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(NECN: Josh Brogadir, Boston, Mass.) - The Massachusetts legislature is acting rapidly on a bill updating what the state can do in a public health emergency. The bill has languished on Beacon Hill for some time, but with the flue outbreak, its now racing through the legislature. Timing sped up a hearing, and ultimately unanimous senate approval of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparation and Response Bill in Massachusetts. The bill gives the public health commissioner the discretion to respond to an outbreak like the kind going on in Mexico - to close or evacuate buildings, enter private property, isolate or quarantine people, and to get and distribute meds and vaccines. A registry of Massachusetts volunteers would be created and would be activated in case of emergency. Plus the commissioner could request personnel from other states. The bill also protects health care workers from liability.