H157 is on the Vermont State Senate schedule today for debate/vote. H157 is the bill regulating tanning beds to which language legalizing assisted suicide has been attached. While we do not know exactly what time discussion/vote on H157 will occur, it will be sometime after the Senate convenes at 1:30 PM.
If H157 comes to a vote, it should be close. Please continue to contact your legislators today.
There is a question of whether the amendment to H157 adding language legalizing assisted suicide to a tanning bed bill is germane. The Senate can vote that the amendment is not germane, then they must have a 3/4 vote to pass it. Germane means something must be closely or significantly related. Obviously there is a strong argument, with which many legislators agree, that assisted suicide is not closely related to tanning bed regulation.
An article in the Bennington Banner today quotes Sen. Dick Sears discussing that the amendment is not germane, and he is prepared to act on it:
Sears said he will challenge the amendment if no one else does. “When the bill comes up somebody will ask whether it’s germane — either me or somebody else. The answer is that it is not,” Sears said.
“Even the governor, who supports the effort on death with dignity, doesn’t think it’s germane. The lieutenant governor doesn’t. The secretary of the Senate doesn’t,” Sears said.
You can view the entire article from the Bennington Banner today: