ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The Latest on legislation to eliminate a religious exemption to New York state's vaccine requirements (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation eliminating a religious exemption to vaccine mandates for schoolchildren in the face of the nation's worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat signed the bill Thursday soon after it was approved by lawmakers.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states, though lawmakers in several of them are also considering the elimination of the waiver. Maine nixed its religious exemption earlier this year.

Hundreds of opponents of the bill, including parents of unvaccinated children, protested outside New York's Capitol ahead of Thursday's vote. They say the bill is an assault on religious freedom.

Supporters say misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers has created a public health crisis.

Health officials said last week that this year's U.S. measles epidemic has surpassed 1,000 illnesses, the highest in 27 years.

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6:15 p.m.

New York lawmakers have passed a bill that will eliminate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates for schoolchildren in the face of the state's worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat-led Assembly and Senate both approved the measure Thursday. The bill now goes to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has said he supports eliminating the exemption because public health comes first.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states, though lawmakers in several of them are also considering the elimination of the waiver. Maine nixed its religious exemption earlier this year.

Hundreds of opponents to the bill, including parents of unvaccinated children, protested outside New York's Capitol ahead of Thursday's vote. They say the bill is an assault on religious freedom.

Supporters say misinformation spread by anti-vaxxers has created a public health crisis.

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This item has been corrected to show that hundreds of opponents of the measure protested ahead of the vote, not proponents.

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4:35 p.m.

The New York state Assembly has voted to eliminate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates for schoolchildren in the face of its worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat-led chamber approved the bill Thursday. The Senate plans to take up the measure later in the day.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states. But lawmakers in several of them are also considering eliminating the waiver.

Maine nixed its religious exemption earlier this year.

Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York's Capitol before Thursday's vote to protest what several called an assault on religious freedom.

Supporters say misinformation spread by vaccine opponents is creating a public health crisis and putting children who can't get vaccinated for medical reasons at risk.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he supports eliminating the exemption.

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12:31 p.m.

New York state may soon eliminate a religious exemption to vaccine mandates in the face of its worst measles outbreak in decades.

The Democrat-led Senate and Assembly are expected to pass legislation Thursday that would eliminate the exemption, which allows parents of children to cite their religious beliefs to opt a child out of the vaccines required for school enrollment.

Similar exemptions are allowed in 46 states, though lawmakers in several states are also considering the elimination of the waiver.

Hundreds of parents of unvaccinated children gathered at New York's Capitol before Thursday's vote to protest what several called an assault on religious freedom.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday he supports eliminating the exemption, saying public health is at risk.