Update on the Status of SB 346.

Posted: March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

I just spent the last hour on the phone with Tarte, and I wanted to update you on SB346.

It seems that Tarte has had a bit of a change of views since proposing this bill the week before last. (Take that with a grain of salt as he IS a politician, after all.) He’s had thousands of emails, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings, all of which he seems to have listened to and taken into consideration. He claims that he believes that there actually should be rights for parents to refuse vaccines but with the addition of a consequence, if you will, that would bar children who are not vaccinated from attending public school. He thinks that there should be charter schools or something similar for unvaccinated and under-vaccinated kids to attend. (That’s another issue entirely, and believe me when I say that I unreservedly let him know my thoughts on that.) He claims to have even go so far as to suggest to senate leadership that the bill be pulled, but they all feel it’s simply too important of an issue to be swept under the rug. Unfortunately, with the media hype and whatnot, there’s no chance whatsoever that this bill will be killed. It just won’t, and there’s no point in fooling ourselves into thinking it’ll be pulled.

So, Tarte is going to recommend that SB346 be referred to a study committee. Unfortunately for him, now that the bill has been filed and referred to the Health Care Committee, the decision no longer lies in his hands alone. He has become the mouthpiece for it all, and has taken a lot of (I believe well-deserved) flack for being so outspoken in the beginning about wanting to remove parental rights, but we really can’t focus on him anymore. He has no real control over it anymore, so there’s no point in bombarding his Facebook wall with posts. We need to harness that passion and focus our efforts on the Health Care Committee as a whole, and I think we SHOULD push for it to be sent to a study group. Since we know it’s not going to be pulled, this is our second-best option. Now let me tell you why…

THE GOOD NEWS is that if it is sent to committee, they will begin hearing from experts and voters alike on all sides of the debate. It will be the perfect opportunity to begin fighting for adding a philosophical exemption. We need to line up experts, doctors, legal advocacy groups, pro-vaccine choice groups, etc to be ready to address the study committee when the time comes. Fortunately we have plenty of time to mobilize our troops because the study committees aren’t assigned until September, and don’t typically start meeting until October.

Let’s not lose momentum here. This started out looking bad, but has the potential of becoming a good thing if we are organized, thorough, and respectfully aggressive with our legislators. Keep at it!

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