Bill to quash N.J. vaccine religious exemptions temporarily halted by Sweeney

TRENTON, N.J. – A hugely-divisive bill designed to eliminate the religious exemption for child vaccinations hit turbulence on Monday at the State House amid massive pressure from anti-vaccine protesters. 

The State Senate bill (S-2173) was pulled at the last minute and kicked to the New Year. Senate President Steve Sweeney nevertheless vowed to keep pushing for its passage.

Newly-minted state Senator Mike Testa (R-1) was among those who said the late-breaking reprieve constituted a victory for religious liberty:

Meanwhile, earlier on a busy Monday, the State Assembly passed the companion bill (A3818) in a 45-25 vote.

“This unconstitutional legislation attempts to write freedom of religion out of the law,” said Assemblyman Chris DePhillips (R-40). “In America, no government can abridge freedom of religion – and take it away from the people.”