New Jersey lawmakers strike deal allowing vaccine exemptions at private schools

After postponing the final vote on a bill that would no longer allow religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for students, lawmakers in the New Jersey Senate have reached a last-minute agreement that supports passage of the bill, according to NorthJersey.com.

The original bill sent to the Senate for consideration would have done away with religious exemptions to vaccine requirements for students in both public and private institutions. But, per the last-minute deal made on Jan. 9, the bill will ban religious exemptions for vaccines in public schools and day care centers, but allow children attending private institutions to invoke religious exemptions to receiving legally mandated vaccinations.

In December, the New Jersey Senate postponed the vote on the bill after lawmakers realized they did not have enough votes to pass it. Hundreds of protesters had gathered at the Senate, and cheer erupted from the Senate chamber gallery among those opposing the bill.

On Jan. 9, protesters showed up at the Senate in large numbers, and the Senate voted to approve the amendments to the bill. The final vote for both the Senate and the state Assembly is scheduled for Jan. 13.

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