BILL FAILED IN COMMITTEE.
Archive of the talking points and links are maintained here.
MAINE LD 606 (HP 419) is a bill that would remove the philosophical exemption from the immunization requirements for school students and employees of nursery schools and health care facilities. LD 606 (HP 419)has been referred to the Committee on Health and Human Services. This bill is scheduled to come before the committee on 5/11/15. Visit Vax Maine Kids for even more specific information and ways to get involved.
Read full bill text here
WHAT TO DO
Contact members of the Committee on Health and Human Services.*This bill is scheduled for a committee vote on May 23, 2015! Take a few minutes to call or email each committee member urging them to vote YES on LD 606 (HP 419).
Senator Eric L. Brakey Eric.Brakey@legislature.maine.gov
Chair Senator Earle L. McCormick 207-724-3228, e-mail: Earle.McCormick@legislature.maine.gov
Senator Anne M. Haskell 207-871-5808, e-mail: Anne.Haskell@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Andrew Gattine Andrew.Gattine@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Peter C. Stuckey 207-773-3345, e-mail: Peter.Stuckey@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Matthew J. Peterson 207-776-8051, e-mail: Matthew.Peterson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Scott M. Hamann Scott.Hamann@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Christine S. Burstein Christine.Burstein@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Patricia Hymanson Patricia.Hymanson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Deborah J. Sanderson 207-623-2168, e-mail: Deborah.Sanderson@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Richard S. Malaby 207-422-3146 e-mail: Richard.Malaby@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Frances M. Head Frances.Head@legislature.maine.gov
Representative Karen Vachon Karen.Vachon@legislature.maine.gov
You can send written testimony to the committee clerk Annie-Laurie Buckman at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask that it be included in the committee materials for the 6/11/15 meeting.
You can also contact your state senator/representative (senate for LD 606 and house for HP 419) and let them know you are in support these bills, and ask them to contact the members of the committee in support of the bill as well.
There are children in our schools and nursery schools who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and they are left vulnerable to outbreaks when people choose to decline vaccines. We must eliminate philosophical exemptions because one person’s philosophy should not infringe on another child’s right to be healthy.
Maine has the 5th highest rate of school immunization exemptions in the U.S., with 5.5% of Kindergarteners exempted in the 2013-14 school year (compared to 4.3% in the 2012-13 school year and 3.9% in the 2011-12 school year)*
In 2013, Maine ranked 7th lowest in the country for immunizing children aged 19-35 months, with an estimated 68% up-to-date on their immunizations, a decrease from 72.6% in 2012.*
The bill is reasonable policy because it still gives people a choice about vaccines while strengthening vaccine rates and creating safer environments for vulnerable members of the community who cannot be vaccinated.