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Anti-Vaccination Protesters Demonstrate At Capitol In Sacramento; Governor Signs Vaccination Exemption Bill

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - Several anti-vaccination protesters were arrested at the state capitol Monday. Many were moms who were blocking entrances, resisting police, and filling the hallways calling for lawmakers to stop a bill that limits vaccine exemptions in schools.

They were protesting Senate Bill 276, which limits vaccine exemptions in schools. The bill passed the Senate Monday afternoon with Governor Gavin Newsom's agreed-upon amendments. Newsom then signed the bill into law Monday evening.

Senator Richard Pan, the author of the bill, issued a statement after the bill was signed into law.

"I thank Senate President pro Tem Atkins, Assembly Speaker Rendon and my legislative colleagues that have stood in support of children who truly require a medical exemption to protect them against vaccine-preventable diseases. I thank the Governor for standing with science, and once again making California a leader in safeguarding children and communities from diseases that threaten our public health. 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 in a statement. 

The governor's amendments to SB 276 were contained in a separate measure, Senate Bill 714, which was also signed into law by Newsom.

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 Governor Newsom's office, according to a capitol spokesperson. Dozens of women and children surrounded the governor's office, shouting chants including "separate pharma and state."

READ: California Lawmaker, Governor Reach Deal On Vaccine Bill

Some of the protestors said they were making noise and filling hallways because they feel like they have no other option to get lawmaker's attention. They said they wanted to disrupt voting on a bill that would limit vaccination exemptions.

"The goal is you want to tire us out, we'll tire you out. We are not going away. Where are we going to go?" Julie Fullerton said.

Another protester chose to remain anonymous.

"No one is listening, what does it take? I have pictures of injured kids in my pocket," the protester said.

Protestors were also attempting to force the Senate to adjourn.

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