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Proposed amendments to the vaccine bill have two Trenton lawmakers in rundown. First, we have printed Assemblyman Jamel Holley’s (D-20) objection to the amendments, followed by a rejoinder by the proponent of the amendments, state Senator Declan O’Scanlon (R-13).
Holley: O’Scanlon Amendments Suggest Segregation
“This current legislative body is coming off the heels as the most accomplished legislature in history tackling social justice, inclusion and fairness.
“Senator O’Scanlon’s vaccine amendments cuts into the fiber of all we have accomplished. To suggest that we begin to segregate our students is an abomination of what every righteous leader should be standing up against.
“I’ve been totally against this bill from day one and now I am even more compelled to oppose. This includes bringing along my fellow Members of the Assembly to vote against this discriminatory, unconstitutional, and an over reach of government.
“With these new amendments, I can guarantee that a majority, if not all of the African American Members of the Assembly will not be voting in support of this bill that discriminates based on wealth, address and ability to afford private education.
“I’m working the phones and we have gained traction to defeat.
“I stand with parents and children that are fighting for their freedom and democratic rights. Period!!”
O’Scanlon: Government Should not Dictate to Private Businesses
“Assemblyman Holley is entitled to his position but I must correct any suggestion that it’s my intention to segregate anyone. My motivation for drawing the line of this mandate at public schools was inspired by two things. First, I simply don’t believe it should be up to government to dictate to private owners of businesses or instructions who they do business with or how they run their operations.
“Second, I was asked by a person who doesn’t believe in vaccinations to permit her, and others who share her beliefs, to create or take advantage of other, private options to provide daycare and schooling to their unvaccinated children.
“It’s that simple. The original bill provided no such options. The only recourse would have been to forego daycare and to home school non-vaccinated children.
“Let’s be absolutely clear, the science is overwhelming, vaccines save lives. Children’s lives. As our solid, high levels of vaccination rates have fallen the occurrence of outbreaks of preventable, potentially life-altering or even deadly diseases has increased. If Assemblyman Holley, or any other legislator, is successful in his effort to derail this bill he/they must accept responsibility for the results of their actions.
“It is not inconceivable that those results may include needless, preventable deaths of children. And please don’t try to compare the infinitesimally smaller risk of vaccines to the dramatically greater risk of failure to maintain a high level of vaccination.
“Lastly, it isn’t just the optionally non-vaccinated that are at risk. The elderly, the very young, the immunocomprosmised who can’t be vaccinated, the 1 in 10 children who are vaccinated who don’t develop immunity and wide swaths of the population whose immunity has lessoned over time. It will be these potentially permanently impacted lives that Assemblyman Holley will have to answer for.”