SENATE MOVES TO PROTECT THE STATE WITH PASSAGE OF PANDEMIC BILL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Senator Bob Clegg

(603) 271 – 2111

Contact: Senator Jack Barnes

(603) 271 - 2111

May 4, 2006

Concord , NH Today the Senate passed House Bill1204, a bill which gives the Commissioner of Health and Human Services certain powers during a pandemic. Passage of the bill was lead by Majority Leader Bob Clegg (R-Hudson) and Senator Jack Barnes (R-Raymond) by adding the language from Senate Bill 399 to the bill.

Within House Bill 1204, authorization is given to the commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services to ration and prioritize certain pharmaceutical agents in the event of a shortage during a pandemic. SB 399 also authorizes the Commissioner of Health and Human Services to close public places during a pandemic.

We can hope that we never have to use this plan, but if something serious should happen, Republicans wanted to make certain that New Hampshire is prepared for it” stated Majority Leader Clegg. Senator Clegg continued, "I worked with the Governor’s office, Department of Health and Human Services to craft a bill that blue prints what steps are taken so that confusion can be avoided in a time of crisis.”

Senator Jack Barnes concluded, “This bill is exactly what New Hampshire needs in the closet in case of emergencies. We need the ability to quickly make decisions and have a plan to help the affected. Businesses in New Hampshire also need to be protected as they can be taken over by the government during times of emergency. The amendment to House Bill 1204 makes it clear that any business that is affected will be compensated at fair market price.”