Hillsong Church, Phoenix/Twitter
By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services
It’s promoted as a measure to ensure that no future governor shuts down religious services during an emergency.
But some legislators worry that the actual wording of the legislation would give churches and other religious organizations not only special privileges to operate during pandemics and other situations, but potentially immunize them from lawsuits over child abuse.
HB2648 would spell out in statute that religious services “are declared an essential service and are deemed necessary and vital to the health and welfare of the public.” The bill already has cleared the House and now awaits a Senate floor vote.