Vaccine bill doesn’t reach House

Two bills introduced during the West Virginia Legislative Session did not make it past committee to be presented on the House Floor.

House Bill 2831, dealing with compulsory immunization of school children, and House Bill 2934, dealing with students in seventh grade and older taking vocational-technical classes, will not make it to the full House for a vote.

House Bill 2831 was introduced March 5 and referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources. The bill was sponsored by Delegates Ryan Ferns, D-Ohio; Erikka Storch, R-Ohio; Tim Miley, D-Harrison; Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln; Ron Fragale, D-Harrison; Clif Moore, D-McDowell; Phil DiSerio, D-Brooke; Michael T. Ferro, D-Marshall; Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan; Joe Ellington, R-Mercer; and Eric L. Householder, R-Berkeley.

Delegate Denise Campbell, D-Randolph, said she worked in committee on this bill, spending more than four hours on this issue Thursday.

“I spent a lot of time working on this bill,” Campbell said. “I contacted many local physicians to get their opinion on this as well.

“In the end, we had to do what was best. Our ultimate goal is to protect the most students. There are about 100 requests yearly for medical exemptions.”

House Bill 2934 was sponsored by Delegates Adam R. Young, D-Nicholas; Ted Tomblin, D-Logan; Rupert Phillips Jr., D-Logan; Anthony Barill, D-Monongalia; Jeff Eldridge, D-Lincoln; Josh Stowers, D-Lincoln; Jason Barrett, D-Berkeley; Dana Lynch, D-Webster; Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton; Bill Hartman, D-Randolph; and Campbell. It was introduced March 14.

Hartman said he did not believe House Bill 2934 will make it past committee.

“It was referred to the Education Committee and they met again Thursday, but it did not get through,” Hartman said. “I think the bill is a good idea. Over the past 20 years, we have placed a great deal of emphasis on the baccalaureate, and that’s not where all of the jobs are.”

Campbell said she was following the status of this bill as well.

“I spoke with Delegate Mary Poling (D-Barbour), chairperson of the Education committee, and she said there is another bill that addresses this same issue,” Campbell said. “Poling said that bill would most likely pass, affording students the chance for vocational education at an earlier age.”

Hartman said Sunday was the “magic day” for bills.

“Everything related to the House must go to the Senate by then,” Hartman said.

“Most of the next two weeks will be the Senate considering House bills and the House considering Senate bills.”