Food Allergy Bill Passes House

June 5, 2017

The House of Representatives has passed a proposal I introduced to better protect students who suffer from life-threatening food allergies.

The legislation was the product of recommendations of the Task Force to Study Life-Threatening Food Allergies in Schools, a task force created by previous legislation. One of the Task Force members was Fairfield resident and parent Jessica Curran, whose appointment to the Task Force Rep. Brenda Kupchick and I advocated for.

For parents of a child with a life-threatening food allergy, the simple act of sending their child off to school each day can be anxiety-inducing. This bill implements recommendations of the Task Force that will provide best practices and uniform guidelines across school districts and give families greater peace of mind. We are committed to continuing this work to protect students with life threatening food allergies and provide support to school districts working to create effective guidelines.

This bill makes several changes to education laws addressing food allergies in schools, including the following:

  • Requires the state Department of Education (SDE) to revise as necessary existing guidelines for the management of students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease and make these guidelines available to each local and regional board of education
  • Extends the deadline by which local and regional boards of education must take certain actions established in current law about the management of students with such conditions
  • Requires SDE to revise certain curriculum standards to address life-threatening food allergies and apply for funding to promote awareness about food allergies
  • Requires SDE and the Department of Public Health to jointly develop and make available to boards of education a safety protocol for school bus drivers to follow when a student is experiencing a life-threatening food allergy emergency
  • Allows bus drivers to administer epinephrine to students experiencing an allergic reaction and grants immunity to the bus drivers

The bill now heads to the state Senate for final legislative approval.