SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Critics say Oregon senators jeopardized public health when they killed a bill aimed at getting more children vaccinated for measles and other preventable diseases in order pass a tax on large businesses.
Under the vaccination measure children would only have been be able to forgo vaccine requirements with a doctor’s note, otherwise they’d be unable to attend public school.
Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a Democrat from Beaverton, Oregon, and the bill’s sponsor, said the move prevents the state from protecting its citizens from a public health crisis.
Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick insists the deal was worth it.
Democrats have a supermajority in the Senate but could not hold a quorum to vote on any measures without at least two Republicans present. Republicans had refused to show for five days.