California Effort to Legalize Assisted Suicide Fails Again Over Budget Crisis

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Effort to Legalize Assisted Suicide Fails Again Over Budget Crisis Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 22
, 2008

Sacramento, CA ( — California lawmakers are apparently so concerned about the state budget crisis there that they failed to reintroduce a bill to legalize assisted suicide by a deadline today. Last year, backers of the bill that would have legalized assisted suicide in California fell short in having enough votes to advance the measure in the state Assembly.

They pulled it from consideration when they realized they did not have enough votes to get it approved by a legislative deadline.

The bill had already received approval from a state Assembly committee but did not have enough votes to make it through the full Assembly.

This year, Assemblywoman Patty Berg, a co-sponsor, appears to not have been able to meet the February 22 deadline for introducing new bills for the 2008 legislative session.

Carol Hogan, communications director for the California Catholic Conference, told the California Catholic newspaper she thinks the assisted suicide debate will now shift to Washington, where a proposal to legalize the practice is expected on the November ballot.

“We’re speculating that a lot of interest and finances are falling in that direction,” she said.

The California legislature has tried repeatedly to approve an assisted suicide bill but it has never made it out of the House in previous attempts.

Last year was the third year in a row that Assembly members Lloyd Levine and Berg, both Democrats, have introduced the legislation, which is patterned after Oregon’s first-in-the-nation assisted suicide law.

Thirteen years ago, California voters disapproved an assisted suicide ballot proposal. Voters rejected Proposition 161 by a 54% to 46% margin.