Bill to remove 'personal beliefs' exemption for vaccinations dies in House

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — An effort to remove personal or philosophical opposition to vaccines as an authorized exemption from childhood school immunizations died in the House after failing to come up for a vote before a key deadline.

Rep. June Robinson, a Democrat from Everett who sponsored the bill, said she just didn't have the votes needed before the 5 p.m. Wednesday deadline.

A hearing last month drew dozens of parents who said the measure would take away their rights to make decisions for their children.

Currently, Washington allows parents to claim school-vaccination exemptions for children at public or private schools or licensed day care centers based on medical, religious and personal or philosophical beliefs, and House Bill 2009 would have remove the personal or philosophical belief allowance.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington is among 20 states that allow for personal-belief exemptions and is among 48 that allow for religious exemptions.