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MN bill would make it harder to opt out kids from vaccinations

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After a measles outbreak in California, one Minnesota legislator has introduced a bill that would make it more difficult to opt out of vaccines.

Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley, says his bill would require people who don't want to give their children vaccines to consult a doctor first. 

Minnesota has a broad vaccine exemption policy for philosophical or religious beliefs, he said. "Some states like Washington, which have had high exemption rates historically, have followed this approach and it's helped reduce the spread of vaccine preventable diseases."

A University of Minnesota student was diagnosed recently with measles after traveling abroad. The student's case doesn't appear to be connected to the more than 60 people who were diagnosed with the disease after visiting Disneyland in California. 

Freiberg says more kids are getting sick with measles, mumps and whooping cough because of parents who don't take their children in for shots. The U.S. reported a record 644 measles infections last year despite the disease being largely eliminated in 2000. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.