7 LONG TITLE
8 General Description:
9 This bill enacts the COVID-19 Health and Economic Response Act.
10 Highlighted Provisions:
11 This bill:
12 ▸ defines terms;
13 ▸ creates the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission (commission) to
14 advise and make recommendations to the governor regarding the state's response to
15 the COVID-19 emergency;
16 ▸ establishes the membership and duties of the commission;
17 ▸ requires the commission to provide a plan by a certain date to the governor that
18 moves the state to a less urgent response level; and
19 ▸ addresses the governor's response to the commission's plan.
20 Money Appropriated in this Bill:
22 Other Special Clauses:
23 This bill provides a special effective date.
24 Utah Code Sections Affected:
26 53-2c-101, Utah Code Annotated 1953
27 53-2c-102, Utah Code Annotated 1953
28 53-2c-103, Utah Code Annotated 1953
29 53-2c-201, Utah Code Annotated 1953
30 53-2c-202, Utah Code Annotated 1953
32 Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
33 Section 1. Section 53-2c-101 is enacted to read:
36 53-2c-101. Title.
37 This chapter is known as the "COVID-19 Health and Economic Response Act."
38 Section 2. Section 53-2c-102 is enacted to read:
39 53-2c-102. Definitions.
40 (1) "Commission" means the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission
41 created in Section 53-2c-201.
42 (2) "COVID-19" means:
43 (a) severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; or
44 (b) the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.
45 (3) "COVID-19 emergency" means the spread of COVID-19 that the World Health
46 Organization declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020.
47 (4) "Elective surgery or procedure" means a surgery or procedure that is not medically
48 necessary to correct a serious medical condition or preserve the life of a patient.
49 (5) "Epidemic or pandemic disease" means the same as that term is defined in Section
51 (6) "Public health emergency" means an occurrence or imminent credible threat of an
52 illness or health condition:
53 (a) that is caused by epidemic or pandemic disease;
54 (b) that poses a substantial risk of a significant number of human fatalities or incidents
55 of permanent or long-term disability; and
56 (c) for which the governor has declared a state of emergency under Title 53, Chapter
57 2a, Part 2, Disaster Response and Recovery Act.
58 Section 3. Section 53-2c-103 is enacted to read:
59 53-2c-103. Relation to other provisions.
60 (1) This chapter supersedes any conflicting provisions of Utah law.
61 (2) A local government may not enact an ordinance or issue an order that is more
62 restrictive than or contrary to a recommendation made by the commission and adopted by the
64 (3) The governor may not suspend the application or enforcement of any provision of
65 this chapter.
66 Section 4. Section 53-2c-201 is enacted to read:
68 53-2c-201. Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission -- Creation --
69 Membership -- Quorum -- Per diem -- Staff support -- Meetings.
70 (1) There is created the Public Health and Economic Emergency Commission
71 consisting of the following members:
72 (a) the executive director of the Department of Health, or the executive director's
74 (b) four individuals, appointed by the governor, including:
75 (i) the chief executive of a for profit health care organization that operates at least one
76 hospital in the state;
77 (ii) the chief executive of a not-for-profit health care organization that operates at least
78 one hospital in the state; and
79 (iii) two other individuals;
80 (c) two individuals appointed by the president of the Senate; and
81 (d) two individuals appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives.
82 (2) (a) The president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of Representatives
83 shall jointly designate one of the members appointed under Subsection (1)(c) or (d) as chair of
84 the commission.
85 (b) For an appointment under Subsection (1)(c) or (d), the president of the Senate or
86 the speaker of the House of Representatives may appoint a legislator or a non-legislator.
87 (3) (a) If a vacancy occurs in the membership of the commission appointed under
88 Subsection (1)(b), (c), or (d), the member shall be replaced in the same manner in which the
89 original appointment was made.
90 (b) A member of the commission serves until the member's successor is appointed and
92 (4) (a) A majority of the commission members constitutes a quorum.
93 (b) The action of a majority of a quorum constitutes an action of the commission.
94 (5) (a) The salary and expenses of a commission member who is a legislator shall be
95 paid in accordance with Section 36-2-2, Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Chapter 2, Lodging,
96 Meal, and Transportation Expenses, and Legislative Joint Rules, Title 5, Chapter 3, Legislator
98 (b) A commission member who is not a legislator may not receive compensation or
99 benefits for the member's service on the commission, but may receive per diem and
100 reimbursement for travel expenses incurred as a commission member at the rates established by
101 the Division of Finance under:
102 (i) Sections 63A-3-106 and 63A-3-107; and
103 (ii) rules made by the Division of Finance pursuant to Sections 63A-3-106 and
105 (6) The Governor's Office of Management and Budget shall:
106 (a) provide staff support to the commission; and
107 (b) coordinate with the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel regarding
108 the commission.
109 (7) A meeting of the commission that takes place during a public health emergency is
110 not subject to Title 52, Chapter 4, Open and Public Meetings Act.
111 Section 5. Section 53-2c-202 is enacted to read:
112 53-2c-202. Commission duties -- Recommendations -- Governor's response.
113 (1) The commission shall advise and make recommendations to the governor regarding
114 the state's response to the COVID-19 emergency.
115 (2) As part of the commission's duties under Subsection (1), the commission shall:
116 (a) identify at least three economic and health guidance levels that may be used to:
117 (i) establish an overall risk assessment for the state; and
118 (ii) provide targeted risk assessments based on:
119 (A) geographic areas of the state;
120 (B) groups of individuals, based on each group's risk level of serious illness from
121 COVID-19 due to demographic characteristics, including age or underlying health conditions;
122 (C) groups of individuals, based on each group's personal experience with COVID-19,
123 including testing positive for, having symptoms of, or having recovered from COVID-19; or
124 (D) industries;
125 (b) establish criteria for assigning each economic and health guidance level described
126 in Subsection (2)(a);
127 (c) identify the social and economic activities that the commission recommends take
128 place or be restricted under each economic and health guidance level described in Subsection
130 (d) develop a plan to promote widespread testing of individuals for COVID-19;
131 (e) develop a plan to encourage individuals to use available technology to allow the
132 state to identify and track the prevalence and transmission of COVID-19; and
133 (f) develop universal communication elements for governmental entities to use in
134 messaging related to the COVID-19 emergency.
135 (3) (a) On or before April 22, 2020, the commission shall present a plan to the
136 governor that:
137 (i) provides for the state to operate under an economic and health guidance level
138 described in Subsection (2)(a)(i) that is immediately below the highest risk economic and
139 health guidance level;
140 (ii) includes reasonable guidelines under which health care providers may perform
141 elective surgeries and procedures and restaurants may resume or continue, subject to the
142 reasonable guidelines, normal operations; and
143 (iii) is available to the public.
144 (b) If the governor does not implement the commission's plan described in Subsection
145 (3)(a) on or before April 30, 2020, the governor shall, on or before April 30, 2020, issue a
146 public statement that explains the governor's decision, including the generally accepted data the
147 governor relied upon in reaching the decision.
148 (4) In conducting the commission's work, the commission shall focus on the overall
149 well-being of the state's residents by balancing economic and public health considerations and
150 exploring all options to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on daily life.
151 Section 6. Effective date.
152 If approved by two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, this bill takes effect
153 upon approval by the governor, or the day following the constitutional time limit of Utah
154 Constitution, Article VII, Section 8, without the governor's signature, or in the case of a veto,
155 the date of veto override.