Scroll to bottom for instructions on how to take action.
A public hearing will take place on this coming Friday, October 19, 2012 at the Health Department in Burlington.
A letter has been submitted by our attorney to the Health Department – view it here.
Background: As reported in VT Commons and VT Digger in July, Act 157, (the “Vaccine Bill”) was implemented by the VT Health Department over the summer in the absence of Rules Making, which is required of any state agency when interpreting statutes into regulations. Aside from the lack of scientific references on the parent educational material, one major area that needs to be addressed by the Health Department is that the new exemption form they promulgated requires people to sign statements that they may not agree with, in violation of our First Amendment rights against compelled speech.
Unfortunately, the Health Department has continued to go about implementing their proposed changes, sending letters and instructions for daycare/childcare providers, parents and schools – despite the fact that the rulemaking process has not yet been completed. And their interpretation of the statute is beginning to have real impacts on real people.
Randolph mother Kristen Williams reports her situation in a letter sent to her representatives (French, Townsend) and senator (MacDonald) on October 11th. View her letter here. And in addition to Kristin, dozens of Vermonters have contacted me with similar concerns. This is why Attorney Mitchell L. Pearl of Langrock, Sperry and Wool has been contracted to represent us on this issue. A letter from his firm was sent to the Health Department this morning. View the letter here. Certainly, the VT legislature did not intend to pass a constitutionally infirm statute. Fortunately there are simple fixes, as outlined in Attorney Pearl’s excellent letter to Tracy Dolan.
Please take action TODAY, by:
- Sharing this letter from Mitchell L. Pearl with your lawmaker. Ask him or her to please urge the Health Department to heed this legal advice, and to fix the form, respecting our right to free speech.
- Sending your own comments to the Health Department by clicking here.