California Senate Bill 277
California Senate Bill 277 (SB277) was a California bill that removed personal belief exemptions to vaccination requirements for entry to private or public elementary or secondary schools in California, as well as 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.
The bill, co-authored by California state Senators Richard Pan and Ben Allen, was prompted by the 2014 Disneyland measles outbreak and low levels of vaccination in pockets of California, with some schools having vaccination rates below 60%. SB277 was supported by the California Medical Association. Opposition to the bill, albeit from "a tiny minority", has been characterized as "possibly the most strident outpouring of political dissent in recent memory". Opponents of the bill started a petition to have Senator Pan removed by recall election. On social media Pan was compared to a nazi and death threats were reported against both him and Ben Allen.
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.
- "California Vaccination Bill SB 277 Signed By Governor, Becomes Law". Forbes. June 30, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "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.
- "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.
- "California Capitol on alert over anti-vaccine threats". Sacramento Bee. April 14, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "Death threats made to office of state vaccine bill author". SFgate. April 17, 2015. Retrieved July 6, 2015.
- "Transcript". What The Folly?. April 29, 2015. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
- Senate Bill 277 at legislature.ca.gov