How can we help Grand Island protect its citizens from coronavirus, state and federal government?

Yesterday I watched Rachel Maddow talk about the Mayor of Grand Island Nebraska begging the Federal government to help them.

It reminded me of an EPIC battle my friends at Nebraskans Against Gun Violence won to defeat a bill in which the state would preempt any local gun laws.

Back in the spring of 2017 NAGV’s Danni Layne and I both talked to Grand Island city attorney Jerry Janulewicz about the bill prior to the vote. We focused on safety. The preemption law would have prevented safe storage of guns, gun powder and ammunition. Laws would have to be changed or face lawsuits from NRA lawyers.

Besides a meat packing plant, Grand Island has a major ammunition manufacturer. We spoke with the public safety officials in the city and pointed out that local control is important, especially when the conditions in their city are different than in the rest of the state. For example fire safety laws around ammo storage.

The local fire marshal noted that if the gun preemption law was passed the city legally couldn’t enforce fire safety laws around ammunition storage.

The bill was defeated. The city was able to keep its safety laws.

 It occurred to me that there might be two kinds of local laws that Grand Island could use. One that could force health and safety measures at the plant if the Federal government says to open up. Another law could be used to shut the plant down it they are forced to open but the “voluntary” CDC guidelines aren’t being followed.  For example, “Oh look, dangerous “vapors” fall under the fire code! People in this plant need to have protective gear in the plant now since it is a HAZMAT situation under HHS and Federal bioterrorism laws (If Trump keeps insisting that it is from A lab in China.)

In addition, I believe that Nebraska is under a Federal emergency order as well as a state emergency. If I was a smart person I would look into what those laws actual say and see what I can COMPEL the Feds or the state to do to help. And then I would get my legislators to bring it up to the press, state-wide and nationally.

I’ll bet an Ernie Chamber’s level mind could find something in the state law to help. I don’t know Federal emergency law but shouldn’t Nebraska’s US Reps or Senators be looking into this?

Maybe someone in the these areas as well as public healthcare law contact city officials in Grand Island and suggest ways to use their local safety laws to protect its citizens from coronavirus. This is urgent now since the federal government and their own state’s governor have failed to protect them.

Comments are closed.