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Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

April 15, 2013 at 12:18 PM

Democrats plan to again push abortion, financial aid bills in state Senate

Senate Democrats say they’ll use a procedural move this week to try to pass two bills that Republicans have not allowed votes on.

Democrats announced they’ll try to bring up a controversial bill that requires health-insurance plans to cover abortions, and legislation that would make certain young immigrants who aren’t legal residents eligible for college financial aid.

Democratic leaders plan to use a procedural move, possibly the so-called Ninth Order, in an attempt to pull the legislation out of committee for a floor vote. They contend they have the votes needed to pass the legislation, including from some Republicans, if they can get the measures to the floor.

However, it’s not clear if they’ll have the votes needed to bring the bills to the floor. Democrats say they’ll give it a shot by Wednesday.

House Bill 1044 passed the House in February, but has sat in the Senate Health Care Committee since then. Republicans have not allowed a vote on that measure, or House Bill 1817, which deals with financial aid for immigrants who aren’t in the country legally.

Republicans took control of the state Senate on the first day of the session when Democratic Sens. Rodney Tom, of Medina, and Tim Sheldon, of Potlatch, crossed party lines to caucus with the GOP.

The Republican-led majority controls the Senate with 25 votes. Democrats hold 24 votes.

Comments | More in Politics Northwest, State Legislature

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