One of the bills still in play in Albany is the so-called Medical Aid in Dying Act, which has been kicking around the state Capitol for about 10 years. If it passes, it will allow people who are terminally ill to take a cocktail of lethal drugs prescribed by their doctor. It’s one of a bunch of bills that are jammed up during these last, frantic days of the legislative session. 

You can find more on the Act here and here.

According to Corinne Carey, senior campaign director for Compassion and Choices, there are more than enough votes for passage in the Assembly, including that of Speaker Carl Heastie. Capital Tonight confirmed that Heastie acknowledged he would vote for the bill with the speaker's spokesperson and bill sponsor Assembly Member Amy Paulin.

One stumbling block appears to be the state Senate. According to a Senate spokesperson, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins has discussed the bill with the press and isn’t opposed to it, but doesn’t believe the votes are there.

But according to Carey, while the bill only has 22 co-sponsors in the Senate, she counts between 33 and 35 “yes” votes in that chamber.  

Carey says one problem is that some lawmakers are uncomfortable discussing death and dying.

“(But) how do you compare your discomfort as a lawmaker with that of a nurse who’s sitting next to a patient begging for relief,” Carey asked rhetorically.

Another problem is the last-minute insertion of congestion pricing into the mix, which has sucked a lot of oxygen out of what is already a very busy week.

“People are so angry about congestion pricing,” Carey told Capital Tonight.

It’s not clear if or when the bill will come up for a vote in the Assembly.