Sen. Miner Statement on Senate Passage of Bill Eliminating Religious Exemption for Child Vaccinations

April 28, 2021

Chief Deputy Senate Republican Leader Craig Miner (R-Litchfield) issued the following statement in response to the senate’s passage of a Democratic-majority bill that eliminates the state’s religious exemption for required vaccines for school enrollment. The bill was passed by the state’s house of representatives last week and now awaits Governor Ned Lamont’s signature to become law.


“The government, through the constitution, guarantees the people’s right to an education; it’s a charge that I take very seriously. The people, in this case parents, have the ultimate right to say what goes into the bodies of their children on religious grounds or otherwise,” said Senator Miner.


“There isn’t an ad on television for medication that does not include its side effects. We are informed and then choose what to put in our body. In my time as a legislator, I’ve been a part of conversations that included protecting this right to choose. How do we in one instance protect this right, and now run counter to this approach today? It is bizarre that we’re protecting this freedom in one year and removing certain rights in the other.


“The timing of this legislation is also alarming. I’ve read through thousands of pieces of constituent testimony and almost every one of them raises the question of ‘why now?’. Statistically there is no reason. We haven’t closed one school or daycare facility because of measles. It all seems counterintuitive that at a time when this state has been almost completely shut down to the public, the only access it has is outside of this building behind a fence.


“How is the public served, how is the process served? Why shouldn’t people be angry because they don’t believe that they’ve been heard? This year, the rules have been skewed against the public. In a case where we’re talking about taking a religious freedom and constitutional right away, it is unbelievable that we’re having this conversation.


“I think it’s a huge mistake for us to pursue this legislation. There is never a good time to foreclose on constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms, but certainly not when public access to hearings has been restricted and the people’s house has been closed. It just doesn’t make any sense,” he said.