California Senate Bill 277

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California Senate Bill 277 (SB277) is a California law which removes personal belief exemptions to vaccination requirements for entry to private or public elementary or secondary schools in California, as well as child day care centers. It was passed in the California State Senate in June 2015 and signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on June 30, 2015.[1]

The bill was prompted by the 2014 Disneyland measles outbreak and historically low levels of vaccination in some California schools,[2] with some areas showing personal belief exemptions exceeding 20%.[3] The bill was supported by the California Medical Association.[4] Opposition to the bill, albeit from "a tiny minority", has been characterized as "possibly the most strident outpouring of political dissent in recent memory".[3] Opponents to the bill made comparisons to Nazi Germany and death threats were reported against Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen, the Bill's co-authors.[5][6]

On April 28, 2015 University of California, Hastings College of the Law professor Dorit Rubinstein Reiss gave her testimony on SB 277 before the California Senate Judiciary Committee. In her testimony, she stated that the legislature had leeway to require school immunization, citing the U.S Supreme Court cases Zucht v. King (1922) and Prince v. Massachusetts (1944). She also rejected the need of non-medical exemptions and said the bill did not violate the right to education.[7]


  1. ^ "California Vaccination Bill SB 277 Signed By Governor, Becomes Law". Forbes. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  2. ^ "California becomes a state divided after the controversial SB 277 vaccination bill is handed to Governor Brown". The Independent. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "California Vaccine Bill SB 277: Ban On Personal Exemptions Sparks Counter Movement Despite Recent Measles Outbreak". International Business Times. May 20, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "CMA joins vaccine advocates to launch "I Heart Immunity" campaign in support of Senate Bill 277". CMA website. California Medical Association. April 6, 2015. Retrieved July 12, 2015. 
  5. ^ "California Capitol on alert over anti-vaccine threats". Sacramento Bee. April 14, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Death threats made to office of state vaccine bill author". SFgate. April 17, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Transcript". What The Folly?. April 29, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015. 

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