A08398 Summary:

Add 2164-a, rpld 2165 sub 9, Pub Health L
Limits exemptions from immunization requirements by local governments and private entities to medical exemptions; repeals religious exemptions for certain post-secondary students.
Go to top

A08398 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Dinowitz
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to limiting exemptions from immunizations; and to repeal certain provisions of such law relating to religious exemptions for certain post-secondary students   PURPOSE: This bill would prohibit organizations and entities from permitting any nonmedical exemption to an immunization requirement, make any such provision null and void and remove the religious exemption for post-sec- ondary students.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 amends the public health law to add a new section 2164-a to prohibit organizations and entities that have immunization requirements from permitting any non-medical exemption to such requirements and stip- ulate that any provision of a law, rule, regulation or policy that allows for a nonmedical exemption shall be deemed null and void. Section 2 repeals subdivision 9 of section 2165 of the public health law which is the religious exemption for certain post-secondary students. Section 3 is the severability clause. Section 4 sets effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In 2019 the legislature passed, and the Governor signed into law, my bill that removed all non-medical exemptions from immunization require- ments for children who attend school (Chapter 35 of 2019). That act was adopted before the COVID-19 global pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and millions worldwide. Now more than ever, vaccine requirements, particularly those that combat Covid (but also other diseases), must be made as robust as possible in all settings for our safety and the public health. As of September 2021, an estimated 80 million Americans adults remain unvaccinated against Covid. Just recently, Covid deaths in America surpassed those caused by the influenza outbreak in years surrounding 1920. Public health mandates, instituted to combat diseases such as these, have been upheld repeatedly throughout U.S. history. The majority opinion in the Supreme Court case Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905), where a Lutheran pastor in Cambridge, MA defied a city ordinance requir- ing smallpox vaccinations, stated: "the liberty secured by the Constitu- tion does not import an absolute right in each person to be at all times, and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.   The Constitution rests upon the fundamental principle of the social compact ... that all shall be governed by certain laws for the protection, safe- ty, prosperity, and happiness of the people, and not for the profit, honor or private interests of any one man, family or class of men." I sponsored Chapter 35 of 2019 for the health and well being of our school children. It would stand to reason that other settings that adopt immunization requirements, including hospitals, workplaces, businesses, and local governments, should not be made porous by exceptions that are not medical in nature. This bill would help to ensure the "protection of the people" by removing certain exceptions.   LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is a new bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
Go to top

A08398 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    October 20, 2021
        Introduced by M. of A. DINOWITZ -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Health
        AN  ACT  to  amend  the  public  health  law,  in  relation  to limiting
          exemptions from immunizations; and to  repeal  certain  provisions  of
          such  law  relating to religious exemptions for certain post-secondary

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  The  public health law is amended by adding a new section
     2  2164-a to read as follows:
     3    § 2164-a. Immunization exemptions. No organization or entity,  includ-
     4  ing  a  local  government,  school  board,  business, or employer, which
     5  requires immunization against any disease  shall  permit  any  exemption
     6  from  such  requirement  except  a medical exemption. Any provision of a
     7  law, rule, regulation, or policy adopted by any entity that allows for a
     8  non-medical exemption to an immunization  requirement  shall  be  deemed
     9  null  and  void.  A  medical  exemption shall be established in the same
    10  manner as set forth in subdivision eight of section  twenty-one  hundred
    11  sixty-four of this title.
    12    §  2.  Subdivision  9  of  section  2165  of  the public health law is
    13  REPEALED.
    14    § 3. Severability. If any clause,  sentence,  paragraph,  subdivision,
    15  section  or  part of this title shall be adjudged by any court of compe-
    16  tent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect,  impair
    17  or invalidate the remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its opera-
    18  tion  to  the  clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part
    19  thereof directly involved in the  controversy  in  which  such  judgment
    20  shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared the intent of the legis-
    21  lature  that  this  act  would  have  been  enacted even if such invalid
    22  provisions had not been included herein.
    23    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
Go to top

A08398 Chamber Video/Transcript:

Go to top