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Concerning authority of the commissioner and Immunization Officer to grant and revoke exemptions

Location: WV
Title: Concerning authority of the commissioner and Immunization Officer to grant and revoke exemptions
Identifier: SB 286
Stance: WATCH
Action Required: None at this time
Status: Approved by the governor on 3/31/2015, Effective 6/16/15

Description:

UPDATE: 4/1/2015 - SB 286 was approved by the governor on 3/31/2015. The new law goes into effect on June 16, 2015. 

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2015_SESSIONS/RS/pdf_bills/SB286%20SUB1%20enr2%20PRINTED.pdf - final version

UPDATE: 3/19/2015 - SB 286 was vetoed by the governor on 3/18/2015.  The bill was then amended by the senate and repassed, then passed by the house.  The governor vetoed the bill because of a technical error. 

http://www.governor.wv.gov/Documents/SB286veto.pdf - veto message

UPDATE: 3/15/2015 - According to this news article, The bill was headed to conference committee but failed to make a final night deadline for conference committee reports. The House ended up passing the Senate version of the bill without the House's amendment. 

http://58wchs.com/common/more.php?m=15&r=1&item_id=49271 - news article

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20150314/GZ01/150319457 - news article

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/bill_status/bills_history.cfm?INPUT=286&year=2015&sessiontype=RS - status and history, including text of amendments 

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/house/house_com_agendas.cfm?Chart=jud&input=Tuesday,%20March%2010,%202015 - hearing information 

UPDATE: 2/13/2015 - SB 286 has changed significantly with a substitute bill.  The new version does NOT include a religious exemption, even though the description at the top says it still does.   The bill gives the commissioner authority to appoint and employ an Immunization Officer to make determinations on medical exemptions. 

The bill also gives the health commissioner or the Immunization Officer the authority  to grant, renew, condition, deny, suspend or revoke exemptions to the compulsory immunization requirements of this section.  The Immunization Officer’s decision on a request for an exemption to the compulsory immunization requirements may be appealed to the State Health Officer.  The final determination of the State Health Officer is subject to a right of appeal pursuant to the provisions of article five, chapter twenty-nine a of this code, which is the section of the Administrative Code concerning contested cases.

The bill keeps existing law that requires any teacher school or state-regulated child care center personnel having information concerning any person who attempts to enter be enrolled in a school or state-regulated child care center for the first time without having been immunized against chickenpox hepatitis-b, measles,meningitis, mumps, diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough to report the names of all such persons to the county health officer commissioner. However, the bill does remove the section of existing law that makes it a misdemeanor offense to refuse to vaccinate a child. 

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2015_SESSIONS/RS/pdf_bills/SB286%20SUB1%20PRINTED.pdf - substitute version of SB 286

 http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/Code.cfm?chap=16&art=3#03 - link to current vaccine law

http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/oeps/immunization/requirements/Documents/64-95%20Imm_FINAL_FILE_APRIL.18.2014_Interpretive_Rule.pdf - current administrative rule concerning exemptions, see section 9

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SB 286 was introduced on 1/23/2015 and referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources; and then to Judiciary Committee.  The bill is sponsored by Senators Ferns, Trump, Blair, Boley, Gaunch, Leonhardt, Mullins and Karnes.  SB 286 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee on 2/3/2015

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/committees/senate/senate_com_agendas.cfm?input=February%203,%202015&Chart=hhr - committee agenda

HB 2556 was introduced on 2/2/2015 and referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources; and then to Judiciary Committee.  The bill is sponsored by Delegates Cowles, Lane, Sobonya, Householder, Pasdon, Kessinger, Fast, McGeehan and Storch. 

These bills would repeal the existing law, §16-3-4. Compulsory immunization of school children; information disseminated; offenses; penalties and replace it with a new law. (See link to current law below) 

The new law would also give authority to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources to propose rules for legislative approval to add or remove diseases requiring vaccination for school attendance. 

This bill makes changes to the medical exemption to allow a licensed physician in a contiguous state to write a medical exemption. The bill would add a religious belief exemption, however the religious exemption would require the signature of a medical doctor licensed to practice in West Virginia.   

NVIC Advocacy does not support requiring a doctor signature on a religious exemption or mandates, additional mandates or giving rule-making authority to the Dept. of Health to decide which new vaccine mandates will be added.  Also, according to this news article, the exemption part has already been removed - http://news.yahoo.com/look-vaccine-related-legislation-several-states-074540112.html 

A state Senate committee this week stripped language from a bill that would have allowed parents to claim religious exemptions from childhood vaccinations.

The bill by Republican Sen. Ryan Ferns would have changed that. Parents would have been able to sign affidavits saying certain vaccinations for their children were against their religious beliefs. That language was removed this week.

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2015_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb286%20intr.htm

 - text of SB 286

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/bill_status/bills_history.cfm?INPUT=286&year=2015&sessiontype=RS - status and  history for SB 286

 http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/Code.cfm?chap=16&art=3#03 - link to current vaccine law

http://www.dhhr.wv.gov/oeps/immunization/requirements/Documents/64-95%20Imm_FINAL_FILE_APRIL.18.2014_Interpretive_Rule.pdf - current administrative rule concerning exemptions, see section 9

http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2015_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb286%20intr.htm
http://www.legis.state.wv.us/Bill_Text_HTML/2015_SESSIONS/RS/BILLS/sb286%20intr.htm