HARTFORD, Connecticut (WFSB) — After months of contentious debate and marathon protests, a controversial childhood vaccine bill is finally up for a vote at the state capitol.
The bill has generated a lot of passion on both sides of the issue. The debate has been passionate through public hearings and protests.
Monday, lawmakers in the state House of Representatives will have to decide.
The vote is tied to the controversial proposal to eliminate religious exemptions that allow some Connecticut students to avoid getting vaccinated to stay in school.
Critics of the proposal who have been holding protests for months outside the capitol and over Zoom argued that parents should be the sole decision makers when it comes to what goes into their children’s bodies. They also said getting rid of the exemption would lead to more families refusing to send their children to school and taxpayers would still have to foot the bill to educate them, which could prove to be expensive.
However, supporters of the proposal said the proposal all about public safety. There has been a surge of unvaccinated kids in Connecticut schools. The number currently tops more than 8,000 students. Public health experts said their presence puts everyone in those schools at risk.
Their optimism has grown because last week, the bill sailed through a second legislative committee along party lines.
At this point, the bill would need to pass through both the state House and Senate. When it comes to the final signature, Gov. Ned Lamont has already said he would sign the bill into law when and if it reaches his desk.
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