Previous legislation centers around HB14-1288 and HB16-1164. HB14-1288 passed with amendments that rendered it toothless. HB16-1164's purpose was to coerce parents with vaccine exemptions to trade their family's right to privacy for an exemption. Because CDPHE is not beholden to federal privacy laws (FERPA), CDPHE planned to release the "most sensitive" data of those who filed exemptions with CDPHE and not the schools. In short CDPHE this past summer acted as if HB16-1164 PASSED. It did NOT PASS.
A legal challenge was mounted against the new CDPHE exemption form's "compelled speech". CDPHE acquiesced only because the damage is still being done. CDPHE sent out a letter to all of Colorado's school superintendents on July 1st proclaiming that schools no longer had to collect the exemption forms, that CDPHE would now handle it.
During committee hearings CDPHE officials bragged that even if CDPHE was not going to pass they were still going to implement their plan. They already had the new forms ready. Who was going to pay for it? CDPHE essentially said it's free which raises the spector of yet more corruption in one of Colorado's most corrupt agencies
What it all boils down to is that CDPHE doesn't want to follow the law. Perusing CDPHE's Director Dr. Wolk's LinkedIn profile seems to indicate that perhaps he has blurred the distinction between private data collection and your family's right to privacy. CDPHE is prepared to release the name, school, residence, and phone numbers of Colorado school children aged 5-18 and their parents to the general public. They have collected data contrary to the law.
Will the Colorado Attorney General's office sanction CDPHE's illegal activity as CDPHE claims? Or will the Colorado Attorney General uphold the law and thereby protect the citizens of Colorado from abusive public officials?
From: Phil Silberman
Date: September 29, 2016 at 10:51:31 PM MDT
Subject: Vaccine Exemption Authority
I understand that your office has a written decision from the Attorney General’s Office that states that the CDPHE can operate above and beyond your jurisdictional and statutory authority with no oversight, avenues for redress of grievances, or legal ramifications in regards to forcing parents to follow your vaccine exemption rules . I would very much like to see this documentation from the AG’s office. We have seen the contents of the entire binder Larry Wolk brought to the Committee Hearing in May and while you are telling us about the AG’s confirmation of your stance, we have as yet, seen no documentation of it. Did the AG really state that you have the legal authority to force parents to sign your new form? Show us. It is really quite simple. If it exists then you can certainly send me a copy of it within 24 hours.
An email was recently sent from your office by Jaimie D’Amico to a parent seeking a vaccine exemption. Ms D’Amico suggested that the parent review Code of Colorado Regulations 6 CCR 1009-2, specifically section II. Here, let me help you out:
Exemptions from Immunization
It is the responsibility of the parent(s) to have his or her child immunized unless the child is exempted. A student may be exempted from receiving the required immunizations in the following manner:
Personal belief exemption-
By submitting to the student’s school a Certificate of Immunization with the statement of personal exemption signed by the parent(s) or the emancipated student indicating that the parent(s) or emancipated student has a personal belief that is opposed to immunizations.
There is NOTHING in that code that states what the nature of the Certificate must be. Nothing. Please remember, HB 16-1164 DID NOT PASS. It is not law. You needed it to be law so that your eviscerated HB 14-1288 might have some teeth but we all know that the 2014 law is still toothless. Your office wanted 1164 to be law, you hoped it would be law, you lobbied for it to be law. But, alas, you failed. It is not law. And as it is not law you can not just go around pretending it is.
Ms D’Amico also suggested that the parent contact the AG’s office directly with any questions. When attempts were made directly to the AGs office to confirm the validity of your assertions of the AG’s blessings they explained that due to attorney/client privilege they were not at liberty to share anything. The office manager also said that Jamie DiAmico should not be advising people to contact their office and that if that document exists, it would be up to CDPHE (that's you) to share it.
Aside from the State Auditor’s Office reprimanding you about exceeding your authority to enforce your rules, your own office has even stated that it is merely your ‘preference’ that schools use the new form. Oops. On August 4th Lynn Trefen sent out a letter that said:
“As we discussed, our preference is that schools use our forms to track
immunizations and exemptions for students. We make sure schools have
access to the official forms. The school determines what they are willing to
accept as documentation of immunization or exemption status.”
Earlier this year you and your office tried to keep the public from seeing the draft of your new exemption form. After numerous emails, you finally conceded to publicly share the form. At that time I reminded you that according to the Constitution of the State of Colorado public officers and government employees should "avoid conduct that is in violation of their public trust or that creates a justifiable impression among members of the public that such trust is being violated". So, once again, here we are again Ms Herrero. You are making claims. I am imploring you and reminding you that it is your JOB, to back up those claims. Show me.
I trust that a copy of the AG’s letter stating the CDPHE has the legal authority to compel Coloradan parents to sign any vaccination exemption form of CDPHE’s choosing and design will be in my inbox by end of work day, Friday, September 30, 2016.
Be Brave. Stand up. Speak out.
Colorado Coalition for Vaccine Choice
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