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Letter: Reader questions Boots’ reasons for override

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State Sen. Phil Boots’ office recently sent a legislative update concerning SEA 5 regarding the ability of local elected governing boards to overrule local health departments during a declared health emergency. The update titled “Improving Local Government Accountability” stated that the legislature has over-ridden Gov. Eric Holcomb’s veto of the bill and Sen. Boots’ reasons for supporting the override. That left me with some thoughts and questions.

Does the new law require those elected officials that are being empowered to overrule healthcare professionals to have any health care training at all? Do those elected officials have to be licensed doctors, nurses, etc. so they can bring their knowledge to the table regarding these types of decisions? I am certainly not confident that people who have a financial stake at risk or fear voter retribution can ethically make unbiased life or death decisions regarding the health of the entire community. It will be profit over people as we have seen repeatedly during this entire pandemic. Many of the second and third wave outbreaks this country has experienced (thus prolonging the pandemic) have been caused by opening communities to commerce too early. I certainly sympathize with business owners and employees who suffer financial loss during a time like this but I have greater sympathy for those who have suffered the loss of beloved family members.

Instead of overriding the governor’s veto, why didn’t you just open local health boards to elections and allow anyone, regardless of qualifications, to run for the office? Wouldn’t that be more efficient?

I am sorry you and your fellow politicians do not have confidence in our local health professionals. They at least are board certified.

Instead we are to put our confidence in politicians who often have no qualifications what so ever.

Roger Cain

Colfax

Comments

2 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Becky Shelton

I don't think the override was to negate the health department. Health department people are not elected officials. This is a way for our elected officials can monitor the unelected officials. It is for our protection.

Thursday, May 20
Micky Gramlin

I have not read this law, SEA 5 or State Sen. Phil Boots’ legislative update concerning SEA 5, but I also question our elected officials ability to make essential decisions in areas where they certainly have no education, no training and most importantly have no established credibility.

The medical community has done an outstanding job throughout the pandemic on their responsibilities to their patients and communities. We don’t need elected officials making decisions in an area they know nothing about. What is next? Elected officials performing surgeries?

Monday, June 21