Bill ending religious vaccine exemption now heads to Senate

AP

A contentious bill that would end Connecticut’s long-standing religious exemption from immunization requirements for schools, beginning with the 2022-23 school year, now awaits action in the state Senate.

The legislation passed on a 90-53 vote in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives just before 3 a.m. on Tuesday, following more than 16 hours of sometimes combative debate. No date has been set yet for when the Senate, which is also controlled by Democrats, will vote on the same bill.

The House vote marked the furthest the legislation has progressed in Connecticut, where lawmakers have debated the concept over the past several years. Some Republican opponents argued the bill was unnecessary, an overreach by state government, and an attempt to impede the religious liberties of potentially thousands of children. Yet mostly Democratic supporters said it was a necessary step to prevent future outbreaks of disease.

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