BILL ANALYSIS C.S.H.B. 2209 By: Berlanga 04-10-95 Committee Report (Substituted) BACKGROUND In 1993, Texas adopted the national goal of immunizing by 1996, 90% of two-year-old children. The 73rd Texas Legislature passed S.B. 266, which requires all children through the age of 17 to be immunized. Survey results recently announced by the Texas Department of Health (TDH) show that statewide immunization rates have improved significantly since 1993, but that much work remains before the 90% goal is reached. Current Texas law determining who may consent to the child's immunizations is complicated and can be a barrier to ensuring that children receive age-appropriate immunizations. The law was amended in 1991 in an attempt to allow adults other than the parent or guardian to consent to the immunizations, but the language has resulted in confusion for both the families and medical personnel. Amending the law should decrease concerns and questions about the consent issue and may increase the number of children who receive the necessary shots. PURPOSE H.B. 2209 as substituted would authorize specified adults to consent to childhood immunizations in the absence of a parent, managing conservator or guardian; delete the references to an adult who "cannot be contacted;" and allow for an appropriate consent form to be provided in lieu of the specified adult's presence at the time of the immunization. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. SECTION BY SECTION ANALYSIS SECTION 1. Amends Section 35.011, Family Code, as follows: (a) Clarifies that specified adults may consent to the immunization of a minor in the absence of a parent, managing conservator or other adult, and deletes that a parent, conservator or other adult cannot be contacted; deletes the reference to an adult who is granted the right to consent by order of a district court as provided in Section 35.015 of this Code. (c) Deletes existing reference to refusal of or failure to carry out a delegation under Section 35.012 of this Code. SECTION 2. Amends Section 35.013, Family Code, as follows: Sec. 35.013. (a) Deletes reference to Section 35.012 and establishes that a person authorized to give consent is not required to be present at the time of the immunization if a consent form which meets the requirements of Section 35.02, regarding consent forms, is given to the health care provider. (b) Deletes the reference to Section 35.012, regarding delegation of consent for immunization of a minor, Family Code. (c) Deletes the reference to Section 35.012. SECTION 3. Deletes the references to Section 35.012 in Section 35.014(b), Family Code. SECTION 4. Repeals Section 35.011(d), regarding when a person cannot be contacted, Section 35.012, regarding delegation of consent for immunization of a minor, and Section 35.015, regarding consent for immunization of a minor from an informal guardian, Family Code. SECTION 5. Emergency clause. Effective upon passage. COMPARISON OF ORIGINAL TO SUBSTITUTE H.B 2209 as substituted has non-substantive changes made by the Legislative Council which do not alter the intent or meaning of the legislation. SUMMARY OF COMMITTEE ACTION H.B. 2209 was considered by the Public Health Committee in a public hearing on April 4, 1995. The committee considered a complete substitute for the bill. The substitute was adopted without objection. The following person testified for the bill: Charles Mallory, representing Austin/Travis County Health Department. The bill was reported favorably as substituted, with the recommendation that it do pass and be printed by a record vote of 5 AYES, 0 NAYS, 0 PNV, 4 ABSENT.