OLYMPIA – When Paul Harris, now 65, was diagnosed with testicular cancer 25 years ago, the doctor issued the paths he could take. He could have surgery, remove cancer and have a 70 percent chance of living, or he could also undergo chemotherapy and radiation, which would move his chances up to 95 percent. Harris, a republican state representative from Vancouver now leading the fee to restrict vaccine to measles, sheep and red vaccines (MMR), has recently told his story, tried to convince his conservative colleagues and skeptical Washingtonians that medicine means ̵ 1; and immunizations are safe and effective. "But as a vaccine, it was never 100 percent," he said of his treatment. "I can't guarantee you that if you take a shot, everything will be fine just as when you have a medical procedure, there are very few medical procedures that are 100 percent." Vancouver and Clark County are home to an unparalleled thrashing outbreak – 70 of the state's 71 confirmed cases, more than 800 vulnerable children are kept out of school and an increased proportion of parents whose decision not to have their children vaccinated has helped to Spreading a disease that is considered eliminated in the United States in 2000. While often agreeing with his fellow Republican, in terms of education and public health, Harris is seen as a pragmatic problem solver who is willing to go against his party. This session, along with making sure to increase the immunity to viral diseases in his…
OLYMPIA – When Paul Harris, now 65, was diagnosed with testicular cancer 25 years ago, the doctor issued the paths he could take. He could have surgery, remove cancer and have a 70 percent chance of living, or he could also undergo chemotherapy and radiation, which would move his chances up to 95 percent.
Harris, a republican state representative from Vancouver now leading the fee to restrict vaccine to measles, sheep and red vaccines (MMR), has recently told his story, tried to convince his conservative colleagues and skeptical Washingtonians that medicine means ̵
1; and immunizations are safe and effective.
“But as a vaccine, it was never 100 percent,” he said of his treatment. “I can’t guarantee you that if you take a shot, everything will be fine just as when you have a medical procedure, there are very few medical procedures that are 100 percent.”
Vancouver and Clark County are home to an unparalleled thrashing outbreak – 70 of the state’s 71 confirmed cases, more than 800 vulnerable children are kept out of school and an increased proportion of parents whose decision not to have their children vaccinated has helped to Spreading a disease that is considered eliminated in the United States in 2000. While often agreeing with his fellow Republican, in terms of education and public health, Harris is seen as a pragmatic problem solver who is willing to go against his party. This session, along with making sure to increase the immunity to viral diseases in his community, he hopes to keep teenagers away from smoking by raising the minimum age of tobacco from 18 to 21.
Harris says he felt compelled to act As measles spreads rapidly through unimmunized children in Clark County, which has one of the highest nonmedical exceptions to the highly effective vaccine any critic says has adverse effects.
The non-medical exception rate among kindergartners in the 2017-18 school year was approximately 2 percent nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Washington state had a 4% exception rate on philosophical, personal or religious grounds. In Clark County, according to state health department data, it was 6.7 percent.
While all states allow medical exemptions and only three have banned religious exceptions, Washington is among 17 states that allow some type of philosophical vaccine release according to the national state legislature conference. More and more states are moving away from these exceptions. California 2015, for example, eliminated personal and religious exemptions due to a multi-state outburst more than twice as much as currently beating Washington.
This is not the first time Harris has driven such a measure. He co-sponsored legislation in 2015 that would have eliminated the philosophical or personal objection to all vaccine requirements, but the bill, which was supported by at least one Republican in its rep. Chad Magendanz, Issaquah, never got a floor voice.
Oregon, with four confirmed brass cases in connection with the outbreak in Washington and another two unsecured cases, according to the Oregon Health Authority, is home to a similar debate on immunizations that some lawmakers there look to ban religious, philosophical and personal reasoning for vaccine exemptions . This measure, which is stricter than what is considered in Washington, means that unvaccinated students could only attend school by a medical exception.
When the clock ticked and daily received $ 100,000 fine from the state Supreme Court stacked up, Harris and seven other legislators met for several months in 2017, as they tried to resolve a solution to the state’s under-financing of K 12 training set by the Washington Court in the Supreme Court in its McCleary Landmark decision five years earlier.
group, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans and the Senate and House, worked to get a proposal so that the legislature could transfer its operating budget and avoid a partial state suspension. They succeeded, and some say it would not have been possible without Harris.
“Honestly, I do not think we could have come to where we had had Paul not in the room,” said former Rep. David Taylor, R-Moxee, a member of the McCleary Working Group. Harris, he said, managed to bridge the gap in some areas because he listened to both sides and “continued to drive rational solutions, which did not necessarily mean we would just spend money.”  Taylor, who called Harris ” one of the oldest individuals” he worked with, noted that when Republicans meeting in the summer of 2016 to build a game field, Harris acted as a group stabilizer, watching the big while others can get started in minute reforms.
Lawmakers on the other side of the passage describe Harris in much the same way. Open to practical solutions and a “straight shooter,” Senate leader Andy Billig, who was part of the McCleary team, came to the teammate in the same 2011 freshman class as Harris.
” Paul brought to the table a conservative reference framework for the subject but a really open mind and a really happy outline that helped the conversation flow freely so that we could all exchange ideas and move on,” says Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island, chamber chief budget author and colleague McCleary alum.
Harris’s reputation as a sensible legislator who was willing to work with someone earned him a leadership post this session when he replaced controversial Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, as a minority caucus chair.
The late Tuesday house voted 57-40 to approve the laws spearheaded by Harris, but was dismissed by almost everyone in his party, to eliminate the personal or philosophical exception of the MMR vaccine. The proposal now moves to the Senate where a broader bill from another Clark County lawmaker would remove the same exemptions for any immunizations required for access to the school or a licensed nursery.
Harris thinks it is strange that more in his caucus does not support the action because he, in his estimation, probably all his Republican colleagues vaccinated himself. He noted that before putting on his glasses in his Capitol office to read from a 1905 US Supreme Court, the decision claiming the Community’s right to health trumped it in an individual in the case of a copper vaccine mandate.
And his bill to raise the minimum age for sales of tobacco and steam products from 18 to 21 passed the house in February with mostly democratic support while most Republicans voted against it.
Taylor, who had a reputation as a hard conservative during his time in Olympia, said he did not support any action, called the tobacco proposal “completely ridiculous” because he believes the state needs an even age for when people are considered adults and that is about personal freedom. Also house minority leader J.T. Wilcox said in a news conference that he did not support Harris’s vaccine exemption ban, calling it “so intrusive.”
Harris is increasingly alone in the legislature, as both sides move left and right with moderate as Sen. Joe Fain, of Auburn, who was facing a rape charge, and then Mark Miloscia, the R-Federal Way, lost their seats to liberal democrats and as many similar house republicans also seduced power.
In recent years, two Eastside legislative districts have moved more to the left, with Sens. Manka Dhingra, Redmond and Patty Kuderer, from Bellevue, who help management this year for a capital gains tax.
Despite his position on vaccinations and the age of tobacco use, Harris falls into the party’s line of some problems with the hot button, including environmental policy, gun control and voting rights.
He voted in the month for a democratic proposal to remove super-polluting fluorocarbons in equation U-equipment as industrial refrigerators, and opposed a ban requested by state law offices on so-called “ghost guns” that cannot be traced from a serial number or because they lacking metal, can be undetected by metal detectors, even as the Supreme Republican on the bourgeois and judicial committee voted for it.
But when it comes to education and public health, Harris, a former member of the Evergreen School Board, sees no reason for the partisan division
” I really believe these two bills should not be party bills,” says Harris and notes that he has not tried to influence his co-conservatives to vote for his tobacco and vaccine measures. “Community health is a democratic issue and not a republican? I don’t think so.”
Harris stopped doing everything all year ago. He had surgery, as well as radiation and chemotherapy. But he had a bad reaction to the radiation. He lost more than 30 pounds and had to endure the treatments twice as long as they had to cut in half.
This was not the only rough reaction Harris has had medicine. Having recently received a belly vaccine, he had a fever, a poor headache and a pain in his arm.
But would he do it all over again?
” I don’t want shingles, man. I’ve seen people who had shingles,” he said. “Do I have a reaction to my shingles shot? I did. Did I like it? I didn’t. But do I want the shingles? Oh no.”
While there have been vowels, emotional resistance from the parents feels like raising Hearing every step of the way, Harris says that in his community he has received overwhelmingly positive responses from the elements worried about the relatively large, unimmunized population.
Hostility has come from all over the country because the debate has become national in recent weeks.
The lawyer understands their concern and says he had a difficult reaction to a vaccine, he would probably want an exception too, but a medical one.
Former Rep. Kristine Lytton, D-Anacortes, remembers learning a lot from different voices like Harris in the K-12 Finance Workgroup and what may arise when the Partisanship returns.
When we look at the national scene and across the country, we are just so, I suppose, weakened by political ideology that it is easy to forget why we are there, Lytton says. “We are not there to score for our party. We are there to solve problems for state people.”