Vaccine bill’s future uncertain as General Assembly only has 2 days left

DENVER -- State lawmakers are running out of time. At the beginning of the week, more than 200 bills still needed to be voted on.

The problem: Colorado law requires the General Assembly complete its work by midnight Friday.

As a result, some bills will likely die -- victims of the clock.

One major question is: What will happen with the controversial vaccine bill, which would require parents who chose to not vaccinate their child to submit a waiver in person with the health department?

While the bill advanced in the House, it has stalled in the Senate. A last-minute public hearing was scheduled for Wednesday night at the State Capitol.

About 530 people signed up to speak about the bill. Most are against it.

They're upset the committee limited the hearing to four hours and were concerned their voices may not be heard.

"This is a very undemocratic process... not giving people a chance to express their concerns about something that’s going to affect their lives and their children," said Dr. Micheal Gaeta, who opposes the bill.

But other doctors are in favor of it.

"The time to act is now," Dr. Jessica Cataldi told FOX31. "And I think that there’s been plenty of time for the legislators to read about it and hear from constituents. I trust that legislators will make that a fair process."

"I think it's really concerning that a bill about children's health has really been caught up in a lot of political division," said Cataldi.

What happens with the bill next is unclear.

Lawmakers in the Senate Finance Committee could advance it to the floor of the Senate as it is currently written or they could amend the bill to address some concerns Gov. Jared Polis has mentioned publicly.

Colorado Public Radio reported last week that Polis has spoken publicly against the bill.

Rep. Kyle Mullica (D-Thornton), who is a main sponsor of the bill, said he would be opposed to any further amendments.

"I think the bill that we have right now is the bill that is going to solve the problem," Mullica told FOX31 political reporter Joe St. George.

Colorado ranks last in the country for vaccinations among kindergartners.

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