Without ceremony, Gov. Ned Lamont signed the legislation repealing the religious exemption.

“I’m doing everything I can, as you hear, to encourage people to get vaccinated and the more people vaccinated the safer we are,” Lamont said Wednesday. “I want to sign that bill.”

Lamont said he expects a legal challenge, but “everybody sues so we’ll be ok.”

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Opponents of the legislation have been fundraising for months in anticipation that the legislature would approve the measure.

 “We’ll see him in court,” LeeAnn Ducat of InformedChoiceCT said. “We’ve been preparing for months to immediately challenge this in court. We have a great legal team assembled and I can’t wait.”

Republican Senate Leader Kevin Kelly said they were debating the bill for hours Tuesday in order to make sure the justices were clear about the legislative intent in anticipation of a legal battle.