Thursday, February 5, 2015

Thursday Must Reads: Lawmakers Consider Killing Vaccine Exemption; State May Approve Use Fee for Road Repairs

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Feb 5, 2015 at 10:44 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Two state lawmakers will introduce today legislation that would eliminate the personal belief exemption for vaccines in California in response to the latest measles outbreak, the Mercury News$ reports. California is one of only seventeen states nationwide that allows parents to cite their personal beliefs in rejecting vaccines for their children. As a result, numerous regions in the state have large numbers of unvaccinated kids, thereby raising the risk of more disease epidemics.

click to enlarge Toni Atkins.
  • Toni Atkins.
2. State Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins is pushing a bill that would create a $52 annual fee per car – rather than an increase in the gas tax — in the state to pay for road repairs, the Chron reports. The use fee would generate about $1.8 billion a year. The Brown administration has identified about $59 billion in unmet transportation needs in the state.

3. Facebook recently closed down Harborside Health Center’s Facebook page, even though the Oakland medical cannabis dispensary has broken no laws, the Chron$ reports. Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, did the same thing. Facebook’s explanation? “We remove any promotion or encouragement of drug use.”

4. State Attorney General Kamala Harris has appealed a federal judge’s decision that overturned California’s ban on foie gras, the SacBee$ reports.

5. Anthem health insurance company revealed that hackers have accessed its database of 80 million users, the LA Times$ reports.

6. And in a move that promises to be a boon for consumers and tech startups, the FCC has decided to move forward with net neutrality, the Chron reports.

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