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Missouri House backs bill limiting COVID-19 lawsuits

Missouri House backs bill limiting COVID-19 lawsuits

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Missouri Capitol  rwk

Missouri Capitol, during renovation in 2020. (Post-Dispatch file)

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House on Thursday advanced a bill to limit pandemic-related lawsuits, a top priority for Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

The GOP-led House gave the proposal initial approval in a voice vote.

It’s unclear if the bill will make it to the governor’s desk by lawmakers’ mid-May deadline to pass bills. The measure still needs another vote of approval in the House before it can move to the Senate for consideration.

Under the bill, business and private-property owners wouldn’t face criminal or civil liability unless they intentionally expose people to a contagious illness and people get sick.

The bill also would prevent government interference with businesses or other privately owned properties unless there’s a major infectious disease outbreak, and neither the state nor local governments could order someone to quarantine unless they’re infected.

A similar Senate-backed bill dealing with COVID-19 lawsuits failed in a House committee earlier this week.

The legislation is House Bill 1358

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