Assisted-suicide bill making gains

first_img“I’m very troubled by his decision,” said Rebecca Sandoval of the California League of United Latin American Citizens. Her comments came outside a separate Capitol news conference by bill foes. The measure has failed the past two legislative sessions, with it dying on a close vote last year in a Senate committee. But Levine and Berg said they believe the support of the speaker and the declaration of 27 co-authors already has changed the political dynamics in a Legislature, controlled by fellow Democrats. “We are confident that this year we will be successful in getting this legislation to the governor and signed into law,” Levine said. Berg said Nu ez “understands \ and he knows this bill has enormous support all across California, and that’s whey he is here today.” Levine and Berg also cited the position taken in 2006 by Senate leader Don Perata, D- Oakland. Perata spokeswoman Alicia Trost quoted the Senate leader as saying Thursday that “we will look at the bill when it arrives in the Senate.” “Last year, Don said he would vote for the bill but that he would not push the caucus to do the same because it is a personal thing and everyone has to decide for himself,” Trost said. Republican lawmakers have shunned the bill in the past, but recent polls show a majority of GOP voters back the concept. Berg and Levine also said the issue is under discussion among officials in Schwarzenegger’s administration, as well, with much having changed politically since the governor’s comments in January 2006. “Let the people of California make the decision,” he told the Sacramento Press Club. “I don’t think that we 120 legislators and I should make the decision.” Asked if that year-old statement meant a veto this year by the Catholic governor, Schwarzenegger spokesman Aaron McLear said, “We’re far away from that. It’s a significant and important issue.” [email protected] (916) 447-9302160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Supporters insist the bill would provide the terminally ill with an option to end painful suffering. Foes – including the California Disability Alliance and Center for Independent Living – claim it would devalue life, particularly when it comes to the uninsured, poor and disabled. The religious, ethical and emotional questions raised by the issue have not only divided the Legislature, but also Californians such as the Nu ez family, which includes Catholic priests. Polls show two-thirds of Californians support physician- assisted suicide. But Latinos poll lower, and the Latino Assembly speaker said he had heard from many after it was reported Wednesday by MediaNews Group that he would announce support of the bill. Odds of doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill in California shot up Thursday when influential Assembly Speaker Fabian Nu ez said he would push a new bill – while the Senate leader remained open-minded, and the governor’s office said a veto isn’t certain. Nu ez, a Los Angeles Democrat and member of the Catholic Church that opposes the legislation, declared himself a joint author who would back the third attempt at passage of the politically volatile bill by Assembly members Lloyd Levine, D-Van Nuys, and Patty Berg, D-Eureka. It will not only will be a legislative battle but also “a family fight, and I haven’t even told my mom yet,” Nu ez said in an interview before a Capitol news conference. “But I think it’s the right thing to do.” AB374, modeled after an Oregon law, is identical to a bill that failed last year. It would allow a California adult – diagnosed with less than six months to live – to get a lethal prescription after clearing several hurdles. last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *