|May 28, 2019
Repeal of non-Medical Vaccine Exemptions Becomes Law, and Other State House Highlights of the Week
The drama did not let up on the vaccine exemption bill (LD 798) this week. The final enactment vote occurred in the Senate, but not before some legislative scrambling as one senator who had voted to support the bill all along began to express some reticence. Finally things were worked out, another floor debate occurred, and the bill was enacted. Governor Janet Mills signed the bill into law the next day (Friday). Pediatricians around the state are already reporting an uptick in parents asking about immunizing their previously unvaccinated children. Some opponents continue to say they will be forced to leave the state. A similar threat was made in California when it enacted a similar bill, but school enrollments experienced an increase, not the threatened decrease. Time will tell what happens here.
In the coming week we expect the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to hold work sessions on some of the firearm safety bills. Among the remaining bills are LD 379 (safe storage), 1276 (background checks); and 1099 (waiting periods for purchase). LD 533, a "stand your ground" bill supported by the NRA and SAM, is still alive.
The legislature's committee work is almost finished. On June 3rd the Legislature moves to a 5-day-per-week schedule of full sessions in the House and Senate, where members will debate divided committee reports and process unanimous reports through the consent calendar with a goal of meeting the June 19th statutory adjournment deadline.
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