Opponents of California’s New Vaccine Law File Repeal Petition
Opponents of a new law (SB 277) that will end all personal belief exemptions to California's childhood vaccination requirements have filed a petition to repeal the measure, KQED's "State of Health" reports (Williams, "State of Health," KQED, 9/28).
SB 277, by state Sens. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ben Allen (D-Redondo Beach), 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 legislation 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 also includes a provision that would give unvaccinated children with existing exemptions more time to comply with the rule.
The law will go into effect on July 1, 2016 (California Healthline, 7/1).
Details of Repeal Effort
Monday was the deadline for turning in signatures to qualify a ballot measure to repeal the law.
The group needed 365,000 signatures to qualify the ballot initiative ("State of Health," KQED, 9/28).
According to Capital Public Radio's "KXJZ News," it is unclear whether opponents of the law collected enough signatures. Election officials have 30 days to count the signatures and check a random sample for authenticity (Bradford, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 9/28).
Paul Mitchell, a political data analyst, predicted that the ballot initiative would fall short of the necessary signatures (McGreevy, "PolitiCal," Los Angeles Times, 9/28).
Assembly member Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) said volunteers were threatened while collecting signatures, adding that the ballot measure "was sabotaged from without and within by powerful forces from its very inception."
Reaction From SB 277 Author
Pan said he believes voters would reject a ballot initiative to repeal the new law. He said, "I'm sure the voters of California are not interested in letting a privileged few take away the rights of all Californians to be safe from preventable diseases" ("State of Health," KQED, 9/28).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.