In a much anticipated joint statement, Lt. Governor Randy McNally and Speaker Cameron Sexton announced on Tuesday that they have obtained the signatures of two-thirds of the members of each of their respective chambers to convene in an extraordinary session at the Capitol beginning October 27, 2021, at 4:00. The scope of the official call is focused primarily on COVID-19 restrictions. However, to say that the topics covered in the petition are narrow would be a stretch. They include but are not limited to:
- Establishing uniform standards regarding vaccines, facial coverings, and other COVID-19 restrictions.
- Federal government overreach relative to COVID-19.
- Authority and organization of local entities charged with effectuating health service policy.
- Parental consent for the COVID-19 vaccination of minors.
- Adverse action by an employer based on employee vaccination status.
- Employer liability for injury suffered by an employee required or incentivized to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Receipt of unemployment benefits relative to COVID-19.
- Length of time and enforcement of a gubernatorial executive order or proclamation.
- District attorneys preemptively refusing to prosecute all instances of a criminal offense.
- Adjustment of the amount of eligible collateral pledged for the deposit of public funds.
- Partisan elections of school board members.
In recent years, extraordinary sessions have become, well, nothing but. However, this is different. For only the third time in state history, the members of the state legislature have decided for themselves to convene, rather than answering a similar call made by the Governor that they are obligated to answer. Additionally, the items to be discussed are fairly broad and much more numerous than the Governor’s typical call. It is unclear how long the body intends to meet, but it is fair to say it will be longer than the typical not-so-extraordinary session. Two weeks or longer is expected.
For more details, please read the petition.