By Assemblyman Kevin Kiley – August 25, 2022
Next Tuesday at midnight is the year’s legislative deadline. Any bill that hasn’t passed by then is dead, so the next few days are make-or-break for the ghastly “Vaccine Work Group” package.
For months we’ve spoken out and fought back. We’ve rallied and organized. We’ve marshalled evidence and appealed to reason. And we killed the worst bills: a K-12 child vaccine mandate, a universal workplace mandate, and a measure to coerce police into enforcing mandates.
A fourth bill in the worst-of-the-worst category remains stalled. SB 866 would remove parent consent for 15-year-olds to be vaccinated. I spent 19 minutes interrogating the bill’s author in committee and am ready to speak against it on the Assembly Floor.
Three other Work Group bills await a final vote: AB 2098 to go after physicians for COVID “misinformation,” SB 1018 to enable more censorship on social media, and AB 1797 relating to the “immunization registry.”
Unfortunately the COVID testing bill, which I spoke against, has already passed. But the fight isn’t over. Newsom has until the end of September to sign or veto it. And while he can never be trusted to do the right thing, we can create pressure to force his hand.
That’s how we got him to withdraw his K-12 student mandate. That’s how we got him to end the school mask mandate. And just two days ago, that’s how we got him to veto a bill that would have opened legal drug “injection sites” in our cities.
We still have work to do. But this year at the State Capitol could have been a lot worse.