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2023/2024 Bills

Learn about the bills we are supporting and opposing this legislative session and take action.

Bills we Support

An Act Relative to Fair Educational Practices

Committee: Joint Committee on Education

Bill Status: S.272 was sent to a study. VERIFIED

“Sent to a study” refers to a procedure in which a legislative committee, deeming further examination necessary, sets a bill aside. This action commonly halts its progress or ‘kills the bill’ in the current legislative session, with the bill typically reintroduced in the following session for further consideration.

Verified means the bill status has been officially posted to the legislature website. 

Current Bill #: S.272

An Act Relative to the Protection of Medical Exemptions for Immunizations for School Attendance

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: Bill H.582 was sent to a study. VERIFIED

“Sent to a study” refers to a procedure in which a legislative committee, deeming further examination necessary, sets a bill aside. This action commonly halts its progress or ‘kills the bill’ in the current legislative session, with the bill typically reintroduced in the following session for further consideration.

“Verified” means the bill status has been officially posted to the legislature website. 

Current Bill #: H.582

Bill Synopsis: Proposed bill H.582 aims to specify and broaden the criteria a physician can use in consideration of a medical exemption to encompass the total health circumstances of a child.  The bill would protect physicians from any professional negative consequences for writing medical exemptions. Additionally, H.582 would preserve current law for the religious exemption to immunization for school attendance. 

Bills we Oppose

An Act Relative to Routine Childhood Immunizations

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: Extended to December 31st 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website.

Current Bill #: H.604

Bill Synopsis: H.604 would remove the religious exemption to vaccination, which would deny in-person schooling to children who desperately need it, including those from communities of color and underprivileged backgrounds, and those with special needs. H.604 will also require all schools to report immunization and medical exemption data to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to annually publish and make publicly available aggregate immunizations and exemptions data for each school and school district.

An Act Promoting Community Immunity

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: Extended to December 31st 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website.

Current Bill #: S.1458

Bill Synopsis: S.1458 and its companion bill H.2151 purports to improve and standardize immunization reporting but goes well beyond this reasonable goal.  It is complicated, wasteful, and blatantly coercive, not only for students but also for schools and physicians. 

Spanning nine pages, key concerns raised by S.1458 include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Allowing any physician to administer vaccinations to minors without parental consent or knowledge, with no limitations on age or intellectual ability. Furthermore, medical records pertaining to vaccinations would be concealed from parents.
  2. Granting private daycare centers, preschools, schools, or colleges/universities the ability to establish their own vaccination policies. This includes the potential to outright deny religious exemptions and impose additional vaccines beyond those specified by the MA-DPH.
  3. Restricting the criteria that physicians can consider when evaluating medical exemptions for vaccinations. Only narrowly defined “contraindications” would be permitted.
  4. Modifying the existing law for religious exemptions by mandating the use of a form prepared by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and requiring annual approval from the DPH.
  5. Compromising the privacy rights of medically fragile children who exercise a medical exemption, leaving them susceptible to exploitation.
  6. Granting the DPH the authority to alter medical and religious exemptions without undergoing a legislative process.

Read more

An Act Promoting Community Immunity

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: Extended to December 31st 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website.

Current Bill #: H.2151

Bill Synopsis: H.2151 and its companion bill S.1458  purports to improve and standardize immunization reporting but goes well beyond this reasonable goal.  It is complicated, wasteful, and blatantly coercive, not only for students but also for schools and physicians. 

Spanning nine pages, key concerns raised by H.2151 include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. Allowing any physician to administer vaccinations to minors without parental consent or knowledge, with no limitations on age or intellectual ability. Furthermore, medical records pertaining to vaccinations would be concealed from parents.
  2. Granting private daycare centers, preschools, schools, or colleges/universities the ability to establish their own vaccination policies. This includes the potential to outright deny religious exemptions and impose additional vaccines beyond those specified by the MA-DPH.
  3. Restricting the criteria that physicians can consider when evaluating medical exemptions for vaccinations. Only narrowly defined “contraindications” would be permitted.
  4. Modifying the existing law for religious exemptions by mandating the use of a form prepared by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and requiring annual approval from the DPH.
  5. Compromising the privacy rights of medically fragile children who exercise a medical exemption, leaving them susceptible to exploitation.
  6. Granting the DPH the authority to alter medical and religious exemptions without undergoing a legislative process.

Read more

An Act Enhancing Access to Abortion Care

Committee: Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Bill Status: Extended to December 31st 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website

Current Bill #: S.1114

Bill Synopsis:

Section 1 of H.1599 and S.1114 changes only a few words, but the impact is significant. Currently, the law allows, in narrow and specific circumstances, minors to consent to medical care without parental knowledge or consent and blocks parental access to medical records of that care.

The changes proposed by Section 1 would broaden the circumstances when minors can consent to care, allowing them to consent to care for the “prevention” of diseases, which would include vaccination.

Oppose Section 1 of H.1599 and S.1114 

An Act Enhancing Access to Abortion Care

Committee: Joint Committee on the Judiciary

Bill Status: Extended to April 30th 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website.

Current Bill #: H.1599

Bill Synopsis:

Section 1 of H.1599 and S.1114 changes only a few words, but the impact is significant. Currently, the law allows, in narrow and specific circumstances, minors to consent to medical care without parental knowledge or consent and blocks parental access to medical records of that care.

The changes proposed by Section 1 would broaden the circumstances when minors can consent to care, allowing them to consent to care for the “prevention” of diseases, which would include vaccination.

Oppose Section 1 of H.1599 and S.1114.

An Act Relative to Vaccines and Preventing Future Disease Outbreaks

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: S.1391 Extended to December 31st 2024 – VERIFIED

An extension occurs when committees require additional time to thoroughly review proposed legislation.

In the previous session, the Vargas bill had its reporting-out date extended to December 31st. However, it was ultimately reported out of the committee favorably with amendments in May.

An extension at this stage does not signify the end of the bills; they remain active. Therefore, continued advocacy or opposition is necessary.

“Unverified” indicates that both the clerks and legislative offices have provided the bill’s status, but it has not been officially posted to the legislature website.

Current Bill #: S.1391

Bill Synopsis: S.1391 would remove the religious exemption to vaccination, which would deny in-person schooling to children who desperately need it, including those from communities of color and underprivileged backgrounds, and those with special needs. S.1391 will also require all schools to report immunization and medical exemption data to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, to annually publish and make publicly available aggregate immunizations and exemptions data for each school and school district.

An Act Requiring Immunizations Against Preventable Diseases

Committee: Joint Committee on Public Health

Bill Status: Bill H.471 H.582 was sent to a study. VERIFIED

“Sent to a study” refers to a procedure in which a legislative committee, deeming further examination necessary, sets a bill aside. This action commonly halts its progress or ‘kills the bill’ in the current legislative session, with the bill typically reintroduced in the following session for further consideration.

“Verified” means the bill status has been officially posted to the legislature website. 

Current Bill #: H.471

Bill Synopsis: This bill proposes to mandate both the hepatitis A (Hep A) and human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccines to the required schedule for school attendance.

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