Requires communications about vaccine requirements include exemption information and that exemptions apply to students both applying & attending

State: LA
Bill Number: HB 399
Position: SUPPORT
Action Required: NONE
Status: Died, Senate failed to override Governor John Bel Edwards' veto by required 2/3 majority, House voted to override veto

Legislation Details:

UPDATE: 7/18/2023 - HB 399 died. The Senate voted 24 Yeas, 14 Nays, 1 Absent, less than the required 2/3 vote to override the governor's veto. The Senate reconsidered the and suspended the rules. The second vote by the Senate was 23 Yeas, 16 Nays, also less than the required 2/3 vote to override the veto. 

UPDATE: 7/18/2023 - The House voted to override the governor's veto by vote of 70 Yeas, 27 Nays, 8 Absent

The Senate failed to override the veto by a vote of 24 Ayes, 16 Nays, Absent. 

UPDATE: 6/27/2023 - HB 399 was vetoed by Governor John Bel Edwards on 6/27/2023. In his veto letter, Governor John Bel Edwards stated that, "House Bill 399 as passed the legislature is a covert attempt to undermine the faith of the public in vaccines," and "Perpetuating mistrust in vaccines that are safe, effective, and essential to public health is reckless and extremely dangerous." NVIC has reviewed the text of the Enrolled Bill, and finds no disparaging statements about vaccines that could be interpreted as perpetuating mistrust or undermining public faith in them, as indicated by the governor's statement. According to first 8 lines of bill's text, HB 399 is:

To amend and reenact R.S. 17:170(E) and (F) and to enact R.S. 17:170(G), relative to student immunization requirements; 

to require that any communication issued to students or their parents or guardians relative to immunization requirements include information relative to exemption from such requirements

to provide that exemptions apply to those attending schools in addition to those seeking to enter schools; 

to provide relative to students registered for courses that do not meet physically; and to provide for related matters. (bold emphasis added)

Informing parents of Louisiana of their lawful right to vaccine exemptions under the law fails to meet the criticism levied by the current governor. Elected state officials previously passed and enacted the exemption law, and NVIC agrees with the 2023 legislators that parents should be informed of their existing rights. Louisianans are encouraged to contact their Representative and Senator, and ask them to override the governor's veto, which requires a two-thirds majority of votes in both chambers.

UPDATE: 6/7/2023 - HB 399 was sent to the Governor John Bel Edwards for signature on 6/7/2023.

UPDATE: 6/6/2023 - HB 399, with the Senate amendments, was passed by the House on 6/6/2023 by a vote of 68 Yeas, 25 Nays. 

UPDATE: 6/5/2023 - HB 399 was received from the Senate with amendments and scheduled for concurrence on  6/6/2023.

UPDATE: 6/3/2023 - HB 399 was passed to 3rd and final reading in the Senate on 6/3/2023 by a vote of 28 Yeas and 11 Nays.

UPDATE: 6/1/2023 - HB 399 was amended in the Senate Committee on Education on 6/1/2023. The 6/1/2023 amendments empower administrators, upon recommendation of the office of public health, to exclude from attendance any student or client without sufficient records of immunization until the appropriate disease incubation period has expired or the person presents evidence of immunization. Some of the provisions of the bill do not apply to persons whose course registration is limited to correspondence online instruction or other meetings not held on the campus. The amendments do not change NVIC's position.

UPDATE: 5/31/2023 - HB 399 is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Education on Thursday, June 1st, 2023 at 9:00 AM in the John J. Hainkel, Jr. Room. View the hearing agenda HERE

Persons who do not feel comfortable giving testimony in person may submit a prepared statement in accordance with Senate Rule 13.79, in lieu of appearing before the committee. Statements may be emailed to [email protected] and must be received by the committee secretary at least four hours prior to the meeting to be included in the record for this committee meeting.

Persons desiring to participate in the meeting should utilize appropriate protective health measures and observe the recommended and appropriate social distancing.

UPDATE: 5/16/2023 - HB 399 was referred to the Senate Committee on Education on 5/16/2023.

UPDATE: 5/11/2023 - HB 399 passed the 3rd Reading in the House on 5/11/2023 by a vote of 64 Yeas, 28 Nays. The bill was ordered to the Senate.

UPDATE: 5/3/2023 - HB 399 was read by title, ordered engrossed and passed to House 3rd Reading on 5/3/2023. It is scheduled for a House floor debate on 05/11/2023. 

UPDATE: 5/2/2023 - HB 399 passed the House Committee on Education on 5/2/2023 by a vote of 7 Ayes, 3 Nays, and 1 Abstain

UPDATE: 4/28/2023 - HB 399 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Committee on Education on 5/2/2023 at 9:00 AM in Committee Room 1.  See agenda here

HB 399 was provisionally referred to the House Committee on Education on 3/30/2023 and first appeared in the Interim Calendar on 4/3/2023.  This bill is sponsored by Representative Edmonston

This bill requires that communications issued to students or parents about immunization requirements include exemption information and applies exemptions not only to students seeking to enter school but also to students attending school.

This bill also clarifies that exemptions not only apply to students seeking to enter school but also to students attending school. - text, status and history for HB 399