June 18, 2015

As state policymakers, we have an obligation to review all legislative policies for the best interest of ALL Californians.

Furthermore, as members of the California Legislative Black Caucus, we support, sponsor and advocate on behalf of state policies that strengthen and educate the African-American community in the following areas: Education, Black Enterprise, Public Safety and especially Health.

The diverse communities that we represent have a notably higher rate of vaccination compliance than many others, and with good reason. Studies have proven that communities with low vaccine compliance are at particular risk of spreading preventable and sometimes fatal disease.

As policymakers, we do our due diligence in reviewing the pros and cons of every bill that comes before us.

To be clear, SB 277 does the following:

  • Eliminates non-medical exemptions from the requirement that children receive vaccines for certain infectious diseases prior to being admitted to any public or private elementary or secondary school, or day care center.
  • Deletes the exemption based on personal beliefs from the existing immunization requirement for children in child care and public and private schools.
  • Exempts students enrolled in home-based private schools or in an independent study program from the existing immunization requirement.
  • In the event that a parent has medical concerns, they can get a waiver from their child’s physician.

Several members of the CLBC served on various policy committees that reviewed the measure in depth. We have collectively spent hundreds of hours reviewing medical research, meeting with medical and public health professionals, parents and advocates.

We feel that SB 277 was thoroughly vetted and we stand by the positions of our individual members on the measure.