UPDATED 3/1: SB8 has been referred to the House Health & Family Services Committee. The House committees have a process known as "posting" whereby bills are posted or announced at least 24 hours before they are considered by a committee. SB8 was posted today (3/1). It is possible it could be heard by the committee this Thursday (3/4) when the committee meets at Noon EST.
What is SB8?
If the state were to ever mandate a vaccine due to an epidemic, be it COVID or any other disease, the language in SB8 would allow any Kentuckian to claim a medical, religious, or conscientious belief/philosophical exemption. The current bill does not add or remove anything from the current medical and religious exemptions for daycare or K-12 attendance.
The original bill language would have also added a philosophical exemption for daycare and K-12, but this language was removed in the Senate due to pushback from schools and medical groups. You can read the entire text as it currently stands here.
What you need to do now
1. Continue to call the message line daily at 1-800-372-7181 and ask to leave the following messages:
3. Email all members of the HOUSE HEALTH & FAMILY SERVICES COMMITTEE asking them to vote YES on SB8. Put "Vote YES on SB8 in committee" in the subject line. If one of the members is your Representative, be sure to include that you are their constituent. Below are the emails of the committee members. We recommend that you send separate e-mails if time permits. At very least, use the BCC function if you are only going to send one e-mail. See further below for a sample email.
Find your Legislators here. If your Rep does not have their e-mail listed on their bio page, it is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also get tips here. Please forward any responses received to us at email@example.com. Keep your e-mail concise. Here are some suggestions from our lobbyist and legislators:
4. Bonus - If you'd like to take an additional step, we recommend you send a physical letter or even a nice card to your Representative asking them to support SB8. Use the same process listed above to find your Representative. On their bio page you will find a mailing address. Some will have both their home address and Frankfort office address listed. Either are fine to use. You can even send a letter to both addresses!
Sample email or letter to House Members on SB8
Subject line if you are a constituent: Vote YES on SB, constituent e-mail
Subject line if you are not a constituent: Vote YES on SB 8
Dear Representative (their last name),
Senate Bill 8 is now in the House, and I urge you to vote Yes on this bill and uphold my ability to make my own medical decisions under any circumstance. This bill passed the Senate with a vote of 34-1.
I am deeply troubled that current Kentucky law would allow the state to forcibly vaccinate me and my family without consent. KRS 214.036 currently states, “In the event of an epidemic in a given area, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services may, by emergency regulation, require the immunization of all persons within the area of epidemic, against the disease responsible for such epidemic.” This is dangerous and unacceptable and it must be changed.
If, in the future, the state were to mandate a vaccine for all citizens due to an epidemic, SB8 would allow Kentucky citizens to be exempted by reason of medical contraindication, religious objection, or objection due to conscientiously held beliefs. There are no current exemptions for adults in Kentucky law, other than for long-term care facilities. The existing exemptions that are more commonly known about relate to children in daycare and K-12 schools. SB8, as amended by the Senate, does NOT change the exemptions for childhood vaccines
Previously, it may have been easy to read the language in KRS 214.036 and discount it as something that would “never happen.” But the events of the past year place these words in a new context. While the administration has stated that there are “no current plans” for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations, we cannot predict what will happen in the future with the current pandemic or any subsequent situation. The government must not be able to force a medical intervention on an individual. This statement stands as inalienable truth and is further reinforced by the fact that the manufacturers of vaccines have no liability for the damages inflicted by their products (National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 and The PREP Act).
Thank you for your time.
Your Home Mailing Address
If you receive a response from a legislator, please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.