California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed bills Monday to crack down on doctors who write fraudulent medical exemptions for school children's vaccinations.
The Democratic governor quietly acted less than an hour after lawmakers sent him changes he demanded as a condition of approving the bills, even as protesters outside his office chanted for him to veto the measures.
Lawmakers sent Newsom the initial bill last week aimed at doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions. Democratic Sen. Richard Pan of San Francisco agreed to also carry follow-up legislation that, among other things, would give school children grace periods that could last several years on existing medical exemptions.
Newsom demanded a phase-out period for medical exemptions similar to one allowed when California eliminated personal belief vaccine exemptions in 2015. A kindergartener with an exemption could retain it through sixth grade, for instance, while a seventh grader could be exempted through high school.
The companion bill also would allow officials to revoke any medical exemptions written by a doctor who has faced disciplinary action.
The bill would make it clear that enforcement will start next year, meaning doctors who previously granted a high number of medical exemptions won't face scrutiny.
With files from the Associated Press