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February 5, 2007 (512) 463-0300

SENATOR ASKS GOVERNOR TO RESCIND EXECUTIVE ORDER ON VACCINES

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Senator Jane Nelson of Lewisville calls on the Governor to rescind Friday's executive order and allow the issue to go through the Legislative process.

(AUSTIN) -- Citing a number of concerns, Lewisville Senator Jane Nelson asked Governor Rick Perry today to rescind an executive order issued on Friday. Perry's order directed the Health and Human Services Commission to formulate rules requiring all girls in Texas public schools to get vaccinated for the human papillomavirus (HPV) at the age of 11 or 12. Nelson said this is not an emergency issue, and should be vetted through the legislative process. "The public has the right to testify on this issue, and the Legislature has a constitutional duty to be involved in this decision," she said.

Nelson said among her concerns were the safety of the vaccine, its cost to the state, and how the mandate will impact parents' rights regarding the health care choices they make for their children. She said her staff estimates that vaccines could cost as much as $311 million per year, and that such an expenditure should not be made without going through the Legislative process.

Nelson added that a number of her colleagues and constituents have expressed shock and outrage at Friday's executive order, and that the Governor should slow down and allow the Senate and House to take a look at this issue. "We're moving way too fast," said Nelson. "I would ask, very respectfully, our Governor to reconsider. This is something that we need to take time discussing, getting answers to, how we're going to pay for it."

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.

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