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Requires signed statement for religious belief exemptions

Location: CT
Title: Requires signed statement for religious belief exemptions
Identifier: HB 6949
Stance: OPPOSE
Action Required: None at this time
Status: Passed, Public Act: 15-174; Effective: 7/1/2015

Description:

UPDATE: 7/6/2015 -  HB 6949 passed as amended and was signed by the governor on July 2, 2015.  The new law goes into effect on July 1, 2015 and requires parents using a religious belief exemption to annually present a statement and have it signed by by (A) a judge of a court of record or a family support magistrate, (B) a clerk or deputy clerk of a court having a seal, (C) a town clerk, (D) a notary public, (E) a justice of the peace, or (F) an attorney admitted to the bar of this state. 

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/ACT/PA/2015PA-00174-R00HB-06949-PA.htm - enacted version o HB 6949

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http://wnpr.org/post/bill-add-step-religious-exemptions-vaccination-goes-gov-malloys-desk#stream/0 - news article 

UPDATE: 5/8/2015 - HB 6949 was amended and passed by the full house on 5/7 by a vote of 86 to 56.  The amended version removes the notary requirement for religious exemptions and replaces it with a statement signed by a judge, clerk, justice of the peace or notary. 

"In order to remain enrolled in a program operated by a public or nonpublic school, the parents or guardian of any child who is exempt on religious grounds from the immunization requirements of this section, pursuant to subdivision (3) of this subsection, shall annually present to such school a statement that such immunization requirements are contrary to the religious beliefs of such child or the parents or guardian of such child, which statement shall be acknowledged, in accordance with the provisions of sections 1-32, 1-34 and 1-35, by (A) a judge of a court of record or a family support magistrate, (B) a clerk or deputy clerk of a court having a seal, (C) a town clerk, (D) a notary public, (E) a justice of the peace, or (F) an attorney admitted to the bar of this state."



http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/AMD/H/2015HB-06949-R00HA-AMD.htm - amendment to HB 6949

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/VOTE/H/2015HV-00073-R00HB06949-HV.htm - recorded vote in the house

UPDATE" 4/18/2015 - A public hearing was held for HB 6949 on March 18th.  The committee approved a substitute version of the bill that requires exemptions to be notarized, but the section requiring education has been dropped off.  The bill was placed on the calendar on 4/14/2015.

http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/FC/2015HB-06949-R000627-FC.htm - text of committee substitute 

http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2015&bill_num=6949 - history and status for HB 6949

Copies of testimony in the committee are available here - http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/CommDocTmyBillAllComm.asp?bill=HB-06949&doc_year=2015 

HB 6949 was introduced on 3/3/15 and referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health.  This bill is sponsored by by the Public Health Dept. The new law if passed, would go into effect on July 1, 2015.

Statement of Purpose for HB 6949:

To require that statements from the parents or guardian of a child seeking a religious exemption from a required immunization be notarized and include language attesting that such parents or guardian have reviewed and understand information regarding the risks of both immunization and failure to immunize.

New additions are underlined: 

(3) presents a notarized statement from the parents or guardian of such child that (A) such immunization would be contrary to the religious beliefs of such child, and (B) such parents or guardian have reviewed and understand evidence-based instructional material provided by the Department of Public Health regarding the risks to such child and to others of such child failing to receive adequate immunizations, except such statement need not be notarized if the commissioner waives the notarization requirement at the request of such parents or guardian; or 



 - text of HB 6949

http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&which_year=2015&bill_num=HB6949 - status and history for HB 6949