86th Texas Legislative Session Update
The 86th Texas Legislative Session will be concluding at the end of this month. If you were not able to keep up with all of the vaccine legislation this go round at the Capitol, here is what you need to know.
There were five anti-vaccine bills filed during the session, but only one of them – Senate Bill 2351 – received a hearing. SB 2351 would prevent physicians from dismissing families who choose not to vaccinate if it is passed. The bill was a result of Dr. Albert Karam’s decision earlier in the year to not see patients who hadn’t been vaccinated. A decision has yet to be made on SB 2351.
The Immunization Partnership filed two bills during the session – Senate Bill 329, addressing parents’ right to know; and House Bill 1966, addressing childcare center laws, which would allow the facilities to share already available information with parents.
TIP’s Director of Policy and Advocacy Rekha Lakshmanan testified in front of both committees as to why they were important to the safety of Texas. Immunize Texas, a gross roots organization that supports TIP’s mission, also had multiple representatives testify to the committees on behalf of the proposed bills.
However, a decision has yet to be made on those bills either as all vaccine legislation are slowly moving through the legislative process at the Capitol.
Despite the lethargic process at the Capitol, some good news has already been shared with Texas residents. Representative Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton) successfully introduced a budget amendment to require the state health department to conduct a one-time study about daycare center immunization coverage rates.
The hope is that the study reveals the dangers daycares are facing due to low immunization rates, which could spark mandates from the Texas congress.
If you would like to know the outcomes of both the pro and anti-vaccines bills from this legislative session, visit our website (www.immunizeUSA.org) at the conclusion of Texas’ 86th Legislative Session on Monday, May 27, 2019.