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Senate Passes SB 277 to End Child Vaccine Exemption

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California legislators passed the highly controversial SB 277 by a vote of 24-14 on Monday, despite massive opposition efforts launched against the school-based vaccine mandate that brought thousands to the state capitol and caused protests around California.

Democrats and Republicans have fallen on both sides of the debate on this bill. Notable is the unusually high level of contention among Democrats in the legislature that operates under a heavy Democrat majority.

SB 277 eliminates the ability of parents to opt their children out of one or more vaccinations as a condition of private or public school enrollment.

The bill previously passed the Senate with a floor vote of 25-11. It faced growing opposition as it passed through multiple committees, stalling temporarily after a heated education committee hearing.

Last Thursday, the State Assembly passed the bill 46-31. A red sea of opposition flowed through the halls of the State Assembly during a Health Committee hearing, the only Assembly committee hearing that allowed public comment on the bill.

A crop of vaccine legislation bills appeared after a measles outbreak that began in Disneyland last December and ended early this year.

Some opponents of the bill have called for the recall of some proponents of the bill, including bill co-author Richard Pan (D-Sacramento).

Assuming Governor Jerry Brown signs the bill into law, California will become only the third state to disallow both personal and religious belief exemptions.

Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana


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