January 17, 2012

ASSEMBLY BILL NO. 3920 (Second Reprint) STATEMENT

I am filing Assembly Bill No. 3920 (Second Reprint) in the Division of Archives and Records Management without my approval. Under the provisions of Article V, Section I, Paragraph 14 of the New Jersey Constitution, this bill, which was passed within 10 days preceding the expiration of the second

legislative year, does not become law because it was not signed prior to noon of the seventh day following such expiration. While in this circumstance there is no provision for the return of a bill to the Legislature for reconsideration, I believe it is appropriate to express my reasons for not approving this legislation. This legislation would require hundreds of hospitals,

nursing homes, and home health care agencies licensed in New Jersey, thousands to of annually administer employed influenza in health vaccinations care to

individuals

facilities.

The program permits employees to decline vaccination only with proof of a current influenza vaccination from another source, or a signed written are statement of declination. to develop Health and care

facilities educational

further

required promoting

administer conduct

programs

vaccination,

and

evaluations designed to increase the rate of vaccination among employees. Finally, this legislation would require health care

facilities to report to the Department of Health and Senior Services the number of employees complying with the vaccination mandate. While influenza I and am deeply committed by to reducing to the spread of

other

viruses

continuing

build

healthy

communities and promoting preventive medicine, I am concerned with the proliferation of compelled vaccinations. Mandating by

   


 

statute the vaccination of thousands of medical employees at hundreds of health care facilities is a significant and sweeping change in health policy that deserves careful scrutiny before implementation. Equally important, burdens I am concerned legislation homes, with would and the unnecessary on the care

administrative hundreds of

this

place

hospitals,

nursing

home

health

agencies that would be required to collect and report data to the State regarding their respective vaccination programs.

Finally, I am skeptical that government should begin monitoring data concerning voluntary participation in these vaccination

programs.

The specter of such intrusive oversight of personal

medical choices is inconsistent with basic notions of individual decision making, and should not be lightly adopted as State policy. Accordingly, I have decided to file Assembly Bill No. 3920 (Second Reprint) without my approval. Respectfully, /s/ Chris Christie [seal] Governor

Attest: /s/ Kevin M. O’Dowd Deputy Chief Counsel to the Governor

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