Shot_Free_In_Montana - Vaccination Information
Changing the law to make day-care available to children with a religious exemption
HB 465
ON Friday, February 23rd, 2007 - HB465 was passed by the House Education Committee by a 8 to 7 vote.

On Tuesday, February 27th at about 10:30 AM HB465 was defeated in the House of Representatives by a 52 against and 48 for vote.

To see how your legislator voted, Click Here.

News from
House rejects expanding religious vaccine exemptions

Below is now the history of HB465, formerly LC1951.
Rubutals to arguments against HB465

January 2007:
Several groups and individuals are cooperating in an effort to get Montana law changed so that children with a religious exemption can attend day-care.

On January 25th, our draft was posted as follows:
or if you want a PDF file with line numbers:

Keep in mind that when the bill goes to committee and public input is accepted that the language is likely to change.
H E L P Last Minute Help to get HB465 through Committee.

Action Alert

Time is of the essence!
Please help in our efforts to pass HB465 – allowing for religious exemption from vaccination in Montana day cares/preschools. Even if you have already sent a letter of support or hardship, now is another push.

The Education Committee had a hearing last Friday and will take a final vote to pass it along to the full House this coming Monday, Feb. 19th. We are asking for a final push from you to make a phone call.

PLEASE make your call today, FRIDAY Feb. 16th or MONDAY before noon!

What we need from you now is a simple phone call to the Legislative Hot Line.

It’s EASY and takes 2 minutes of your time.

Here’s how to do it and what to say:

Call 406-444-4800

Tell the operator you want to ask a committee to vote a certain way.

She’ll ask you your name and address and if you’ve called in previously for this bill


The Bill is HB465

Vote FOR it

THIS IS OUR LAST CHANCE for this session – THANKS for your help.

Feel free to pass this along to any and all activists in your life!

H E L P [Legislator letter]
If time and desire permit, please write to your local State Senator and State Representative stating you support a change in state law to allow unvaccinated children in day care with the religious exemption. If you have experienced a financial hardship due to the lack of day-care being available to your children, please state that in your letter. [more_info]

If you do not have time to write your own letter or simply want a suggestion see our sample below:

If you want to attend the hearing, give me your email address and/or phone number and we will try to give you a heads up in time for you to attend. We do not know how much advance notice we will be given for the hearing.

Contact info
Tracking the Bill

Short Title: Revise medical and religious exemptions for immunization
Click here for Montana Legislature Detailed Bill Information for LC1951 (HB 465)

Letters to Legislators
If you are willing to write a letter of support to your local Montana State Senators or Representatives, their addresses are here: Map to click which will give you the names of your Representative and Sentator for your district. Also their home addresses.

At this time of year, it is probably best to write your legislators directly in Helena.

The Proper Address

On the envelope:
Senator ________________
Montana Senate
State Capitol
PO Box 200500
Helena, MT 59620-0500

Montana House of Representatives
State Capitol
PO Box 200400
Helena, MT 59620-0400
For the inside address:

Inside the letter:
The Honorable ____________
Senate Chambers (or House of Representatives)
State Capitol
Helena, MT 59620

For the salutation:
Dear Senator
Dear Representative

Suggested Language for letter:

   Reference: HB 465
                   Revise medical and religious exemptions for immunization

Soon HB 465 will come up for vote. Please support this bill which is very much needed to give financial relief to parents who chose to not vaccinate their child in accord with their deeply held religious beliefs. By making this choice, their child is not eligible to be placed in a day care facility.

This is ironic, given that children too young to be vaccinated can attend day care.
Children with a medical exemption may attend day care in all 50 states.
But in Montana and only a few other states (1 or 2) are children with a religious exemption to vaccination denied the right to attend day care.

The full text of the current draft is posted at:

Thank you very much for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely yours;
Questions: email

27 February 2007

House rejects expanding religious vaccine exemptions

By SARAH COOKE Associated Press Writer

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The House killed a bill Tuesday that would have allowed children who aren't vaccinated for religious reasons to attend a state-funded preschool or day care center.

Parents can obtain a medical exemption for immunizations and still send their children to such facilities, but they can't be exempt because of their religious beliefs, bill sponsor Rep. Rick Jore, C-Ronan, said.

Public schools allow religious immunization exemptions, said Jore, who urged lawmakers to make state policy consistent and stop discrimination against those families.

"The issue here is not an issue of whether we support or do not support vaccinations, in my view it's an issue of equal protection of the law," he said.

Opponents, however, said the bill would unfairly expose infants and young children not yet finished with their vaccinations to possibly life-threatening diseases. The measure died on a 52-48 vote.

"I'm concerned about the little babies and little children who can't protect themselves," said Rep. Bill Jones, R-Bigfork. "They're at risk."

Ninety-five percent of Montana parents currently vaccinate their children, according to the Montana Public Health Association.

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