LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, introduced legislation on Thursday to halt excessive rule-making regarding what parents must do to opt their children out of certain vaccinations.
While current law states that parents may opt their children out for religious or other reasons by simply submitting a written statement to their child’s school, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) created new rules in a manner that goes beyond what legislators envisioned and allowed for.
“The rules enacted by DHHS pertaining to parents who wish to opt out of vaccinations for their children go beyond the intent of the current law, which was to inform parents of potential consequences of their choices, but now seems to have a punitive intent,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Whenever a department promulgates rules that go beyond the intent of the legislation, it is then the role of the Legislature to make sure those rules are reined back in. It was never the intention of the Legislature to see a vaccination opt-out procedure put into place that essentially mandates that parents have to take time off of work to meet with specific people, view videos, or sign inflammatory forms to exert a right they should be able to exercise more simply.
“State legislators are increasingly concerned about departments implementing rules that go beyond legislative intent. There is a strong desire to reform the administrative rule-making process across the board, thereby limiting the need for retroactive correction.”
Senate Bills 299 and 300 are similar to bills regarding regulatory authority that have been recently introduced in the Michigan House.