SACRAMENTO (KCBS/AP)— California lawmakers have passed a controversial bill that makes it harder for parents to opt out of childhood vaccinations after a series of emotionally charged debates.
The state legislature voted on Monday to pass one of the strictest school vaccination laws in the country. The bill now heads to Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk. The Senate reaffirmed the bill on a 24-14 vote.
Having passed the Assembly last Thursday, the bill with some tweaks to it, has now cleared the Senate for a second time.
Governor Brown has not indicated whether or not he would sign the bill. 30,000 people have petitioned him to not sign it.
If he does, California would join Mississippi and West Virginia as the only states that would require kids to be vaccinated to go to class.
Only those with serious health issues would be exempt, otherwise kids without shots would have to be home schooled.
SB 277 is the result of an outbreak of measles traced to Disneyland in December that infected over 100 people. Republican Assemblyman Rocky Chavez of Oceanside, still thinks this isn’t intervention as much as its intrusion.
“The greatest fear we have is not so much from a disease. The greatest fear we have is that we lose the right of freedom that this country affords us,” he said.
The adjusted bill grandfathers in students who currently have personal belief exemptions and it makes it easier for doctors to grant those waivers.
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