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Adds new mandates to vaccines required for school, proposed PBE removed

Location: MT
Title: Adds new mandates to vaccines required for school, proposed PBE removed
Identifier: HB 158
Stance: OPPOSE
Action Required: None at this time
Status: Signed by the governor on 3/29/2015, Effective Oct. 1, 2015


UPDATE: 3/29/2015 - HB 158 was signed by the Governor on 3/27/2015. The new law and mandates go into effect on Oct. 1, 2015. 

UPDATE: 3/18/2015 - HB 158 passed a 3rd and final vote on 3/9/2015 in the full senate.  The house concurred with amendments on a vote of Y51 N49.  The bill was sent to the governor on 3/17/2015.

The final version adds chickenpox mandate and TDaP mandate for 7th graders and does not add a personal belief exemption which was amended out. - final version - news article about the bill

UPDATE: HB 158 was amended and passed 2nd reading on 3/6/2015.  The bill was amended by the Senate Education Committee.  The version that passed adds a mandate for chickenpox and TDaP for 7th graders.  The bill has been amended to remove the proposed personal belief exemption.   HB 158 will have a 3rd and final vote on 3/9/2015. 

Previous versions added a personal belief exemption, the amended version removes it. - text of version that passed 2nd reading in the senate$BLAC.VoteTabulation?P_VOTE_SEQ=S816&P_SESS=20151 - vote on HB 158 on 2nd reading 



UPDATE: 2/6/2014 - Scheduled for a hearing on 2/9/2015. 

Rep. Margie MacDonald, said she plans to ask a Senate committee to remove the amendment. Her original bill sought to add chicken pox and whooping cough to the list of required childhood vaccines. - news article$CMTE.ActionQuery?P_COM_NM=(S)+Education+and+Cultural+Resources&P_ACTN_DTM=&U_ACTN_DTM=&Z_ACTION2=Find&P_SESS=20151 - committee information. 

UPDATE: 2/4/2015 - HB 158 passed 3rd and final vote by the full house on Feb. 2, 2015.  The bill now goes to the senate and has been referred to the Senate Education and Cultural Resources Committee.   

UPDATE: 1/25/2015 - HB 158 had a hearing on Jan. 21, 2015 in the Education Committee at 3:00 PM, Room 317.  HB 158 was amended by this committee. The amended version removes the ability of the health department to add new mandates by rule, but now adds a chickenpox mandate and removes the statement in law saying pertussis vaccination is not required for a person 7 years of age or older, which in effect will add an additional mandate for TDaP. The bill as currently written adds a personal belief exemption and removes this statement from current law - A person who falsely claims a religious exemption is subject to the penalty for false swearing provided in 45-7-202.

While the addition of a personal belief exemption is positive, NVIC Advocacy does not support the addition of any new vaccine mandates.  Also, this bill could be amended again, so it needs to be watched. 

Also, in an AP article, the following statement was made:


A Republican lawmaker has added an amendment to an immunization bill that would allow for a greater number of parents to opt out of vaccinations altogether.

The amended version would allow parents to forgo vaccinations for their children based on "personal beliefs." Montana law already allows exemptions for medical reasons and religious beliefs. It passed the House on a 95-4 vote this week.

Republican Rep. Greg Hertz, who added the amendment, said he did so to extend rights to parents who are not religious, giving them a route to opt out of vaccinations.

The Democratic sponsor of the bill, Rep. Margie MacDonald, said she plans to ask a Senate committee to remove the amendment. Her original bill sought to add chicken pox and whooping cough to the list of required childhood vaccines. - news article - link to amended bill 

Committee Members:

Committee Members$CMTE.ActionQuery?P_COM_NM=(H)+Education&P_ACTN_DTM=&U_ACTN_DTM=&Z_ACTION2=Find&P_SESS=20151 - Education Committee web page

Member Assignment
Sarah Laszloffy  (R) HD 53  Chair
Debra Lamm  (R) HD 60  Vice Chair
Edith (Edie) McClafferty  (D) HD 73  Vice Chair
Bryce Bennett  (D) HD 91  Member
Jeff Essmann  (R) HD 54  Member
Moffie Funk  (D) HD 82  Member
Edward Greef  (R) HD 88  Member
Greg Hertz  (R) HD 12  Member
Kathy Kelker  (D) HD 47  Member
G. Bruce Meyers  (R) HD 32  Member
Matthew Monforton  (R) HD 69  Member
Jean Price  (D) HD 24  Member
Daniel R Salomon  (R) HD 93  Member
Nicholas Schwaderer  (R) HD 14  Member
Susan Webber  (D) HD 16  Member
Laura Sankey Legislative Branch Staffer
Nadia Zylawy Secretary

HB 158 was introduced on Jan. 7, 2015 and referred to the House Education Committee. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Margaret MacDonald. 

 The bill changes current law that requires school children in Montana to be vaccinated for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis (DTaP),Haemophilus Influenzae Type B (Hib), Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), Polio (IPV or OPV) and Varicella (Chickenpox), to allow the health department to determine which vaccines are required by giving them rule making authority to do so.

This opens the door for vaccines that are currently only recommended to be added to the list of vaccines required for school including,  Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Influenza, Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine, Pneumococcal Conjugate vaccine (PCV) and Rotavirus.

The bill as currently drafted does not change current exemptions medical and religious exemptions.  Montana does not have a conscientious or personal belief exemption.  However, bills are often amended during the legislative process so changes could be made through amendments.$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=158&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20151  - status and history for HB 158 - text of HB 158.