HPV Vaccine Bill Fails (Again) in Senate Committee

Even after Sen. Suzanne Williams weakened Senate Bill 80, the Senate Appropriations Committee still rejected it. The committee already failed to OK the bill March 2, but Williams brought it back because two lawmakers were absent for the first vote. The March 2 vote was 4-4, but with one additional member from each party present today, the vote stalled at 5-5.

The Associated Press has the story:

A Senate panel this morning rejected a watered-down proposal designed to encourage cervical cancer vaccinations for young girls, refusing to approve a version that would only require doctors to tell parents about the shots.

The original bill would have required sixth-grade girls to get the vaccination unless their parents signed a refusal form. The sponsor, Democratic Sen. Suzanne Williams of Aurora, scaled it back Friday hoping to gain more support.

But even the weaker version fell short, with the Senate Appropriations Committee deadlocking on a 5-5 vote, meaning the bill does not move on to the full Senate.

It was the second time the committee deadlocked on Williams’ proposals. Sen. Stephanie Takis, D-Aurora, voted with Republicans against both versions.

A vote to permanently kill the bill also ended in a tie vote. Williams said she may make another attempt to win Senate passage or might try to fold the information-only approach into another cervical cancer bill moving through the House. That measure would require all health insurance companies to pay for shots for their patients.

The vaccine prevents infections from two strains of the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus, or HPV, which causes cervical cancer. Last year, federal officials recommended that girls be vaccinated at 11 or 12, before they become sexually active.

“I think the state and the people I’ve heard from are ready for and only want information at this point,” Williams said.

Colorado Confidential’s coverage of the bill:

HPV Vaccine Bill Approved by Senate Committee

Mandating the HPV Vaccine

Merck Backs Off Push for HPV Vaccine Laws

Future Uncertain for HPV Vaccine Bill

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