AB 659, the HPV Vaccine Bill passes out of Assembly Appropriations Committee and is Amended Again!
Will be Voted on by the full Assembly this week
Contact Your Local Assembly Member today!
Bill Update: AB 659 originally required the HPV vaccine for California public and private school 8-12th graders, and then all public higher education establishment enrollees in California, before it was amended to remove these mandates. What remains in the bill is a statement state policy that all under 26 year olds are expected to get the HPV vaccine in order to enter 8th grade in California public or private schools and all public higher education establishments. The bill was further amended yesterday, May 22, to incorporate two key aspects which A Voice for Choice Advocacy has been lobbying for:
1) An exemption for Homeschoolers
2) A requirement that the notifications would occur within the normal process used at each school, and that they adhere to the current law requiring that the notifications use whatever languages are statistically significant for each school
While this is bill continues to improve it still has flaws which will cause unintended consequences. AVFCA still opposes the bill in its current form because the language stating that the HPV vaccine is "expected," is confusing and does not make it clear that it is not required for 8th grade or college/university entry. AVFCA is in communication with the author's office and assembly members to work towards further amending the bill so that either this entire section is removed or that the wording is changed and rather than being "expected," the HPV vaccine is recommended or encouraged. There also needs to be an exemption for children who have an Independent Education Plan (IEP) as many of these special needs children do not have the capacity to understand such a notice. You can read AVFCA's letter of Oppose unless Amended here: [link removed] [[link removed]]
The Assembly will have floor sessions most days this week and next week to ensure the passage of over 1000 bills. With these amendments AB 659 has to stay on file for 72 hours and so cannot be voted on by the full assembly before this Thursday.
Action Alert: Please commit to taking ALL four actions, not just some, as they all serve a different purpose and to defeat the HPV Vaccine Mandate will require every effort. (e.g. writing an email is no substitute for meeting your legislator in person)
1) Email your Assembly Member using AVFCA’s easy to use online portal. This is a new email action, so please email even if you already did so previously.
Go to [link removed] [[link removed]] and send an email legislators to request Asm Aguiar-Curry to remove the HPV vaccine expectation or change the language. Please personalize the body of this email, as otherwise legislators think it is a bot that sent the email and ignore it. Note: the AVFCA portal does not send you what you wrote, so before you click submit, you may want to copy it to a personal document it so you have it for future reference.
2) Make an appointment TODAY to meet with your CA Assembly Member and their staff to ask them to request AB 659 be amended to remove the confusing and coercive language.
- Not sure who that is - enter your address here: [link removed] [[link removed]] (Note: No need to contact your Senator yet)
- Not sure how to set up a meeting and build a trusted relationship with your legislators - watch this webinar: [link removed] [[link removed]] . Be sure to mention you are a constituent.
- Not sure what to say – review AVFCA’s letter of oppose unless amended linked above
3) If you have not already done so, submit a letter of opposition to the Legislative Portal, as an individual and on behalf of any organization you represent, and encourage other organizations to do the same:
- Write a brief letter in your own words asking the Assembly Health Committee to OPPOSE AB 659 to remove the HPV Vaccine Mandate. This does not need to be more than a few sentences stating “I oppose AB 659 bill because ….”. Make sure your letter is polite, to the point, and sounds convincing. Remember you are trying to sway the legislators to vote the way you want them to, not alienate them. If you can write on behalf of an organization or company, be sure to put your letter on a letterhead and sign it, so that it gets recognized.
- Create an account or sign in at [link removed] [[link removed]]
- Click “Submit a letter” and enter the bill number (AB 659), and follow the instructions to upload your letter
4) Forward this email to anyone in California, and ask them to do the same. More details can be found here: [link removed] [[link removed]]
Over the past 8 years, A Voice for Choice Advocacy has established itself as the leading legislative organization lobbying in the California Capitol for your health rights. While A Voice for Choice Advocacy's lobbying activity in the Capitol is important, your positive constituent relationships with your CA State Senator and Assembly Member and their staff are critical to assisting with A Voice for Choice Advocacy's efforts in the Capitol.
If you found this information helpful and appreciate the work A Voice for Choice Advocacy is doing, please support us by making a donation today.
Together we can make change happen!
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