Lawmakers amend Berg’s ‘Death with Dignity’ bill to apply to her career

Berg Smoking

Light 'em if you got 'em.

A bill that would humanely terminate the tottering career of former Assemblywoman Patty Berg is picking up support in committee and could be headed for a vote in the senate.

Modeled after Berg’s own “Compassion and Choices,” a failed initiative which would have legalized assisting in the deaths of the terminally ill, Santa Rosa Assemblywoman Noreen Evans’ “Compassion and Choice of Adult Diapers and Nursing Homes” targets old, worn out politicians who don’t have the sense to quit.

“The logic of assisted career suicide is more compelling than ever since that battle-ax Berg shoved Wiggins under the crazy bus to free up the Second District senate seat,” Evans said.

“That move left little doubt that her career is terminal. It’s time to do the right thing and help put it out of its misery.”

Berg, who was termed out of the state assembly in January, announced in the Eureka Times-Standard last week that she was considering a run for Wiggins’ seat. She has also filed papers declaring her intent to run for state insurance commissioner in 2010, when she will be 143 years old.

Evans said repeatedly that her support of the bill was not a reflection on Berg’s achievements.

“She’s done so many good things for the elderly,” Evans said. “Especially herself.”

One insider who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that Berg’s comments about a senate run have been something less than inspiring.

“It would be one thing if she were able to articulate a vision, explain to us what she hoped to accomplish in the senate. But so far it sounds like she wants to be a senator only because she doesn’t really want to be an insurance commissioner,” the insider said. “No one I know thinks she should be either.”

But supporters called those statements “unfair,” and pointed to her past accomplishments, including meddling extensively in county affairs and bringing forward 17 different bills with the word “compassion” in the title.

Berg said if elected she would earn $116,280, issue endless proclamations about nothing, and fill the senate chamber with crocheted doilies and old-lady smell.

Photo janked from here.

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What the hell—it’s 4:20 somewhere

A bill co-authored by Eureka Assemblywoman Patty Berg would prohibit California employers from firing medical marijuana cardholders for smoking pot away from work, even if they test positive for the drug at work.

The bill would mark the first expansion of Proposition 215, also called the Compassionate Use Act, which legalized the production, distribution and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

According to a press release issued Monday by co-author Assemblyman Mark Leno, the bill “is merely an affirmation of the intent of the voters and the legislature that medical marijuana patients need not be unemployed to benefit from their medicine, although obviously most of them are unemployed, unless you consider dealing spliffs to other ambitionless losers ‘employment,’ and even I know that’s a stretch.”

Berg said she is considering adding a rider to the bill called the Compassionate Munchies Addendum, which would increase the dollar-amount of food stamps distributed to 215 cardholders.

In other Assembly news, Berg is working on a rewrite of her failed Compassion and Choices bill, which would make it legal to assist in the deaths of terminally ill friends and family members.

The proposed legislation is itself a rewrite of Berg’s failed Compassionate Choice bill, which was mercy-killed in committee in 2007.

It was first rolled out in 2005 as the Expedited Inheritance Act, but the name failed to resonate with lawmakers.

Finally, the Assembly passed at Berg’s request a joint resolution to honor a Santa Rosa woman for her work rescuing baby deer. Marjorie Davis was given the Extraordinary Compassion Award, an accolade presented each year to the district resident who most thoroughly subverts the principles of natural selection.