SACRAMENTO (KGET) — Blocking the front doors to the governor’s office, protesters urged Gov. Gavin Newsom to reject SB 276 Wednesday.
The senate sent the bill to his desk after approving it 48-17 Wednesday.
The measure gives the Department of Public Health the power to investigate doctors who grant more than five childhood vaccine exemptions in a year and schools with vaccination rates of less than 95 percent.
“The purpose of the bill is to keep people safe,” said Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento.)
Protesters say the choice to vaccinate should be between patients and doctors.
A group of them interrupted the floor session several times, forcing lawmakers to go into a short recess.
“When you have parents that they feel from the depths of their soul that they are fighting for their children’s life and their existence to be happy healthy adults, I would expect a little bit of outburst,” said Sen. Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield.)
The governor is signaling he wants to make small and technical changes to the bill to clarify some rules.
Those changes could come in the form of a separate bill.
The governor’s staff met with several opponents Wednesday, including Karen Kain.
“I thought they were fabulous, I think they were brave to come out and talk with us,” Kain said.
Protesters say they plan to demonstrate outside the governor’s office for the rest of this week.