Simmons’ Student Health and Safety Bill Advances
Measure provides civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epi-pens
HARRISBURG – The House Education Committee today unanimously approved legislation 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. House Bill 423 will next be considered by the full House of Representatives.
“The goal of my legislation is to allow more children with allergies to receive this often life-saving emergency treatment,” said Simmons. “A group of mothers in my district brought the issue to my attention. They’re concerned about their children having an allergic reaction during the bus ride to school. They want the bus driver to be able to treat them quickly and prevent a serious medical emergency.”
Simmons’ proposal would provide civil immunity to school bus drivers who administer epinephrine auto-injectors, or epi-pens, to students who experience an allergic reaction while riding on a school bus. Under the legislation, a school bus driver 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.
Simmons pointed out that some school districts and school bus companies currently permit their drivers to administer epi-pens to student passengers who have an allergic reaction. However, drivers may be reluctant to apply the potentially lifesaving treatment because of legal liability issues.
House Bill 243 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.
Similar legislation was passed by the House during the 2013-14 legislative session, but it failed to come up for a vote in the Senate before the session concluded.
For more information on Simmons and his legislative priorities, visit or
Representative Justin Simmons
131st District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

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