A bill limiting vaccine exemptions in schools passed the California Senate on Monday afternoon with Governor Gavin Newsom’s agreed-upon amendments. Newsom signed the bill into law that evening, reports CBS Sacramento.
Several anti-vaccination protesters were arrested at the state capitol. Many were blocking entrances, appeared to be resisting police and filling the hallways calling for lawmakers to stop the bill.
Senator Richard Pan, the author of the bill, issued a statement after the bill was signed into law, thanking his fellow lawmakers and Newsom. “It is my hope that parents whose vulnerable children could die from vaccine-preventable diseases will be reassured that we are protecting those communities that have been left vulnerable because a few unscrupulous doctors are undermining community immunity by selling inappropriate medical exemptions,” Pan said.
The governor’s amendments to the bill — delaying state reviews of certain medical exemptions and grandfathering in existing exemptions — were contained in a separate measure, which was also signed into law.
In total six people were arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting and delaying a peace officer, and intentionally obstructing business on public property. They were also demonstrating without a permit. Two of the arrests were for people who chained themselves to the entrances of the capitol.
Protesters also blocked the entrance to Newsom’s office, according to a capitol spokesperson. Dozens of women and children surrounded the his office, shouting chants including “separate pharma and state.”