SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — California is one step closer to requiring all school children to get vaccines after a vote in an Assembly committee on Tuesday.
The vote 12-6 vote on SB277 was delayed for hours in the Assembly Health Committee by hours of emotional testimony from both sides.
RELATED: Full coverage of Senate Bill 277.
Room 4202 at the state Capitol was jam packed with an overflow crowd stretched down the hall. Early on, jeering spectators were warned against clapping, cheering or booing.
There was no shortage of opposition or support for SB277, one of the most controversial bills in recent history. The bill would eliminate the personal belief exemption and require California children to be vaccinated to attend school.
The bill comes in the wake of the December Disneyland measles outbreak that sickened more than 100 in the United States and Mexico.
“Vaccines are one of the greatest health achievements of mankind,” said state Sen. Richard Pan, one of the bill’s authors.
Despite many scientific studies to the contrary, many parents claim vaccines caused their children to become sick or disabled. Doctor Jay Gordon testified the bill takes away the rights of parents to make informed medical decisions with their own doctors.
“It’s a bad bill,” he said. “It’ll create many problems and it’ll solve none.”
The bill now moves to a vote before the full Assembly.
Students who can’t receive vaccinations for medical reasons could still attend school under the bill.
Supporters got a boost from the American Medical Association, who endorsed putting an end to religious exemptions for immunizations on Tuesday.