New Jersey Senate withholds voting on controversial vaccine exemption bill

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The New Jersey Senate has decided not to vote on a controversial vaccine exemption bill and will instead reintroduce the bill at the start of a new legislative session on Tuesday.

The decision comes as thousands opposed to the bill rallied at the State House, many chanting “In God we trust” and “Kill the bill.”

The bill has become controversial in the Garden State over the past few weeks. It would remove religious exemptions from mandatory vaccinations.

RELATED: State Senate amends vaccine exemption bill; vote on new bill expected Monday 
RELATED: Protest held outside State House as lawmakers consider vaccine exemption bill 

The bill passed in the state Assembly last month, but stalled in the state Senate. The Senate last week voted to amend the bill, making the vaccinations mandatory for public schools only – giving an exemption to private institutions. But the protesters say that this makes the bill worse.

“It’s completely discriminatory. We can’t afford private schools. And it just proves that it’s not a public health issue,” says Tami Mandlebaum, of Fair Lawn. “So, kids are fine for private schools and healthy and in public they’re a danger? A menace to society? That’s ridiculous.”

Others opposed to the bill say that it infringes on their 1st Amendment religious freedom rights, while others say that it gives too much control to the government.

Senate President Steve Sweeney says that he is ready to "go to war" to get the legislation approved.

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