Sen. Linda Sanborn responds to voters' decision to uphold new immunization law

Posted: March 03, 2020 | Senator Linda Sanborn

AUGUSTA – On Tuesday, Mainers overwhelmingly voted to uphold a recently passed legislation to strengthen the state’s immunization requirements for children to attend public schools. The Maine Legislature approved the new law in an effort to improve Maine’s immunization rates for children attending public school. The new law eliminates philosophical and religious exemptions for immunizations required to attend public school while expanding medical exemptions.

The new law sponsored by Rep. Ryan Tipping, D-Orono, and Sen. Linda Sanborn, D-Gorham, takes effect September 2021.

Sen. Sanborn, a retired family physician, released the following statement in response to Tuesday’s results:

“As a mother, grandmother, retired family physician and state legislator, my top priority has always been the health and safety of Maine children and families. I also believe wholeheartedly in respecting the will of Maine voters and the citizen initiative process. This year, I was proud to be a part of crafting and passing legislation that I knew would protect children and Mainers with compromised immune systems. Tonight, I’m even prouder to report that we’ve heard from voters that they agree. The people’s veto is an important tool for our democracy, and I’m pleased both with the outcome of this vote and what it means for Maine people.”

The official votes of Tuesday’s referendum results are still coming in but reports from the Bangor Daily news state that the “No on 1” campaign won 70 percent to 28 percent with 50 percent of the vote counted.