A controversial bill that would require vaccination for nearly all California children to attend school -- both public and private -- cleared the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.
The committee voted 7-2 on the bill, co-authored by Sens. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) and Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica). Both Democrats and Republicans supported the bill.
"It's a strong sign that people want to be sure that we protect our kids, protect our schools and protect our communities from these preventable diseases," Pan said of Wednesday's vote.
It was the bill's second hearing in a week by the committee. Last Wednesday, hundreds of people voiced their opposition to the bill, and it looked like the committee would kill it. Instead, Pan and Allen asked to hold the bill and crafted amendments letting families that opt out of vaccines homeschool their children together and allowing students seek independent study.
While the committee backed the bill's advance, chairwoman Sen. Carol Liu (D-Glendale) noted the bill "still has a long way to go" and hinted that she wasn't completely swayed that the proposed amendments are sufficient.