Help is Needed Again for Food Allergy Bill in PA

I wrote about house Bill 1148 last Monday. The bill was sent to PA Education Committee members Weds. June 24. It was tabled. Here's the latest information from Rep. Murt's office about the future of this important bill:

The PA House Education Committee met on 6/24/09 and discussed HB 1148 - Food Allergy Guidelines. This bill directs the Pennsylvania Department of Education to research and publish guidelines for the successful management of food allergies in our schools. The committee raised questions regarding how the legislation would impact existing laws and no bill vote was taken. Since last Wednesday, the legislation was re-written. We choose to clarify the impact on exiting school code by clearly illustrating the changes to the existing code. Changes to the Local Wellness Policy clause 1422.1 allowed us to identify Food Allergy Management as being as important as child health, nutrition, and physical education. Adding an additional dictate to Section 1422.3 allow us to outline the need for Food Allergy Guidelines and what they must accomplish.

The next meeting of the PA Education Committee where they will vote on HB 1148 is now this Wednesday, 7/01/09. Please forward this message to your membership and friends asking them to re-edit it to their liking and forward it to the following list of Education Committee members.


JRoebuck@pahouse.net, ksmith@pahouse.net, LCurry@pahouse.net, JYudicha@pahouse.net, bsmith@pahouse.net, mcarroll@pahouse.net, sconklin@pahouse.net, RGrucela@pahouse.net, pharkins@pahouse.net, mlongietti@pahouse.net, MOBrien@pahouse.net, JPallone@pahouse.net, cwagner@pahouse.net, JWheatle@pahouse.net, RYoungbl@pahouse.net, Pclymer@pahousegop.com, mfleck@pahousegop.com, Dmetcalf@pahousegop.com, dmilne@pahousegop.com, Boneill@pahousegop.com, Tquigley@pahousegop.com, Klrapp@pahousegop.com, MReese@pahousegop.com, trock@pahousegop.com, WTallman@pahousegop.com

Thank you again for your continued support.

Bill Dixon
Legislative Aide
PA State Representative Thomas Murt's District Office
(215)674-3755

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I have the document that will be presented to the committee. If you're interested in reading it, e-mail me and I'll send it to you.

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Help is needed- even if you don't live in PA. Please consider copying and pasting the e-mail addresses and letter into an e-mail and send it to our PA Reps. There is power in numbers and if all of us band together, no matter where we live, we can make all of our schools safer for those with food allergies.

Here's the letter I re-sent:

Dear Representative,

House Bill 1148 is a public health necessity. We have young students hiding their life-saving medications in backpacks because some schools require medications to be kept locked in the nurse's office. We have students exposed to potentially dangerous allergens because schools are reluctant to engage in dialogue with parents about food allergies. School buses and after-school activities are, at minimum challenging and sometimes not possible, for children with food allergies.

The incidence of food allergies has been growing exponentially in recent years and about seven percent of the student population is affected by food allergies. At present, many schools are managing these students on a case by case basis, and the results are mixed. As a result, families are forced to seek private or home schooling for their food allergic children to keep them safe.

Accommodations for food allergic students can be made easily and effectively in the classrooms and school communities. By law, all children are guaranteed an appropriate and free public education, and students with food allergies are legally entitled to appropriate protections. We just want to have the opportunity to talk with our schools about what is best for all children.

I am asking you to vote yes to HB 1148 on July 1, 2009.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS HERE
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