Updated February 6, 2018
Phone calls needed to gain support for this excellent bill! Please Help!
PA Representatives Russ Diamond and Francis X. Ryan have introduced HB2037 that will require schools to disclose vaccine exemption information whenever vaccination policies for school attendance are communicated. This bill has been assigned to the House Education Committee.
Every school year, notices of the school’s vaccine requirements are announced to parents via school websites, emails, and letters. Even though Pennsylvania State Law guarantees both medical and religious exemptions from vaccination for school admission, most PA schools do not and have never informed parents of their rights. Many even deliberately and repeatedly refused to tell parents about them. School nurses have even admitted that they purposely withheld this information.
PLEASE HELP US GET SUPPORT FOR THIS IMPORTANT BILL!
ACTION STEPS NEEDED:
- Find and record contact info for your state representative: http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/home/findyourlegislator/
- Telephone Calls:
Call either the Harrisburg or district office and tell the staff member that you would like your State Representative “to support and co-sponsor HB2037, sponsored by Representatives Russ Diamond and Francis Ryan”. Thousands of bills are introduced annually and your representative may not know about this bill or why it is necessary, so be patient. You can leave this message with a staff member and offer your contact info for a call back (if you wish). (See Talking Points below)Contact House Education Committee members (contact info below) and politely ask them to support the bill (or thank the ones who have co-sponsored it).
Majority (Republican) Members
- Hickernell, David S. 717-367-5525 Chairman
- Hill, Kristin, (717) 428-9889
- Brown, Rosemary M. (570) 420-8301
- English, Harold A. (412) 487-6605
- Fee, Mindy (717) 664-4979 ** Cosponsor
- Gillen, Mark M. (610) 775-5130 ** Cosponsor
- Grove, Seth M. (717) 767-9857 ** Cosponsor
- Lewis, Harry, Jr. (610) 269-1289
- McGinnis, John D (814) 946-7218
- O’Neill, Bernie (215) 441-2624
- Quigley, Thomas J. (610) 792-1280
- Rapp, Kathy L. (814) 723-5203
- Reese, Mike (724) 423-6503
- Staats, Craig T. (215) 536-1434
- Tallman, Will (717) 259-7805 ** Cosponsor
- Tobash, Mike (570) 385-8235
Minority (Democrat) members
- James Roebuck, Jr, Democratic Chair (215) 724-2227
- Ed Gainey (412) 665-5502
- Carol Hill-Evans (717) 848-9595
- Patty Kim (717) 986-1673
- Mark Longietti (724) 981-4655
- Maureen Madden (570) 894-7905
- Stephen McCarter (215) 572-5210
- Dan L. Miller (717) 783-1850
- Gerald Mullery (570) 740-7031
- Michael Schlossberg (610) 821-5577
- Jared Solomon (215) 342-6340
To make the most impact, schedule a face-to-face meeting with your own representative or a staff member at their regional offices. Building relationships is the most effective way to be influential for the current and any future bills. Your legislators want to hear what issues are of concern to their constituents. Explain why this issue is important to you personally. Considerately sharing your concerns is YOUR privilege and opportunity to educate them on an unfamiliar topic. It is always good to leave something behind. You can leave your own written letter about this bill, or find something from our printable resources page.
If you want to do more, send a followup letter or e-mail to the legislator. Obtain the correct e-mail address for both the legislator and the staffer. Paper letters are taken more seriously, but e-mails contain the imbedded links, so you may want to send both.
HB 2037 Talking Points: Try to limit your discussion to Points 1 and 2, unless the conversation requires additional discussion.
- Pennsylvania State Law guarantees both medical and religious exemptions from vaccination for school admission, however, most PA schools have never informed parents of their rights. Many even deliberately and repeatedly refused to tell parents about them. Some schools have ignored the availability of exemptions and threatened to ban students from attending unless vaccines were administered or a vaccination plan was submitted. Other schools have called on parents to explain their reasons for claiming exemptions, even though the state law does not require them to justify their exercise of this right.
- HB2037 ONLY REQUIRES SCHOOLS TO DISCLOSE CURRENT PA LAW ON VACCINE EXEMPTIONS, enabling parents to make fully informed decisions for their children. Informing parents of their existing rights should not be controversial.
- Children who have previously experienced adverse reactions to vaccines could be further injured if their parents, unaware of exemptions, were pressured into further vaccinating them for school.
- Many pro-life families who object to vaccines using fetal cells, and vegetarians who oppose ingredients obtained from animals, have not been made aware of medical and religious exemptions. The CDC Pink Book gives a complete vaccine ingredient list: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/B/excipient-table-2.pdf
State law providing a right to vaccine exemptions is meaningless if it is ignored by schools. Schools must have a duty under state law to provide parents complete information necessary to understand their rights, especially when it comes to state-mandated medical procedures that can injure or kill.
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January 26, 2018
We have EXCELLENT news to share!!
Pennsylvania Representative Russ Diamond has introduced legislation that will require schools to disclose vaccine exemption information on all correspondence with parents regarding vaccination requirements.
It’s time for us to rally support to get this bill passed
PLEASE call these majority members of the House Education Committee and urge them to vote YES to HB 2037.
Hickernell, David S. 717-367-5525
Hill, Kristin, (717) 428-9889
Brown, Rosemary M. (570) 420-8301
English, Harold A. (412) 487-6605
Fee, Mindy (717) 664-4979
Gillen, Mark M. 610-775-5130
Grove, Seth M. 717-767-9857
Lewis, Harry, Jr. 610-269-1082
McGinnis, John D 814-946-7218
O’Neill, Bernie 215-441-2624
Quigley, Thomas J. 610-792-1280
Rapp, Kathy L. 814-723-5203
Reese, Mike 724-423-2812
Staats, Craig T. 215-536-1437
Tallman, Will 717-259-7805
Tobash, Mike 570-385-8238
Informing parents of their rights should not be controversial. Our state government has a duty to inform its citizens of their legal rights, especially when it comes to state-mandated medical procedures that can injure or kill. It should be illegal to withhold information from parents about vaccine risks and their legal right to vaccine exemptions for their children.