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Simmons’ Student Health and Safety Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
5/9/2017
Bill provides civil immunity to bus drivers and crossing guards who administer epi-pens
HARRISBURG – A bill sponsored by Rep. Justin Simmons (R-Lehigh/Montgomery/Northampton), that would help to ensure the health and safety of Pennsylvania school students who suffer from severe allergic reactions, was passed unanimously by the Senate today. House Bill 224 now heads to Gov. Tom Wolf for his consideration and possible enactment.

Simmons’ legislation would amend the Public School Code to provide civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who administer an epinephrine auto-injector, or epi-pen, to a student who experiences an allergic reaction.

“It is extremely gratifying to finally get this legislation across the finish line, and I’m sure the families of children with allergies across the Commonwealth feel the same way I do,” said Simmons. “Senator Pat Browne’s assistance in shepherding the bill through the Senate was critical to our success, and I thank him for his efforts.”

Browne (R-Lehigh) was the prime sponsor of companion legislation in the Senate.

“This legislation aims to help more children who suffer from allergic reactions receive the benefit of this emergency treatment by granting good Samaritan civil immunity to school bus drivers and crossing guards who, with the proper training, may administer epinephrine auto-injectors,” Browne said. “I applaud Representative Simmons for taking the lead on this important issue that expands the number of individuals that can provide assistance to students in potentially life-threatening situations.”

Under the legislation, a bus driver or crossing guard must first complete a training program developed by the state Department of Health and comply with school district policy to be qualified to use the epi-pen. House Bill 224 does not mandate that school districts or school bus companies enact an epi-pen policy, only that such a policy would allow for civil immunity if the guidelines are met.

“The issue was brought to my attention a few years ago by several mothers in our district with children who suffer from severe allergies,” Simmons added. “Their concern is the time period between home and school when their child goes unprotected should an allergic reaction occur. My legislation allows a bus driver or school crossing guard to administer this lifesaving medication without the fear of any legal consequences.”

Similar legislation sponsored by Simmons was passed by the House during the last two legislative sessions, but did not come up for a vote in the Senate.

Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474
abriggs@pahousegop.com
RepSimmons.com / Facebook.com/RepSimmons


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