Once lawmakers passed a mandatory vaccination law last year, opponents tried to defeat it with a referendum. They failed. They tried to recall state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, the lawmaker who championed the bill. They failed. Now, opposition group, A Voice for Choice, will hold a candlelight vigil on the night the key portion of Senate Bill 277 goes into effect to remember the “thousands that have been injured or died from vaccines.”
As of today, personal and religious reasons aren’t valid exemptions from vaccination requirements. Students who aren’t properly vaccinated won’t be allowed to start at a new public or private school or advance to the 7th grade. The bill does allow for children who already have exemptions to remain unvaccinated at their existing school until starting kindergarten or seventh grade. Upon signing the bill, Gov. Jerry Brown said, “The science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.”
Opponents have said that the bill takes away a right to parental choice. Concerned parents and other critics will gather tonight at 8 p.m. outside the Capitol. Vigils are also being held in Santa Monica, San Bernardino, San Diego and Santa Cruz, among others. The group also held a vigil a year ago when Brown was deciding whether to veto or sign the bill.
GATHER ROUND: Just a day after lawmakers passed a plethora of gun control bills, Rep. Ami Bera, D-Elk Grove, will host a roundtable discussion at American River College on gun safety. Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen, LGBT leaders and representatives from gun control advocacy organizations will also attend. The conversation will start at 11 a.m.
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CHANGING THE RULES: New regulations forcing lobbyists to be more transparent about their spending goes into effect today. Additionally, a Sacramento County measure to ban single use plastic bags will be enacted. The Sacramento City Council already put in place a similar ordinance within city boundaries, but the statewide version is on hold until voters weigh in on Nov. 8.
HAPPY BIRTHDAYS: The United States of America isn’t the only one with a birthday this weekend. Assemblyman Richard Gordon, D-Menlo Park, Rep. Doug La Malfa, R-Oroville, and Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, will all celebrate as well.