Assemblyman Kevin Kiley says vaccine mandate for students will be “last straw” for many Californians

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A state lawmaker said he wants ensure that all school students in San Diego and throughout the state are vaccinated against COVID-19, and do to that, he announced a proposal Monday to eliminate personal belief exemptions and expand upon a state vaccine mandate.

“We have an opportunity here to keep kids safe,” Sen. Richard Pan, D- Sacramento, said Monday during a California Medical Association news conference, where the legislator and pediatrician announced details of the Keep Schools Open and Safe Act.

“As a pediatrician, parent and legislator, I am committed to giving the public confidence and certainty that we are working to prevent or slow down the next coronavirus surge,” Pan said. “Legislators have the ability to pass laws to make our communities safe, including increasing vaccination rates to keep schools open and safe.”

Under state law, personal belief exemptions must be allowed for any newly required childhood vaccine unless the legislature passes a law banning them.

Pan said closing the personal belief exemption loophole for the “safe and effective” shots ensures that “every medically eligible student attending school in person is vaccinated.”

San Diego Unified Board member Richard Barrera attended Monday’s news conference. He called a vaccine requirement a “common sense” way to protect students and educators and keep kids in schools.

SDUSD has unsuccessfully tried to implement its own such vaccine mandates for students and staff for the spring semester, but those policies are being held up in the courts.

“The state Legislature does have the authority to require a vaccine mandate,” he said. “What Senator Pan is doing is stepping up and doing what all people following the science understand …

“We welcome this necessary legislation by our state leaders to help end the roller coaster of the pandemic and allow schools to go back to focusing on what we do best — educating our students.”

But not everyone is on board.

Barrera has been strongly opposed by parents of San Diego Unified students for his constant pushing of mandating vaccinations in their kids.

Republican Assemblymember Kevin Kiley has been standing up for the parents who feel this way, and has been leading the fight against mandated vaccines.

To put it simply, Kiley explained that this will be the “last straw” for many California families, and we can expect to see a mass exodus of people leaving the state.

RELATED STORY: Democrat announces bill to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for all California students

Categories: California News, Coronavirus, Good Morning San Diego, Health, Local San Diego News, Politics