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Suicide is Tragic to Many, But Preferable to CA Dem Lawmakers

Actor Robin Williams’ suicide is considered tragic and horrific. But many of the same people who expressed horror over Williams’ suicide say legally assisted suicide is acceptable, beneficial, and even “honorable.”

Rather than waiting for recently proposed assisted suicide legislation to work through the legislative committee process, a new lawsuit filed Wednesday asks the California Superior Court to find that physicians who provide a assisted suicide prescriptions should not be subject to criminal prosecution for assisting another to “commit suicide.”

The lawsuit wants the court to declare that patients facing the end of life have a “civil right” under the California State Constitution “to make their own decisions about their bodies.”

“If the lawsuit succeeds, terminally ill Californians, like Brittany Maynard, would not have to leave the state to receive legal aid in dying,” the press statement said. Filed by Californians with cancer, physicians, and a national nonprofit disability rights advocacy group, Disability Rights Legal Center, the lawsuit is attempting to “clarify the ability of mentally competent, terminally… Read More

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Tax Legislation for Disabled Veterans Heads to Governor

I am pleased to announce SB 1113 (Knight), my sponsored proposal to protect disabled veterans, cleared the Assembly last week with unanimous, bipartisan support, and now awaits action by Governor Jerry Brown.

Under California law, veterans who receive a 100% disability rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) may be eligible for a property tax exemption on the value of their home up to $124,932 or $187,399 in 2014 and equivalent amounts adjusted for inflation in future years. The exemption starts on the date of disability and disabled veterans may claim a refund for up to four years of back taxes paid.

Unfortunately, due to VA backlogs, some veterans have had to wait more than four years to receive their disability rating certifications. As a result, they’ve missed out on thousands of dollars in property tax refunds to which they were entitled and anticipated receiving.

SB 1113 would increase the availability of refunds on taxes previously paid from four years to eight years, allowing veterans to receive the full benefit of their exemption,… Read More