Abortion rights bill goes ahead; tax measure doesn’t

There were lots of speeches but no surprises today as House Democrats passed an abortion rights measure while Senate Republicans failed to push through a proposed constitutional amendment requiring a two-thirds majority vote by lawmakers to raise taxes.

On a 54-44 vote, the House approved the bill known as the Reproductive Parity Act which would require health insurers to provide abortion coverage if they already cover maternity services. It will now be sent to the Senate where it is expected to languish. Majority Coalition Caucus leaders said today they’re not planning on taking it up on the floor.

The House passed the same bill last year. It did receive a hearing in the Senate Health Care Committee but did not advance out of the committee.

Meanwhile, in the Senate today they debated the proposed constitutional amendment that would put into law what voters have endorsed several times, including last year with the passage of Initiative 1185.

The proposal received a favorable 25-21 vote but it needed a two-thirds majority, or 33 votes, to pass. Had the measure garnered enough support it would have gone to the House where it would not have received a hearing.

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