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Restricts religious exemptions to vaccination in NJ

Location: NJ
Title: Restricts religious exemptions to vaccination in NJ
Identifier: S1147/A1931
Stance: OPPOSE
Action Required: Contact your legislators and ask them to oppose
Status: S 1147 pending a vote in the full senate

Description:

UPDATE: 8/3/2015 - S1147 is still waiting to be heard for a vote in the full senate. 

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=S1147 - status and history for S1147

UPDATE: 5/15/2015 - We need a HUGE turnout in Trenton on May 18th (Monday, starting at 10am) and TONS of calls to the Senators.

NJ ALERT: S1147 POSTED FOR A VOTE IN THE SENATE ON MON, MAY 18 AT 2PM.

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/BillsForAgendaView.asp - agenda for the floor session 5/18

They don't just want to mandate vaccines. They want to obliterate the idea of choice. This is not about "anti-vaccine." Parents vaccinate their children bc they choose to do so -- not because they are forced.

We've counted the votes. THIS IS GOING TO BE VERY CLOSE. This is our best shot to close this bill down. We have a deep network -- we have to activate it now. We must take URGENT ACTIONS:

1. Get child care on 5/18... take off from work. COMMAND ATTENDANCE IN TRENTON, NJ -- ALL PARENTS, COLLEGE STUDENTS, HEALTH FREEDOM FIGHTERS. Plan to get there early, about 11am... we need to flood the zone and talk with Senators in the hallways.

2. Contact your Senator NOW.

-- EVEN IF you're 100% sure s/he's a NO, call anyway and CONFIRM. Every single vote matters. This is down to the wire. Thank them... and let them know that thousands of parents are with them. Remind them why this is a GOOD DECISION.

-- EVEN IF you're 100% sure s/he's a YES, call anyway and remind them that this is a VERY MESSY bill (talking points below) and they DO NOT NEED THIS HEADACHE NOW.

-- For those Senators who said they'd meet with you when the bill was posted. Well, IT'S POSTED!!! Get a meeting. Insist! Find out when s/he's in district this week and GO.

3. Think of FIVE PEOPLE you know, pick up the phone and tell them to do the same. This bill affects college students.

TALKING POINTS -- why is this bill needed? (if you want more talking points, PM one of the HFA FB page links below and we'll get it to you)

a. The current system is working and there is no emergency. 

- NJ's vaccine compliance rate is 98% (fully vaccinated plus provisional/transfer status). 

- There is no public health emergency. 

- The Disneyland measles cases were completely unrelated to exemptions... started at an amusement park, source was from overseas, over half the cases were adults, no deaths, only 136 cases, and did not gain traction in the greater community.

b. This is a very messy bill. 

- Implementation will violate the Constitution

- ACLU is expressing strong concern and opposition to analogous bills in other states. 

- It proposes to deny equal access to education to some students, including children without hep B vaccination -- while hepB positive children have completely unrestricted school attendance as a protected class under the American with Disabilities Act.

c. This bill threatens the vaccine program. Media coverage places attention on injury and new research, which makes parents nervous. The vaccine program needs trust and confidence to work. Coercion invites resistance.

d. It's controversial, expensive, and divisive. There's more to lose than to gain.

SHARE NOW. Join and like:

www.Facebook.com/groups/healthfreedomaction

www.Facebook.com/groups/NJCVC

www.Facebook.com/healthfreedomaction

Let's do this.

 =

UPDATE: 3/17/2015 - S 1147 is still waiting to be heard by the full senate for a vote.  

A1931 was passed by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on, March 16.  The bill will now go to the full assembly. 

Committee Voting:
AHE  3/16/2015  -  r/Aca  -  Yes {9}  No {1}  Not Voting {0}  Abstains {2}  -  Roll Call

  Conaway, Herb, Jr. (C) - Yes Benson, Daniel R. (V) - Yes Angelini, Mary Pat - Yes
  Eustace, Tim - Abstain Fuentes, Angel - Yes Green, Jerry - Abstain
  Handlin, Amy H. - Yes Jimenez, Angelica M. - Yes Munoz, Nancy F. - Yes
  Peterson, Erik - No Pinkin, Nancy J. - Yes Sumter, Shavonda E. - Yes

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=A1931 - status and history for A1931

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http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/BillsForAgendaView.asp - Committee hearing information 


Action Alert – Thursday, March 12, 2015


 


***URGENT*****URGENT*** ACTION NEEDED NOW


 


The Assembly has introduced their own bill to alter the religious exemption to vaccination in NJ.  A1931 is scheduled for a 10:00 am Assembly Health Committee meeting on MONDAY, MARCH 16, 2015.  We will need a HUGE turnout in Trenton, both testifying and just showing up.  (Please note:  This is a different bill than S1147, which was approved by the Senate Health Committee.)


 


A1931 requires a written statement "explaining how the administration of the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the student, or the parent or guardian."  As such it requires parents to explain and ultimately justify their deeply held personal and private religious beliefs to the government.


The full bill - http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A2000/1931_I1.PDF    


WHAT WE NEED NOW



Both calls and emails to Assembly Health Committee Members – Ask them to VOTE NO on A1931 and preserve the current religious exemption that is working as intended.  NJ does not Need A1931. (Calls are best - more points below)  Always be polite and let them know you are a NJ resident and a constituent (if in their district).  This is about our kids and families.  (The numbers in ( ) are the legislator’s district)


Herb Conaway (7) asmconaway@njleg.org 856-461-3997 (Bill Sponsor)

Daniel Benson (14) asmbenson@njleg.org 609-631-0198

Mary Pat Angelini (11) aswangelini@njleg.org 732-531-1045

Tim Eustace (38) asmeustace@njleg.org  (201) 576 - 9199

Angel Fuentes (5) asmfuentes@njleg.org  856-547-4800

Jerry Green (22) asmgreen@njleg.org  908-561-5757

Amy Handlin (13) aswhandlin@njleg.org  732-383-7820

Angelica Jimenez (32) aswjimenez@njleg.org  201-223-4247

Nancy Munoz (21) aswmunoz@njleg.org   908-918-0414

Erik Peterson (23) asmpeterson@njleg.org  908- 238-0251

Nancy Pinkin (18) aswpinkin@njleg.org 732-548-1406

Shavonda Sumter (35) aswsumter@njleg.org 973- 925-7061


TRENTON MONDAY MARCH 16TH 

Please email sonia@addsomecharm.com if you are able to make it to Trenton on Monday, March 16th.

Plan to meet in the Café at 9am.  More instructions and directions to be shared with those attending.


 

ADDITIONAL TALKING POINTS

Please add your personal message as well.

A1931 is discriminatory in nature as the bill sets the stage for unfair application of its dictates for people of numerous different faiths.

We strongly oppose A1931 because many families who warrant a religious exemption to vaccination will potentially be unable to qualify for that exemption if this bill passes.  A1931 requires a written statement…explaining how the administration of the vaccine conflicts with the bona fide religious tenets or practices of the student…”

A1931 is not needed and will require a cumbersome and discriminatory process for parents to exercise their right to claim a religious exemption to vaccination. A1931 will not change a child’s vaccination status; it will just subject the family trying to follow the law, to claim the religious exemption, to unfair and subjective harassment. 

Who will decide what constitutes a bona fide religious belief? Putting the state in the position to determine what is and what is not a legitimate religious belief is extremely troubling, problematic and creates a discriminatory process with potential constitutional infringement. 

The current religious exemption statute is sufficient and working as intended.  In 2008, a Health Department memo adopted a change in guidelines to correct the non-uniformity, harassment, intimidation and discrimination that parents were facing for several years. “NJDHSS hopes that the information provided will enable schools, child care facilities and local health departments to process requests for exemptions in a more uniform and expeditious manner.”  A1931 will turn back the clock and return us to the time of harassment and discrimination.

Please call your Assembly members and those above ask them to please STAND UP for parents, please PROTECT the exercise of religious freedoms, and please PREVENT violations of religious rights.    DO NOT SUPPORT A1931.

If you receive a response to your email, please follow up with a thank you for your response and provide additional information, reiterating your point.  If you are able to call and talk for a few minutes with your assemblyman or assemblywoman stop by their office, all the better.  Remember, be polite and calm, don’t get angry.


UPDATE: 3/9/2015 - S1147 passed the Senate Health Committee on 3/9/2015.  The bill will go to the full senate next.  Contact your state senator and ask them to vote NO on S 1147.

http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/03/nj_senate_committee_approves_restrictions_on_relig.html - news article

Action Alert – Wednesday, March 04, 2015       ***URGENT*****URGENT*** ACTION NEEDED NOW

The time has come:  S1147 (the bill to significantly alter the religious exemption to vaccination in NJ) is scheduled for a 1pm Senate Health Committee meeting on MONDAY, MARCH 9, 2015.  We will need a HUGE turnout in Trenton, both testifying and just showing up.  Unfortunately, we don’t know when the bill will be heard, so it will most likely be a long afternoon.  S1147 language - http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/S1500/1147_I1.PDF

WHAT WE NEED NOW

  1. Both calls and emails to the bills’ Sponsors, Senator Loretta Weinberg and Senator Joseph Vitale (Chair of Health Committee).   ASK THEM TO PULL THE BILL – NJ does not Need S1147.

Joseph Vitale (19) senvitale@njleg.org 732-855-7441 – S1147 Sponsor/Committee Chair

Loretta Weinberg (37) senweinberg@njleg.org  201-928-0100  - S1147 Sponsor

  1. Both calls and emails to Senate Health Committee Members– Ask them to VOTE NO on S1147 and preserve the current religious exemption that is working as intended.  (more points below)  Always be polite and let them know you are a NJ resident, a constituent (if in their district), not a paid lobbyist, this is about our kids and families.

Fred Madden (4) senmadden@njleg.org 856-232-6700

Dawn Marie Addiego ( 8) senaddiego@njleg.org 609-654-1498

Diane Allen  (7) senallen@njleg.org  856-314-8835

Richard Codey (27) sencodey@njleg.org  973-535-5017

Robert Gordon (38) sengordon@njleg.org 201-703-9779

Ronald Rice (28) senrice@njleg.org  973-371-5665 

Robert Singer (30) sensinger@njleg.org  732-987-5669 - Thank him for his opposition to S1147

Jim Whelan (2) senwhelan@njleg.org  609-383-1388  

Additional talking points: please add your personal message as well.

S1147 is discriminatory in nature as the bill targets religious constituents, exclusively, and it sets the stage for unfair application of its dictates for people of numerous different faiths.

We strongly oppose S1147 because many families who warrant a religious exemption to vaccination will potentially be unable to qualify for that exemption if this bill passes.  S1147 requires parents to obtain notary services, and possibly legal services, to fulfill its requirements. People of faith who currently have a religious exemption could face potential rejection and not be able to send their children to school.

 

S1147 is not needed and will require a cumbersome and discriminatory process for parents to exercise their right to claim a religious exemption to vaccination. S1147 will not change a child’s vaccination status; it will just subject the family trying to follow the law, to claim the religious exemption, to unfair and subjective harassment. 

 

Who will decide what constitutes a bona fide religious belief? Putting the state in the position to determine what is and what is not a legitimate religious belief is extremely troubling, problematic and creates a discriminatory process with potential constitutional infringement. 

 

The current religious exemption statute is sufficient and working as intended.  In 2008, a Health Department memo adopted a change in guidelines to correct the non-uniformity, harassment, intimidation and discrimination that parents were facing for several years. “NJDHSS hopes that the information provided will enable schools, child care facilities and local health departments to process requests for exemptions in a more uniform and expeditious manner.”  This is now occurring and needs no alteration.

 

Senator, please STAND UP for parents, please PROTECT the exercise of religious freedoms, and please PREVENTconstitutional rights violations.  DO NOT SUPPORT S1147.

Please email NJAICV@aol.com if you are able to make it to Trenton on Monday, March 9th. If you receive a response to your email, please follow up with a thank you for your response and provide additional information, reiterating your point.  If you are able to call and talk for a few minutes with your senator or stop by their office, all the better. Remember, be polite and calm, don’t get angry.


S1147 was introduced on Jan. 30, 2014 and is sponsored by Senator Loretta Weinberg.  This bill severally restricts religious exemptions to vaccination in New Jersey.  Last year this same bill was S1759. S1759 failed to come to a vote by the full senate.   



http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/S1500/1147_I1.PDF  - text of S1147

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/ - for status and history for S1147, put S1147 in the search for bills box

http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/2014/Bills/A2000/1931_I1.PDF - text of A1931

































































 

































































Contact your state legislators and tell them not to support S1147.































































Some talking points:
The state should have no role in judging whether it deems a family’s religious beliefs "bona fide."  This bill, if passed, is unconstitutionaldiscriminatory, and a violation of the First Amendment and NJ’s State Constitution. It is a violation of the separation of church and state.  It is a huge infringement on religious rights and constitutional rights and a complete overstepping of authority.
 
Trampling religious freedoms and forcing more people to use vaccines will not make the pertussis vaccine more effective. S1147 sponsors say this bill is in response to recent whooping cough outbreaks. However, these outbreaks have been among vaccinated populations. The CDC has stated the pertussis vaccine is ineffective and does not provide the promised protection because the disease continues to mutate.
If S1147 passes, NJ will require a cumbersome and discriminatory process in order for parents exercise their right to claim a religious exemption to vaccination. People of faith who currently have a religious exemption for their children would face potential rejection if S1147 becomes law. The religious exemption, under current law, is adequate. 
Please support parents rights, support freedom of religion and the Constitution by































































NOT SUPPORTING S1147.