Senate approves bill limiting measles vaccine exemptions

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A measure to remove the option of a philosophical exemption for the combined measles, mumps and rubella vaccine has cleared the Washington state Senate.

After some initial confusion about whether the bill was properly brought to the floor ahead of a 5 p.m. PDT deadline, majority Democrats returned to the floor in the evening to debate the measure and passed it on a 25-22 vote late Wednesday night. The House passed the measure last month, but because it was amended by a Senate committee the bill heads back across the rotunda for a final vote.

The bill was introduced amid a measles outbreak in the state that sickened 74 people.

Washington is among 17 states that allow some type of non-medical vaccine exemption for personal or philosophical beliefs.