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Virginia HPV bill becomes law after legislature adopts governor's amendment

[JURIST] Virginia [JURIST news archive] became the first US state to require by statute that girls be vaccinated against human papillomavirus [JURIST news archive; US CDC materials] when its General Assembly [official website] voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to accept the governor's proposed amendment to a previously passed bill [legislative materials]. The amendment [text] makes it easier for parents and guardians to opt girls out of the vaccinations by striking a requirement that they use a state-mandated form. The House of Delegates concurred with the governor's recommendation by an 83-17 vote; the Senate, 39-0.

Gov. Tim Kaine (D), who originally announced his intention to sign the bill as passed [PJEPHL report], proposed the amendment [JURIST report] after expressing concerns about the adequacy of the opt-out provision [Virginian-Pilot report]. The Virginia Constitution [text] allows the governor to return a passed bill to the General Assembly for reconsideration of one or more "specific and severable amendments." If the General Assembly agrees to the governor's recommendations, the bill does not need to be sent back to the governor before becoming law.

This report was prepared in partnership with the Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law.

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