The Secretary of State’s office reports that an effort led by a group supporting a referendum of SB 277 (Pan/Allen) has failed to submit the minimum number of required signatures by the required date to place the measure on the November 2016 ballot. SB 277 was signed by Governor Brown in June and removes the personal belief exemption from the state’s vaccination requirement for students.
Under California law, those seeking a referendum of current law have 90-days from enactment of that law to gather the required number of signatures to force the issue before voters on the next statewide ballot. Proponents of the referendum were required to gather just over 365,000 signatures by September 28, but were only able to gather 233,758.
On September 24th, likely in anticipation of the failure of the first campaign, a separate anti-vaccination Constitutional Amendment was submitted to the Attorney General’s office to potentially qualify for signature gathering. The title of that proposed initiative is the “Parental Rights and Responsibility Act,” which states, among other things, “Parents have the fundamental and natural right to make informed decisions related to the upbringing of their children.” The language goes on to specifically include “medical decisions,” which it defines as including vaccinations. The take-away here is that there are continued efforts to put the vaccination issue before voters. We will have to wait and see if anything makes it onto the ballot.
The anti-vaxxers are now also reportedly raising money for a legal fight, but that isn’t expected to begin until the law takes effect on July 1, 2016.
For those caught dealing with this issue, you might find this article interesting:
- On October 12, 2015