Dems offer concession on vaccines to end Republican walkout

Republicans shut down the Senate last week to protest a minimal tax on businesses that's expected to raise $2 billion for schools.

Posted: May 13, 2019 2:47 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- A state lawmaker says Senate Democrats are willing to drop a controversial vaccine proposal to coax Republicans back to the Oregon capitol and vote on a multibillion school funding tax.

RELATED: House approves increase in funding for Oregon schools

Rep. Cheri Helt, the Republican from Bend who sponsored the vaccine measure, said Monday that the deal is a win for "the loudest, most extreme voices in our politics."

The bill responds to a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest that sickened more than 70 people. The outbreak was recently declared over but the national measles count has hit its highest in decades.

MORE: Oregon Senate officials search for Republicans for quorum

The proposal would have ended families' ability to opt-out of school vaccination requirements for personal, philosophical or religious reasons.

Republicans shut down the Senate last week to protest a minimal tax on businesses that's expected to raise $2 billion for schools.

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