In a near party-line vote, the state House passed the contentious “Reproductive Parity Act” to the Senate by a 53-to-43 margin Friday. One Republican, freshman Rep. Chad Magendaz of Issaquah, voted in favor, and two Democrats – freshman Rep. Roger Freeman of Federal Way and Rep. Chris Hurst of Enumclaw – voted against the bill requiring health insurers to pay for abortions if they also insure maternity services.
House Bill 1044 now goes to the Senate, where Sen. Randi Becker, R-Eatonville, had pledged to hear it as one of the first bills that are sent over by the House ata today’s cutoff.
“We plan on hearing that early on,” Becker, a likely opponent of the bill herself, said in an interview in the Senate wings.
The House floor fight was spirited between pro-choice Democrats like Rep. Eileen Cody, the Seattle sponsor, and Republicans like Rep. Steve O’Ban of University Place who argued for honoring the right of conscience for religious orders that run hospitals and offer health benefits to their workers.
The roll call vote list is here. The list:
Voting Yea: Representatives Appleton, Bergquist, Blake, Carlyle, Clibborn, Cody, Dunshee, Farrell, Fey, Fitzgibbon, Goodman, Green, Habib, Haigh, Hansen, Hudgins, Hunt, Hunter, Jinkins, Kagi, Kirby, Liias, Lytton, Magendanz, Maxwell, McCoy, Moeller, Morrell, Moscoso, Ormsby, Orwall, Pedersen, Pettigrew, Pollet, Reykdal, Riccelli, Roberts, Ryu, Santos, Sawyer, Seaquist, Sells, Springer, Stanford, Stonier, Sullivan, Takko, Tarleton, Tharinger, Upthegrove, Van De Wege, Wylie, and Mr. Speaker
Voting Nay: Representatives Alexander, Angel, Buys, Chandler, Condotta, Crouse, Dahlquist, DeBolt, Fagan, Freeman, Haler, Hargrove, Hawkins, Hayes, Holy, Hope, Hurst, Johnson, Klippert, Kochmar, Kretz, Kristiansen, MacEwen, Manweller, Nealey, O’Ban, Orcutt, Overstreet, Parker, Pike, Rodne, Ross, Schmick, Scott, Shea, Short, Smith, Taylor, Vick, Walsh, Warnick, Wilcox, and Zeiger
Excused: Representatives Harris and Morris
Republicans who dominate a slim majority coalition in the Senate have said they have the votes to kill the bill in the Rules Committee if it emerges from Becker’s committee.
Members of Senate Rules include Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, D-Medina, and neither Tom nor a Republican co-sponsor of the bill, Sen. Steve Litzow, could say earlier this week how they may maneuver the bill to the floor where a likely Senate majority could approve it.
Gov. Jay Inslee put out a statement setting high expectations for the Senate:
Today’s vote in the House is a big step forward in guaranteeing women’s access to a full range of reproductive health care services. As I begin signing bills next week, I expect the Senate to follow the House’s lead so the RPA can be among those I have the honor of signing into law. The Senate should not shut the door of democracy when it comes to women’s health care.
Becker said she worked out an agreement with Cody to wait and hear her bill when it came over rather than move it herself. Earlier Senate versions of the bill were stopped in other committees, including Law and Justice where the chair Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, announced he would hear it them backed out.
The issue is emerging as one of the most divisive so far in the session for the Senate majority alliance that includes 23 Republicans and two renegade Democrats.
UPDATED to correct reference to who is on Rules.