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 Yesterday we reported that State Senator Brad Hoylman amended his bill S2994, the bill to repeal the religious exemption from vaccine mandates to attend school in New York. Now, if passed, it would allow for a catch-up period to get any missed shots rather than the demand in the former version that a child be completely caught-up before being allowed back into school. This is not an improvement, it just removes an incentive for parents with few options to give their children a potentially very dangerous number of vaccines in a very short time period. The bill is now called S2994a. Later in the day Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz made the same amendment to his bill A2371, which is now A2371a. 
     As of this morning, neither bill was on the agendas for either the Senate or Assembly Health Committees scheduled for today, Tuesday, May 21.
   The top follow-up priority today is to call your State Senator, Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, and your own Assemblymember, and while you are at it, call the members of the Assembly Health Committee and politely tell the staffer that they should oppose the bill. They are ranked in rough order of need. 
   The Legislators are in session today so please call them at their Albany offices. If you have time call their district office as well. 
   Your State Senator’s name and phone numbers should appear below:
   Your Assemblymember’s name and number in the district should appear below as well. Please let them know that you oppose Assembly Bill A2371.
Carl Heastie, Speaker of the Assembly
Albany: 518-455-3791, District; 718-654-6539, Fax:518-455-4812
Andrea Stewart Cousins, Senate Majority Leader
Albany: (518) 455-2585, District: 914-423-4031, Fax: (518) 426-6811
Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee
Albany: 518-455-3395, District: 718-933-2825, Fax: 518-426-6858
Nader J. Sayegh: 518 455 3662(914) 779-8805
Robin Schimminger: 518-455-4767, (716) 873-2540
Kevin A. Cahill: 518-455-4436, (845) 338-9610
Ron Kim: 518-455-5411 (718) 939-019
Aileen M. Gunther: 518-455-5355, (845) 794-5807 and (845) 342-9304
Michaelle C. Solages: 518-455-4465(516) 599-2972
Rodneyse Bichotte: 518-455-5385, (718) 940-0428
Sandy Galef: 518-455-5348(914) 941-111
Richard Gottfried, Chair, 518-455-4941(212) 807-7900
Amy Paulin: 518-455-5585, (914) 723-1115
Linda B. Rosenthal: 518-455-5802, (212) 873-6368
Phil Steck: 518-455-5931(518) 377-0902
Edward C. Braunstein: 518-455-5425(718) 357-3588
Steven Cymbrowitz: 518-455-5214, (718) 743-4078
Andrew Hevesi: 518-455-4926, (718) 263-5595
Ellen Jaffee: 518-455-5118, (845) 624-4601
Jeffrey Dinowitz: 518-455-5965(718) 796-5345
Charles Barron: 518-455-5912, (718) 257-5824
Thomas J. Abinanti: 518-455-5753, (914) 631-1605
Kevin Byrne: 518-455-5783, (845) 278-2923
Marjorie Byrnes: 518-455-5662(585) 218-0038
David McDonough: 518-455-4633, (516) 409-2070
Andrew Garbarino: 518-455-4611, (631) 589-0348
Jake Ashby, 518-455-5777, (518) 272-6149
Ed Ra: 518-455-4627, (516) 535-4095
Andrew Raia: 518-455-5952, (631) 261-4151
The legislative session is scheduled to end on June 19The closer to the end the more chaotic things get up there, and we have to be very vigilant. We have fourteen days left when the legislature is in session. 
Key Talking points:
·         Students with religious exemptions are only one out of 1000 people in the state,
·         Students with religious exemptions are less than 1% of students statewide,
·         Students with religious exemptions are less than .5% of students in NYC,
·         There are eight times as many students without religious exemptions who have not had the MMR vaccine as people with religious exemptions according to the CDC. S2994 does nothing about that.
     With the Democrats: This bill is established that the State has the power to tell people what to do with their bodies and their children’s bodies? What ever happened to “My body, my choice.”
     With the Republicans: This bill is a gross infringement on parental and religious rights and takes away a right we have always had in New York for no rational reason. 
·         We have no data at all showing that students with religious exemption have any role in the outbreak. Even Mayor de Blasio admitted that.
·         How are children with IEPs and 504 plans going to get the services that school districts must provide, whether the child is in school or not? And how much is this going to cost.
·         What is going to happen to the students who have medical problems deserving of a medical exemption who were told by their doctors to go get a religious exemption because getting a medical exemption is so difficult. Senator Gustavo Rivera, Chair of the Senate Health Committee, has a bill right now, S477,  to fix this problem.
     Please share this message with friends and family, and please share on social media while we still can.
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