My Second Take on Senator Pan’s SB 714 and I May Even Be More Confused

My Second Take on Senator Pan’s SB 714 and I May Even Be More Confused

It was pointed out that the language in (2) does not require vaccination by the Fall 2020 as I perhaps misstated in my prior post. I think they are right and I was wrong, mostly, but frankly, I am still not sure. Let’s start with the language:

“(2) Commencing January 1, 2020, a child who has a medical exemption issued before January 1, 2020, shall be allowed continued enrollment to any public or private elementary or secondary school, child care center, day nursery, nursery school, family day care home, or developmental center within the state until the child enrolls in the next grade span.
For purposes of this subdivision, “grade span” means each of the following:
(A) Birth to preschool, inclusive.
(B) Kindergarten and grades 1 to 6, inclusive, including transitional kindergarten.
(C) Grades 7 to 12, inclusive.”

That seems to suggest that families with current exemptions will be able to send their kids to school after January 1, 2020, as long as they are in the same “grade span,” and that would be better than I had originally thought and wrote.

I am not exactly sure what (3) applies to: Here it is:
“(3) Except as provided in this subdivision, on and after July 1, 2021, the governing authority shall not unconditionally admit or readmit to any of those institutions specified in this subdivision, or admit or advance any pupil to 7th grade level, unless the pupil has been immunized pursuant to Section 120335 or the parent or guardian files a medical exemption form that complies with Section 120372.”

But here the change which makes me unsure about the additional time families appear to have under (2):

“(C) A medical exemption that the reviewing immunization department staff member determines to be inappropriate or otherwise invalid under subparagraphs (A) and (B) shall also be reviewed by the State Public Health Officer or a physician and surgeon from the department’s immunization program designated by the State Public Health Officer. Pursuant to this review, the State Public Health Officer or physician and surgeon designee may revoke the medical exemption.

(4) Medical exemptions issued prior to January 1, 2020, shall not be revoked unless the exemption was issued by a physician or surgeon that has been subject to disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.”

So what happens to exemptions which are written by disciplined physicians which are found to be inappropriate? The exemption is revoked obviously. Under SB 276, the revocation is, in effect, stayed pending appeal, if the there is an appeal filed within 30 days. No one knows yet (or no one is saying) how long the appeals process could take. That’s an unknown. But if the appeal is rejected, the revocation is affirmed, then the revocation becomes effective and the family no longer has an exemption, such that the grade span time referenced in (2) doesn’t matter. Meaning, the child will need to be vaccinated.

And of course, that’s assuming the schools will be following the rules. That’s a big assumption considering the fact that schools are now rejecting exemptions even though there is no legal mechanism to do so under current law, so long as the exemptions are written by a California licensed physician, who recites the required statutory language. (I’m working on that problem as we speak, and you will hear about that next week!)

So, I am pretty sure I was incorrect in saying that under the language of SB 714, parents had until the fall 2020 to get their kids vaccinated.

However, I do think that if SB 276 passes, the schools will continue rejecting vaccine medical exemptions for seemingly healthy kids, where the exemptions were written by the high profile physicians, all or most of who are under Board investigation. I think that the enactment of SB 276 (if it happens) and legislative process of 714 will act as an accelerant to that process of schools acting in ways not consistent with law, unless they get some kind of legal rebuke.

Clearer now? (probably not).

Rick Jaffe, Esq.
Rickjaffeesquire@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “My Second Take on Senator Pan’s SB 714 and I May Even Be More Confused

  1. Hello, thank you for all information as it is so important that we stayed notified. So if a child currently has a ME and is in transitional K, that means the exemption is only good for this school year? Also am wondering about children with an IEP. Are they still going to automatically be allowed an exemption or is that about to change as well? Thank you again for all your information

  2. #3 is when it “officially” begins for schools: July 1, 2021. Starting mid-year reeks havoc for schools to implement.

    I see MASS confusion for schools to watchdog prior ME’s and implement the tracking of Doctors who are being disciplined by the Medical Board. This is a practical and implementation nightmare. Either they are grandfathered or they aren’t.

  3. What about the database? For exemptions that are now “grandfathered” in? This is ridiculously confusing. Just re-read sb277, and it reads like a dream compared to the convoluted, purposefully obfuscating bill(s). How can CA leg approve this garbage!?!

  4. Mr. Jaffe, ESQ;

    I agree with you on the confusion of when the latest amendments are implemented. Thanks for your analysis and clarification of the effective date, however it is an illustration that the “haste” in which the amendments were written may have significant problems in the future.

    My experience is 45 years as an engineer/land planner who served as a Planning Commissioner as well as a private consultant and I have extensive experience in writing AND complying with regulations and I believe these amendments, especially Senate Bill 714 should be circulated and clarified on before implementation.

    Here is one area of “clarification” which I believe that needs to be fixed before voting:

    I believe there is a change needed to Senate Bill 714 to meet the “intention” regarding revocation of waivers.

    120372 (C)(4) is written as follows:

    “Medical exemptions issued prior to January 1, 2020, shall not be revoked unless the exemption was issued by a physician or surgeon that has been subject to disciplinary action by the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.”

    I believe that the intent was “disciplinary action RELATING TO IMMUNIZATION STANDARDS OF CARE”, otherwise it could be determined to be “any disciplinary action”, even something totally unrelated to vaccinations would invalidate many existing waivers.

    To further illustrate the fact that this needs clarification, look further down wording in 120372 (7)(C) is as follows:

    “If a physician and surgeon licensed with the Medical Board of California or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California is on probation for action RELATING TO IMMUNIZATION STANDARDS OF CARE, the department and governing authority shall not accept a medical exemption form from the physician and surgeon unless and until the probation has been terminated.”

    I believe Senate Bill 714 should modify the language on 120372 (C)(4) to avoid problems in the future.

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