Late this afternoon (September 9) the Assembly and Senate approved SB 714 (Pan), and the companion bill SB 276 (Pan),to restrict medical exemptions for mandatory childhood vaccinations. If a child is not vaccinated, and does not obtain an exemption, they cannot attend public schools. SB 714 is a companion bill to Senate Bill 276. Passed on a partisan vote last week by Senate Democrats, SB 276 would require the California Department of Public Health to review physicians who submit a large number of medical exemptions.
The vote on the Assembly Floor was 48-18, with all yes votes cast by Democrats and 13 members not voting. The vote on the Senate Floor was 27-11, on a party-line Democrat-Republican vote, with Senators Allen and Roth not voting.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill a few minutes later.
Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove and Assembly Member Devon Mathis have lead the fight against this bill calling it an intrusion by the government into the physician-patient relationship. Grove said the bill would “restrict a medical doctor’s right to issue vaccine medical exemptions and place them in the hands of a government bureaucracy.”
Senator Grove issued the following statement soon after the governor signed the bill.
“I am extremely disappointed that the governor signed both bills into law. These bills are not the answer to cracking down on fraudulent medical exemptions, but rather they would interfere with a family’s relationship with their child’s doctor.
“Once again, if the majority party truly wants to crackdown on physicians who issue fraudulent medical exemptions, then this body should pass legislation to provide the California Medical Board with appropriate resources rather than infringe on the doctor-patient relationship.
“Senate Democrats introduced SB 714 under a cloud of secrecy without proper committee hearings and rushed to pass it on the Senate floor. If this body truly believed in creating a California for all, it should not have placed our valuable children’s healthcare in the hands of bureaucrats,” said Senate Republican Leader Shannon Grove.
Assembly Member Mathis released a video of the protests today in the Capitol on his facebook declaring that, “I think California deserves a lot better than what they have gotten this year.”
He captioned the video, “This shows what happens when the Government of California has forgotten about the People!!! #CaDeservesBetter.
Scott Lay of The Nooner reported that after the vote the protests continued in the capital an he commended the Sacramento police for their restraint. He reported that out of the hundreds of protesters only seven people were arrested.
Lay reported in his newsletter,
“Roughly 200 protesters remained on the first floor spreading from the Governor’s Office to each of the four hallways that spread through the annex. For several hours, a sign stating “Our Children, Our Voice” was taped across the doors entering the Governor’s Office, and the bronze grizzly bear purchased and left by former governor Schwarzenegger was draped in flags and had a pig nose mask affixed to its nose…..
Few Capitol insiders believe that the protests will stop. The chants changed from focusing on the Legislature and even the calls for the Governor to veto the bill changed to “Help us Jen,” referring to the Governor’s wife, who has expressed public skepticism to vaccination requirements, including SB 277 (Pan) of 2015 that eliminated the personal belief exemption.”