The following comes from a July 7 San Jose Mercury News article by Jessica Calefatij:
In a startling turnaround for a measure that just weeks ago appeared to be headed for easy passage, the sponsors of SB128 conceded this morning that they don’t have the votes on the Assembly Health Committee to move the highly controversial legislation, which had already cleared the state Senate.
The bill would have allowed mentally competent, terminally ill patients to end their own lives by obtaining a prescription for medication from physicians.
“We continue to work with Assembly members to ensure they are comfortable with the bill,” the statement said. “Seven out of every 10 California voters want to see this bill become law. For dying Californians, like Jennifer Glass, who was scheduled to testify today, this issue is urgent. It is urgent for Christy O’Donnell, for Michael Saum and hundreds of other Californians. We remain committed to passing the End of Life Option Act for all Californians who want and need the option of medical aid in dying.”
A cadre of young Latino legislators from Southern California who sit on the Assembly Health Committee broke ranks with their party on the issue.
When the California Medical Association removed opposition to the bill, it seemed destined to pass in a progressive state that considers itself on the leading edge of cultural trends.
The Senate last month passed the measure 23 to 15 — with all but one of the Democrats present supporting it, and all Republicans opposed.
The first Assembly hearing in the Health Committee was delayed in late June until today; 10 votes are needed to move the bill forward — and only six or seven are guaranteed. The 19-member committee has 13 Democrats.
But while conservative and rural Central Valley Republicans were the traditional opponents, lobbyists against SB128 pressured at least five Democrats to join their ranks.