Missouri House votes against virus rules for businesses

Missouri

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has voted in favor of barring state and local officials from putting any restrictions on businesses, churches, or other non-public entities during public health emergencies, except in certain circumstances.

The Republican-led House voted 117-23 to send the bill to the Senate ahead of a May 14 deadline to pass legislation.

If approved by the GOP-led Senate and signed by Republican Gov. Mike Parson, the bill would prevent the state, counties, and cities from requiring masks inside businesses, limiting indoor dining at restaurants, or ordering other safety measures be followed on non-public property in response to contagious disease outbreaks.

Rep. Ben Baker, a Republican from Neosho who sponsored the bill, said it would also cover houses of worship.

By SUMMER BALLENTINE, Associated Press

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