The Colorado Legislature returned to the Capitol to resume business on Tuesday, May 26, in this unprecedented legislative session. According to Joint Rule 44, only “mission critical bills” are to move forward. In addition, Colorado faces a $3.3 billion shortfall due to COVID-19. The state will have 25% less money than it had to work with last year. This means that any bill with a fiscal note should be tabled.
Despite these critical guidelines and issues, Representative Kyle Mullica has been out doing PR for his bill, SB 163. SB 163 is NOT mission critical and has a fiscal note which the state cannot afford. It is vulnerable to a lawsuit should it be passed. SB 163 was the most controversial bill to be introduced this year. Hundreds of citizens came out to testify against it at the first committee hearing in the Senate. It passed by a narrow margin along party lines with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans voting against this oppressive bill. If the bill is reopened it would be heard next in a House Committee hearing.
SB 163 is a bill that would severely restrict vaccine exemptions for school children which have been in effect since 1978. It takes away a protected class of exemption – the religious exemption, further eroding the religious rights of Americans. The bill also has clear language giving The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) absolute authority to add vaccines to be mandated at any time. This has always been under the authority of the legislature and thus allows for checks and balances in this very important issue. This bill also demands forced re-education for any parent exempting their child from even one vaccination such as the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth. It is an oppressive bill that opens the door to the removal of all exemptions including the removal of medical exemptions in the future without legislative process.
SB 163 takes on a whole new meaning in the era of Covid-19. With fast tracked vaccines in the pipeline and talk of mandating it for 7 billion people, bills such as SB 163 should have the attention of everyone, not just parents of school aged children. At this time Public Health = Public Control and CDPHE will use CIIS, the state-wide vaccine database that houses over 5 million citizen records, to target everyone who does not agree to their mandates. This bill would set a precedent for a mandated Covid-19 vaccine to be implemented for all Colorado citizens at the whim of CDPHE without discussion or legislative oversight. The Covid-19 vaccine will be a rushed, minimally tested technology that could potentially alter DNA. In the first human trials for a Covid-19 vaccine made by Moderna, 20% of the high dose group of extremely healthy participants experienced a SEVERE adverse reaction such as hospitalization or disability. The Oxford Vaccine Group’s Covid-19 vaccine sickened all the vaccinated macaque monkeys after exposure to COVID-19 and yet this data was hidden so that human trials of 510 participants ensued anyway. The vaccine is still plowing ahead despite this clear evidence of inefficacy. Do you want to give CDPHE the authority to mandate a fast track vaccine to you and your family members?
Should this bill be heard this session, Article V, Section 14 of the Colorado Constitution requires that the legislative process is open to the public. Article V, Section 20 requires a committee hearing, with public testimony. In person testimony is a crucial part of the legislative process. There is no precedent for limiting testimony to a virtual hearing through an online platform which creates a barrier for citizens to have input in an impactful way. Many citizens do not have access to computers and internet in their homes, particularly among low-income and Hispanic families. 54,000 school-age children do not have access to internet at home in Colorado, which includes their parents. Any attempt to block citizens from attending committee hearings and participating in the legislative process through some kind of virtual testimony would thus violate the requirement for open sessions and will be legally challenged in court.
It is time to table SB 163. In the midst of an unprecedented fiscal shortfall in our state, no bill that would take more away from the budget should even be considered. Furthermore, this bill is not “mission critical” and is especially ominous in the current climate of Covid-19 with the overreach that has been already demonstrated by CDPHE. Now is not the time to give CDPHE even more power over parental and personal medical decisions.