House Bill 1015 and Senate Bill 5005: Requiring Immunization Exemptions to be Signed by Healthcare Practitioner

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Last Updated: 2/23/2011
House Bill 1015 and Senate Bill 5005: Requiring Immunization Exemptions to be Signed by Healthcare Practitioner
House Senate
Sponsors:
Representatives Bailey, Cody, Hinkle, Appleton, Seaquist, Roberts, Kagi, Jinkins, Johnson, Warnick, Orcutt, Moeller, Pedersen, Billig, Ladenburg, and Van De Wege
Sponsors:
Senators Keiser, Honeyford, Pflug, Becker, Regala, Carrell, Hobbs, Nelson, Rockefeller, Shin, and Chase
Summary:

House Bill 1015 would add a requirement for any parents who wants to exempt their child from immunizations because of their religious beliefs or due to a philosophical or personal objection to the immunization. Under the bill, a parent would have to certify their exemption on a form prescribed by the Department of Health and have a health care practitioner sign it as well. The health care practitioner would have to certify that he or she provided the parent seeking the exemption with information about the benefits and risks of immunization to the child.

House Bill 1015 may cause parents with religious or philosophical objections to immunizations unnecessary hardship to claim their exemption as there will be nothing to prohibit their health care practitioner from refusing to sign the form out of a disagreement with the parents beliefs.

Parents are required to submit proof of immunization or a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption to immunization if their child attends a public or private school. Homeschool students, either reporting as a home-based education student or enrolled in an extension program of a private school, are not required to show proof of immunization unless they attend the public or private school.

This bill has passed the House but is slightly different than the Senate companion bill, SB 5005.

Summary:

Senate Bill 5005 would add a requirement for any parents who wants to exempt their child from any immunizations because of their religious beliefs or due to a philosophical or personal objection to the immunization. Under the bill, a parent would have to certify their exemption on a form prescribed by the Department of Health and have a health care practitioner sign it as well. The health care practitioner would have to certify that he or she provided the parent seeking the exemption with information about the benefits and risks of immunization.

Senate Bill 5005 may cause parents with religious or philosophical objections to immunizations unnecessary hardship to claim their exemption as there will be nothing to prohibit their health care practitioner from refusing to sign the form out of a disagreement with the parents beliefs. Both the Senate and the House have passed SB 5005 but each passed slight different versions of the bill. Therefore, they will have to reconcile these version before the bill can be sent to the Governor.

Parents are required to submit proof of immunization or a medical, religious, or philosophical exemption to immunization if their child is attending a public or private school. Homeschool students, either reporting as a home-based education student or enrolled in an extension program of a private school, are not required to show proof of immunization unless they attend the public or private school.

Status:

12/13/2010 Prefiled for introduction.
01/10/2011 First reading, referred to Health Care & Wellness.
01/19/2011 Public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 8:00 AM.
01/31/2011 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 1:30 PM.
HCW - Executive action taken by committee.
HCW - Majority; do pass. (Majority Report)
020/4/2011 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
02/11/2011 Placed on second reading suspension calendar.
02/14/2011 Committee recommendations adopted.
Placed on third reading.
Third reading, passed; yeas, 79; nays, 14; absent, 0; excused, 5.
Vote on final passage will be reconsidered.
Third reading, passed; yeas, 75; nays, 18; absent, 0; excused, 5
IN THE SENATE
2/15/2011 First reading, referred to Health & Long-Term Care.
3/17/2011 Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care at 1:30 PM.

Status:

12/13/2010 Prefiled for introduction.
01/10/2011 First reading, referred to Health & Long-Term Care. (View Original Bill)
01/17/2011 Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care at 1:30 PM.
01/19/2011 Executive action taken in the Senate Committee on Health & Long-Term Care at 8:00 AM.
HEA - Majority; do pass. (Majority Report)
01/20/2011 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
02/01/2011 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.
02/22/2011 Floor amendment(s) adopted.
Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.
Third reading, passed; yeas, 35; nays, 11; absent, 0; excused, 3.
IN THE HOUSE
2/23/2011 First reading, referred to Health Care & Wellness.
3/09/2011 Public hearing in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 8:00 AM.
3/16/2011 Executive action taken in the House Committee on Health Care & Wellness at 9:00 AM.
HCW - Executive action taken by committee.
HCW - Majority; do pass with amendment(s). (Majority Report)
Minority; do not pass. (Minority Report)
3/21/2011 Passed to Rules Committee for second reading.
3/23/2011 Placed on second reading by Rules Committee.
3/25/2011 Committee amendment adopted with no other amendments.
Rules suspended. Placed on Third Reading.
Third reading, passed; yeas, 66; nays, 29; absent, 0; excused, 2.

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA is opposed to this bill as it seeks to restrict the right of parents to determine what is in the best interest of their children regarding their immunizations.

HSLDA's Position:

HSLDA is opposed to this bill as it seeks to restrict the right of parents to determine what is in the best interest of their children regarding their immunizations.

Action Requested:
None at this time
Action Requested:

1) Please call and email your state senator and representative as well as the legislative leadership listed below and give them this message in your own words:

"Please oppose Senate Bill 5005. This bill will impose an undue burden on parents with a religious, philosophical or personal objection to immunizations by forcing them to have a health care provider sign off on their personal convictions. Parents should be able to consult with their medical providers and make their own decision on the immunization of their children without having to get their provider's signature as well. Releasing the health care provider from liability for signing the certificate of exemption is not enough. Senate Bill 5005 should not be passed."

You do not need to identify yourself as a homeschooler or reveal your affiliation with any organization; instead you can identify yourself as a concerned parent and constituent.

To find the contact information for your state senator or state representative visit HSLDA's Legislative Toolbox.

Washington Legislative Leadership

Senate Majority Leader
Sen. Lisa Brown
Phone: (360)786-7604
Email: lisa.brown@leg.wa.gov

Senate Majority Floor Leader
Sen. Tracey Eide
Phone: (360) 786-7658
Email: tracey.eide@leg.wa.gov

Senate Republican Leader
Sen. Mike Hewitt
Phone: (360) 786-7630
Email: mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov

Senate Republican Floor Leader
Sen. Mark Schoesler
Phone: (360) 786-7620
Email: mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov

House Speaker
Rep. Frank Chopp (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7920
Email: Frank.Chopp@leg.wa.gov

House Majority Leader
Rep. Pat Sullivan (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7858
Email: Pat.Sullivan@leg.wa.gov

House Majority Floor Leader
Rep. Tami Green (D)
Phone: (360) 786-7958
Email: Tami.Green@leg.wa.gov

Minority Leader
Rep. Richard DeBolt (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7896
Email: Richard.DeBolt@leg.wa.gov

Minority Floor Leader
Rep. Charles Ross (R)
Phone: (360) 786-7856
Email: Charles.Ross@leg.wa.gov

Background:

House Bill 1015 has passed the House but has not passed the Senate. However,
the Senate version of this bill has passed both the Senate and the House. However, Senate Bill 5005 has two different version that will need to be reconciled. Please see the bill page for SB 5005.

While homeschool parents will not be affected by House bill 1015,
unless they want to have their child attend a public or private
school, we believe that this is attack on parents' rights to decide
whether they should immunize their children. Please act now to try to
stop Senate Bill 5005.

Background:

Senate Bill 5005 has passed both the Senate and the House. However,
the version of the bill to pass the House was different from what the
Senate passed. The bill will have to be reconciled. While the House
version is better than the Senate version, neither are good bills.

While homeschool parents will not be affected by Senate Bill 5005,
unless they want to have their child attend a public or private
school, we believe that this is attack on parents' rights to decide
whether they should immunize their children. Please act now to try to
stop Senate Bill 5005.

 Other Resources

House Bill Text

House Bill History

 Other Resources

Senate Bill Text

Senate Bill History