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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
No fiscal implication to units of local government is anticipated.
The bill would amend Chapter 161 of the Health and Safety Code by requiring the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to change the process and timing by which an individual consents to maintain information in the immunization registry after an individual becomes an adult.
The bill would require the written or electronic consent of a parent, managing conservator, or guardian of an individual younger than 18 years old to be submitted to DSHS before the individual's 18th birthday for the individual's immunization information to be maintained in the state immunization registry. The bill removes a specification that such written or electronic consent is considered valid until the individual becomes 18 years old. Instead it would authorize an individual's immunization information, after the required consent is submitted, to be included in the registry until the individual becomes 26 years of age unless the consent is withdrawn in writing or electronically or renewed after the individual's 18th birthday. The bill specifies that the written or electronic consent required for an individual who is 18 years of age or older is required to be obtained only one time and would be required to be received from the individual before the information could be released. The bill would increase from 18 years of age or older to 26 years of age or older the age of an individual whose immunization information DSHS is prohibited from including in the registry unless the required consent has been obtained.
The bill would require DSHS, after an individual's 18th birthday, to make a reasonable effort to provide notice to an individual whose immunization information is included in the registry with consent that was provided by a parent, managing conservator, or guardian informing the individual that the individual's immunization records will be included in the registry until the date of the individual's 26th birthday unless the individual or the individual's legally authorized representative withdraws consent in writing or electronically before that date or provides consent for the records to continue to be included in the registry. The bill would define a reasonable effort as DSHS making at least two attempts to contact the individual via telephone, e-mail, regular mail to the individual's last known address, or by general outreach efforts through the individual's health care provider, school district, or institution of higher education.
The bill would also require the executive commissioner by rule to develop guidelines and procedures for obtaining consent from an individual after the individual's 18th birthday, including procedures for retaining immunization information in a separate database that is inaccessible by any person other than DSHS during the eight-year period during which an individual who is 18 years of age or older may consent to inclusion in the registry under Subsection (a-2).
The bill was amended on the House floor but was not amended in the Senate committee. Due to these adopted amendments, we change our position from neutral to support.
The second chamber sponsor is Senator Zaffirini.
The legislation protects and enhances a person's right to consent to their immunization information being included in the registry. We support HB 2171 because it promotes our individual liberty principle.