Senate Likely Will Not Vote on Amendment To Modify Stem Cell Initiative
The Senate is "unlikely" to place a proposed state constitutional amendment (SCA 13) by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento) on the November special election ballot and instead will ask the Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee to implement additional rules by its July 12 meeting, the Sacramento Bee reports. Ortiz said the Legislature has agreed to move SCA 13 forward if ICOC does not resolve their concerns (Yamamura, Sacramento Bee, 6/16).
Ortiz's proposed amendment includes changes to ICOC's open meeting, conflict-of-interest and access-to-care rules. Ortiz's proposal initially included more stringent rules, but Ortiz has said that some of her initial concerns have been resolved.
Ortiz earlier this month said she would consider abandoning the proposal if she and ICOC members could reach an agreement on providing new treatments to low-income California residents (California Healthline, 6/7).
Ortiz said the 15-member Senate Republican Caucus agreed to support SCA 13 but that she could not obtain support from the 12 Democrats necessary to reach a two-thirds majority.
The letter to ICOC, which is currently being drafted, will state that the Legislature might decide to pursue SCA 13 for the June 2006 ballot. However, Ortiz said she believes the Legislature has until August to place SCA 13 on the November special election ballot.
ICOC Chair Robert Klein in a statement said, "We look forward to reviewing the letter and have benefited greatly from the input of Sens. Perata, Ortiz, Dunn, Speier and their staffs, among others."
A new ICOC subcommittee to work with the Legislature will meet June 20 to discuss the possible changes, Klein said (Sacramento Bee, 6/16).