as quickly as reasonably possible, which may be held telephonically or by other electronic means. A Respondent may request a hearing verbally or in writing. If the request for hearing is verbal, it shall be the duty of the hearing officer to take a statement for the record of the Respondent’s reason for contesting the Commissioner’s order. If the Commissioner’s order is upheld at the conclusion of the hearing, the Respondent may appeal the administrative decision pursuant to Section 318 of Title 75 of the Oklahoma Statutes.

(b)    Upon finding that there is probable cause to believe that any individual or individuals who are subject to an order of examination, treatment, isolation, or quarantine has failed to or refuse to comply with such order, the Commissioner may request an emergency order from the district court to enforce the Commissioner’s order. If granted, the emergency order shall require the individual or individuals to be taken immediately into custody by law enforcement officials for the purpose of examination or treatment or to be detained for the duration of the order of isolation or quarantine or until the Commissioner determines that the risk of transmission of a biologic public health threat is no longer present.

(c)    Subsections a or b of this section may be suspended in the event of a declaration of emergency by the Governor pursuant to Oklahoma law or upon written directive of the Commissioner of Health to employ a constitutionally-sufficient alternative process due to exigent circumstances during such emergency. Such suspension of subsections a and b shall only exist for the duration of the emergency.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-7. Health status monitoring

A representative of the Department shall monitor the health status of those under quarantine or isolation according to means dictated through procedure of the Department. Such means may include use of appropriate data collection forms, use of appropriate medical tests and or procedures, regular telephone calls, visits by local health personnel or other pre-determined providers, self-reports, reports of caregivers or healthcare providers, or by other means. If an individual or individuals under quarantine develop symptoms compatible with a disease constituting a biologic public health threat, then such individual or individuals may be further ordered into isolation.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-8. Essential needs

A representative of the Department shall conduct an assessment to determine the essential needs of those isolated or quarantined as required by procedure of the Department.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

310:521-7-9. Release from isolation or quarantine

The Commissioner will determine when an individual or individuals are determined to no longer be at risk of developing disease and becoming infectious or to no longer pose a risk of transmission of the infectious agent constituting a biologic public health threat to other individuals. The individuals under the order of quarantine or isolation shall be so notified by the Commissioner and shall be released from quarantine or isolation immediately upon notification.

[Source: Added at 25 Ok Reg 1148, eff 5-25-08]

Here is a letter written in 2002 that takes issue with the Model States Emergency Health Powers Act.  The MSEPHA is the template from which these measures have been adopted by the states.

June 10, 2002
The Model State Emergency Health Powers Act: An Assault on Civil Liberties in the Name of Homeland Security
by Sue Blevins
Heritage Lecture #748

A number of people have asked me what health freedom could possibly have to do with homeland security. Let me assure you that there is a major connection. It’s called the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. Those who have heard of it are far outnumbered by those who have not. And, as proposed, the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act will impact our individual freedoms and civil liberties for years to come.

A HIDDEN AGENDA

In response to the tragedy of September 11, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced its support for model legislation. The goal was to provide federal funds to states to encourage the enactment of legislation to prevent and detect bioterrorist attacks. Drafted for the Centers for Disease Control by academicians from the Center for Law and the Public’s Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities, the so-called Model State Emergency Health Powers Act was released on October 23, 2001.

It is noteworthy that a key attorney who assisted in drafting this proposal was also very involved in Hillary Clinton’s health care task force nearly a decade ago. It is also significant that two articles related to this proposal were published or prepared well before the Trade Center attacks. In January 1999, in a Columbia Law Review article, a plan was presented for changing public health laws. A similar plan appeared in an American Journal of Public Health article, published coincidentally in September 2001, but accepted for publication in March 2001.

It appears that this model legislation–formulated long before the terrorism of last fall–actually represents the promotion and expansion of a long-standing agenda. As these proposals come before the individual states, our elected officials should be aware of this history and examine carefully all proposals submitted to them.

Although this model legislation was recommended as a means to help states protect citizens against bioterrorist attacks and deal with national defense issues, the draft bill goes much, much further. It calls for giving state public health officials broad, new police powers–all in the name of controlling epidemics of infectious diseases during public health emergencies.

Furthermore, with an equally broad stroke, this model legislation defines “infectious disease” as “a disease caused by a living organism.” As drafted, the October 23, 2001, proposal stresses that “an infectious disease may or may not be transmissible from person to person, animal to person or insect to person.” Thus, any disease caused by a living organism could be classified as an infectious disease creating or invoking a public health emergency.

It is these broad definitions–painted with an overly broad brush in equally broad language–that our state officials and our state-based think tanks must be alerted to, aware of, and involved in examining as similar bills advance on state legislative agendas.

Key to all of this is what may or may not be considered or defined as a “public health emergency.”

A THREAT TO FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS

Under this legislative proposal, once a public health emergency is declared, governors and state public health authorities would be granted greatly expanded police powers. While a few other actions are enumerated, I want to bring to your attention 10 main powers conveyed into the hands of only a very few individuals by this model plan.

Under the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, upon the declaration of a “public health emergency,” governors and public health officials would be empowered to:

  1. Force individuals suspected of harboring an “infectious disease” to undergo medical examinations.
  2. Track and share an individual’s personal health information, including genetic information.
  3. Force persons to be vaccinated, treated, or quarantined for infectious diseases.
  4. Mandate that all health care providers report all cases of persons who harbor any illness or health condition that may be caused by an epidemic or an infectious agent and might pose a “substantial risk” to a “significant number of people or cause a long-term disability.” (Note: Neither “substantial risk” nor “significant number” are defined in the draft.)
  5. Force pharmacists to report any unusual or any increased prescription rates that may be caused by epidemic diseases.
  6. Preempt existing state laws, rules and regulations, including those relating to privacy, medical licensure, and–this is key–property rights.
  7. Control public and private property during a public health emergency, including pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, nursing homes, other health care facilities, and communications devices.
  8. Mobilize all or any part of the “organized militia into service to the state to help enforce the state’s orders.”
  9. Ration firearms, explosives, food, fuel and alcoholic beverages, among other commodities.
  10. Impose fines and penalties to enforce their orders.

As you can imagine, citizens across the country–at least the ones who were informed about it–were quite concerned about this model legislation. The American Legislative Exchange Council and other groups immediately began tracking the issue and reporting on how such legislation could affect citizens’ individual freedoms and property rights. As Time magazine recently reported, gun activists were some of the strongest and most influential opponents.

Consequently, a revised model bill was released on December 21, 2001. Both models–which the states are using in formulating legislation–are on line at http://www.publichealthlaw.net. I encourage you to read them.

In an attempt to make the October draft appear less authoritarian, several words were changed in the December draft. For example, the revised language calls for “protecting” persons rather than “controlling” persons during a public health emergency. It says that the state would “manage” private property rather than “control” private property during a public health emergency. And it removes any direct mention of rationing firearms or alcoholic beverages but still retains the right to ration “other commodities,” which clearly could be interpreted to include guns and alcoholic beverages–or many other items for that matter.

The revised model bill also contained two major changes. For those who may have been concerned initially about the new police powers granted, the revised text actually broadens them to include local governments as well as state officials. Furthermore, the revised language incorporates powers over medical licensing laws. Thus, health care facilities, doctors, and other providers will have to abide by added licensure requirements during a public health emergency to maintain or guarantee their right to practice medicine or run a health care business.

A DENIAL OF CONSCIENCE

How this medical licensure clause would affect doctors’ freedom of conscience–and medical freedom for us all–must be scrutinized.

The state of Maryland’s draft bill–one of the worst in the country, in my opinion–includes this language: “If the health care practitioner fails to comply with an order, regulation or directive, the secretary may request the appropriate licensing board to take disciplinary action against the health care practitioner.” It goes on to authorize the imposition of fines of up to $10,000 for each offense.

What does this mean in practicality?

First, it means that a doctor, who might be opposed to abortion, would be forced by law during a public health emergency to administer a vaccine derived from fetal tissue. This legislation lays the groundwork for such a provision, and it clearly and absolutely infringes on doctors’ and other health care providers’ freedom of conscience.

Second, it means each of us as individuals is affected. Patients would not be able to refuse these treatments. Whether state exemptions–those granted for religious or philosophical reasons regarding selected vaccines or types of treatments–would remain in effect or not remains unclear. This legislation fails to clarify that such exemptions will not be overridden.

RECENT STATE ACTIVITY

According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, 24 states have actually introduced versions of the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. On their Web site–www.alec.org–a color-coded map, showing the status of this legislation in all 50 states, is maintained. According to their data, three states–New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah–have passed legislation. Four states–Idaho, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming–have either inactivated or defeated this legislation.1

Clearly this legislation is being considered by a significant number of states across the country. It is our duty in the public policy community to help educate, inform, and alert both our state officials and state-based think tank leaders to the challenge to our freedoms and liberties this extreme model legislation will have for years to come.

I truly hope our national leaders will reconsider the coercive provisions of this Model State Emergency Health Powers Act. We can and must find a better way to defend citizens against bioterrorism while protecting our precious individual freedoms–the very freedoms that this current war on terror is being waged to defend.

As a gentleman reminded me recently, “You can’t defend freedom by eliminating it.” I believe–and believe it should be evident to you–that this model plan, if enacted throughout the states, would indeed do just that: eliminate our freedom to choose our medical care and health treatment and potentially eliminate a broader range of our basic civil liberties.

Sue Blevins is President of the Institute for Health Freedom. Her remarks were delivered at the 25th Annual Resource Bank Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1. Since these remarks were delivered, additional states have acted on this legislation. The ALEC Web site should be consulted for the most current status report.

For more of the MSEPHA go to;

gnifica