California Lawmakers Pass Strict Vaccine Bill

But Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't said whether he'll sign it
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 29, 2015 7:45 PM CDT
California Lawmakers Pass Strict Vaccine Bill
State Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, left, smiles with Sen. Marty Block, D-San Diego, after a state vaccination law was approved by the California Senate yesterday at the Capitol in Sacramento.   (Rich Pedroncelli)

California lawmakers today sent the governor a contentious bill that would impose one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country in reaction to a recent measles outbreak at Disneyland. The Senate reaffirmed the bill striking California's personal-belief exemption for immunizations with a 24-14 vote. Mississippi and West Virginia are the only two states with such strict requirements in place. Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown has not said whether he would sign it. Although the bill passed the Senate and the Assembly with bipartisan support, it did not pass with the two-thirds threshold that would be needed to override a governor's veto. Parents opposed to the bill vowed to take legal action even though the issue has been upheld in court, including by the Supreme Court.

"I will sue to put my child in school," says the parent of an 8-year-old child. "I will not run from the state that is our home." Other parents cheered the legislative vote and immediately turned their attention to swaying Brown. "I know that he is very pro-science and that's really what this bill comes down to," says a mother of four from Napa who started Vaccinate California, a parental group in support of the bill. Brown has 12 days to decide on the bill. The governor's office immediately began receiving petitions from both sides. "The governor believes that vaccinations are profoundly important and a major public-health benefit, and any bill that reaches his desk will be closely considered," a governor's spokesman has repeated in recent days. (Even some people who were vaccinated got measles in the Disneyland outbreak.)

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