Bill to eliminate religion as reason not to vaccinate kids dies after failing to win support

Religion will remain a valid excuse for parents to avoid laws requiring their children be vaccinated to attend public schools in New Jersey — at least for now — after state lawmakers failed to muster enough to support Monday to pass a hotly contested bill that would have repealed the option that thousands of the state’s families used last year.

With hundreds of parents once again staging a high-decibel protest outside the Statehouse in Trenton, a planned vote on the legislation was called off because leaders in the state Senate fell one vote short.

But the bill’s Democratic sponsors vowed that the fight to repeal the religious exemption isn’t over. They said they will reintroduce the measure Tuesday after New Jersey’s two-year legislative session expires at noon. The public hearing and voting process, however, will have to start over.

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