Washington lawmakers weigh 2 vaccine exemption bills

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — As health officials identified a new case from a measles outbreak in Washington state, lawmakers continue to weigh two measures that would remove parents’ ability to claim a personal or philosophical exemption to vaccinating their school-age children.

A House committee last week advanced a measure that would remove the philosophical exemption option for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine. A Senate committee held a public hearing Wednesday on a broader bill which would remove the philosophical exemption for any of the newly dozen required school vaccinations.

The two bills come amid an outbreak that has sickened at least 64 people in the state, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency last month. The Portland metropolitan area has seen four cases related to the outbreak in southwestern Washington.