BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — On Thursday, The Senate Education Committee unanimously passed two bills that would relax vaccine requirements for K-12 students.
Rep. Kathy Edmonston, R-Gonzales, wrote both bills. Colleges and universities are no longer included in the bills after amendments by the committee.
House Bill 182 would prohibit COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of enrollment or continued enrollment in any public or private K-12 schools and House Bill 399 would require schools to provide exemption information for any type of vaccine.
In current law, students may receive an exemption when entering a school from vaccinations through a doctor’s note or written consent from parents. The proposed law would also allow this exemption for students already enrolled at the school.
“You can opt out, you have an exemption if you so choose. That made it through the process and that’s going to the governor’s desk as well,” said Edmonston. “We’re really thrilled about it we’ve been trying hard for the past couple of sessions.”
Both bills were amended to exclude colleges and universities from the changes. However, any students enrolled in fully online classes are exempt from vaccination requirements.
Edmonston said she wanted these bills to become a choice, not a mandate.
“It’s all about freedom, it’s all about freedom, mandates are not about freedom, they are about restrictions,” said Edmonston.
Currently, both bills are on the governor’s desk for signatures.