Calif. Vaccine Law Opponents Launch Campaign To Recall Sen. Pan
Opponents of a contentious state law (SB 277) ending personal belief exemptions to California's childhood vaccination requirements have been certified to start seeking signatures to recall the legislation's author, AP/Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News" reports ("KXJZ News," AP/Capital Public Radio, 7/28).
In late June, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed SB 277, by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), which only allows children who have received vaccinations for certain diseases -- such as measles and whooping cough -- to be admitted to schools in the state.
The law allows exemptions for medical reasons. In addition, the measure was amended to:
- Allow unvaccinated children to enroll in private home-schooling programs that serve multiple families, rather than programs that serve just one family;
- Permit such children to participate in independent study projects that are overseen by school districts but do not include classroom time;
- Remove a provision that would have required schools to inform parents of immunization rates; and
- Allow physicians to consider family histories when determining medical exemptions.
The law is slated to go into effect on July 1, 2016.
Immediately following the law's passage, opponents started taking action against the legislation (California Healthline, 7/6).
The California secretary of state has permitted advocates to launch their recall campaign, "KXJZ News" reports ("KXJZ News," AP/Capital Public Radio, 7/28).
According to the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert," opponents of the law have until Dec. 31 to obtain 35,926 signatures from among 436,318 registered voters in Pan's district for the recall to proceed to the ballot.
Meanwhile, opponents are seeking recall votes for several other lawmakers who supported the law, including state Sens. Andy Vidak (R-Hanford) and Bill Monning (D-Carmel). However, advocates missed the deadline to submit a petition for Monning.
At a news conference, Pan said he was not "concerned" with the recall initiative, noting that he believes his constituents largely support the law (White, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/28).
However, Pan has launched a website and social media campaign to fight the effort, Reuters reports.
Pan said, "I won't be detoured from taking on the tough issues that are important to people in my district simply because there are some that use anti-science rhetoric to ignite division and fear" (Bernstein, Reuters, 7/28).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.