Assemblyman Buchwald’s Legislation to Allow School Bus Drivers and Others to Administer Epinephrine Passes NYS Assembly

June 15, 2017

For thousands of children in New York, a routine school bus trip could turn into a life or death struggle when severe allergies or a bee sting trigger anaphylaxis shock. But legislation sponsored by State Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-Westchester), will allow school bus company employees, and employees of other school contractors to administer a life-saving dose of epinephrine, using an EpiPen or similar epinephrine auto injector that many of these children carry with them.

“We previously passed legislation authorizing school officials to administer epinephrine auto injectors but most school bus drivers work for independent companies, not the school district,” explained Assemblyman Buchwald. “This legislation will authorize employees of firms providing services to school districts to deliver this vitally important protection to our youngsters who have severe allergies.”

Chappaqua resident Stacey Saiontz who campaigned for the legislation said, “Thank you Assemblyman Buchwald for not only recognizing the need for this life saving bill but for your hard work to make it a reality. Several thousand New York school children with food allergies are currently bussed to and from school each day. When a child experiences anaphylaxis, there is simply not enough time to wait for emergency personnel to arrive on the scene. Recently, a school bus driver in Massachusetts saved a student’s life when emergency personnel could not arrive on the scene in time. I am so pleased that New York school bus drivers will be able to do the same.”

“It's great news that the State Assembly has passed the bill and we thank Assemblyman Buchwald for his leadership on this issue,” said Jon Terry, founder of the Allergy Advocates Association. “The Assemblyman’s bill covers a big loophole in student school bus transportation that we were greatly concerned about. We are hopeful the bill will be signed into law so that school bus drivers, who work for independent companies, will be able to administer EpiPens when children in their care suffer life-threatening allergic reactions.”

The State Assembly voted nearly unanimously in favor of Buchwald’s legislation (A.7635A). The bill now goes to the State Senate, where it is sponsored by State Senator Terrance Murphy, and it is hoped it will be swiftly approved to send it onto Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature.