SB 866 was Amended yesterday and may be voted on by the full Assembly next week!
Call your Assembly Member and ask them to Oppose or Abstain on SB 866!
SB 866 (Wiener), was amended on June 16, 2022, changing the age at which a minors can consent to all vaccines, from 12+ to 15+ years old. (Note: this was not an amendment suggested by A Voice for Choice Advocacy. Senator Wiener refused to consider our requested amendments.)
38 Assembly Members voted for this amendment, with 22 voted against it and 19 abstained. To pass the amendment needed a majority of those present, which it got. Many of the abstentions were purposeful, but we know at least three would have been Aye votes, if the assembly member had been present for the vote. This means that Senator Wiener likely has the votes in the Assembly to pass the bill when it comes to the floor next week. This is not surprising. It is calculated. It is unlikely Senator Wiener would have brought this sole amendment forward, if he did not feel he had the votes. He has spent the last two weeks in the same way we have – meeting with Assembly Members trying to work out what argument would solidify their vote. You can see how your Assembly Member voted here: [link removed] [[link removed]] . The full Assembly could vote on this amended bill as early as Monday. Because the bill has been amended, it has to go back to the Senate for Concurrence before going to the Governor’s desk.
To Note: Because CA has a year round legislative session, our State legislators are politicians first and many go from one elected office to the next. One of the key goals of State Legislator is to get as many bills to the Governor’s desk, as possible in a year. Each bill goes through committees and floor votes and if the legislator does not have the votes to pass it through, they usually amend it, so it does pass. Rarely, a legislator does pull a bill, but that is usually because the opposition is from those who they rely on for donations in an election or if the Speaker/Pro Tem or the Governor ask them to pull it. Unlike other vaccine/COVID-19 related bills that were introduced and pulled earlier this session (e.g SB 920, SB 1464, SB 871 and AB 1993), SB 866 does not have broad opposition outside the health rights movement. A Voice for Choice Advocacy has reached out to many organizations, especially left leaning organizations who support the Democrats, asking them to take a stand opposing SB 866, but many feel that minors should be empowered to make medical decisions.
While this amendment, raising the age to 15, likely has the votes to pass in both the Assembly and the Senate, there is a chance that some Assembly Members voted for the amendment, because it makes the bill better (they agree with that), but they may still vote against the bill when it comes before them on the Assembly floor, because they still feel it is overreach or does not have the guardrails in place to prevent unintended consequences.
Therefore we ask you to keep the pressure on! Constituents have the most powerful voice, especially in an election year. Please call your Assembly Member's district and capitol office and this weekend, asking them to oppose or abstain from SB 866.
Take Action TODAY!
Right Now: Pick up your phone and call your Assembly Member's local district and Capitol office ( [link removed] [[link removed]] ) , and leave a message asking them to Oppose or Abstain from SB 866. Be sure to let them know you are a constituent. Be professional and rational when you call, as you are trying to get them to vote with you, so you want to build that relationship, not burn it.
Sample Script: "I am a constituent of Assembly Member XXXX. I am calling to ask the Assembly member to vote no or abstain on SB 866, which would allow minors to consent to vaccinations including the COVID vaccine. Even with the age being raised to 15, SB 866 is still too broad and has not been amended to include guardrails to protect minors. It will result in unintended consequences.”
If you wish to give more details, you can speak to the following issues:
- 15 year olds just do not have the mental capacity to make these types of decisions rationally.
- Ensure Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) vaccines are not included
- Ensure special needs students are excluded
- Ensure children are not compelled to get the vaccine with monetary or other rewards
A Voice for Choice Advocacy sent a detailed letter to all Assembly Members outlining our numerous concerns with the bill, and our requested amendments. You can read our letter here and use points from it, but please don't copy it word for word: [link removed] [[link removed]]
Over the past 7 years, A Voice for Choice Advocacy has established itself as the leading legislative organization lobbying in the California Capitol for your health rights. While A Voice for Choice Advocacy's lobbying activity in the Capitol is important, your positive constituent relationships with your CA State Senator and Assembly Member and their staff are critical to assisting with A Voice for Choice Advocacy's efforts in the Capitol.
If you found this information helpful and appreciate the work A Voice for Choice Advocacy is doing, please support us by making a donation today.
Together we can make change happen!
A Voice for Choice Advocacy, Inc. [email protected] [[email protected]]
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