SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 81
(By Senator Stollings, Laird, Foster and Kirkendoll)
[Originating in the Committee on Health and Human Resources]
Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to study granting exemptions to mandatory immunizations on religious and philosophical grounds.
Whereas, West Virginia Code §16-3-4 provides for a list of immunizations which children must receive prior to admittance to the public school system in West Virginia; and
Whereas, An increasing number of parents across the country question the safety of vaccinations, particularly the purported relationship between them and autism; and
Whereas, Many citizens have deeply held religious and/or moral objections to the method by which vaccines have been developed; and
Whereas, Some citizens religious beliefs preclude them from receiving any medical treatment, including immunizations that may be mandatory for students to attend public schools in West Virginia; and
Whereas, West Virginia is currently one of only two states that do not allow religious exemptions to mandatory inoculations; and
Whereas, In addition to the 48 states that allow for religious exemptions, 20 states have provisions allowing for exemptions on philosophical grounds, which means the language of the statutes does not restrict the exemption to purely religious or spiritual beliefs; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is hereby requested to study granting exemptions to mandatory immunizations on religious and philosophical grounds; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the regular session of the Legislature, 2013, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations, together with drafts of any legislation necessary to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.