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California lawmakers act to mandate vaccines for day care workers

California lawmakers take a step toward mandating vaccines for day care workers

California lawmakers acted Friday on a measure that would require workers in day care centers to get vaccinated as part of an effort to protect children from preventable diseases, including measles, for which there have been recent outbreaks in the state.

The vaccine bill applies to workers in commercial day care centers and family day care centers operated out of homes and is partly in response to a measles outbreak that involved visitors to Disneyland, according to state Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia).

While the outbreak linked to Disneyland did not result in any fatalities, children have died in the country from other diseases that can be prevented by vaccines, he said.

“One child’s death is one too many, especially when it may be preventable,” Mendoza said Friday. “We must do everything in our power to protect California’s children who spend time in day care.”

The state Senate voted 34-3 to approve SB 792 and send it to the Assembly. Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa) voted against the bill, calling it an overreach.

“It seems that just providing notification to the parents of the children that an employee or volunteer at the day care center has not had their full vaccinations would be more advisable,” Moorlach said during the floor debate.

The Assembly, meanwhile, voted Friday to approve a bill that would allow car services including  Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar to provide car pools by giving them authority to charge split and reduced fares among multiple passengers with similar pickup locations and destinations.

Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco) said the law governing charter party carriers, such as taxis, limousines and now ridesharing companies, dates back to 1961 and was intended to protect customers from being forced to share limousine and taxi services with other people. 

“We have long encouraged public transit and car-pooling to reduce traffic and air pollution,” Ting said in support of his AB 1360. “Extending the environmental mindset to ridesharing requires changing a 50-year-old law.”

The Assembly also approved a measure that would ban the sale of personal care products that contain plastic micro-beads, including some facial scrubs, soaps and toothpaste.

Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) said his bill would create the strongest law in the country against the use of what he described as unnecessary and toxic additives.

AB 888, he added, will help the state “fight pollution in our rivers, lakes and oceans.”

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