By Sen. Ed Murray
Today the Senate majority caucus showed its unwillingness to even allow a vote on two bills with support from a majority of members of the Senate – the Washington Dream Act and the Reproductive Parity Act.
The Reproductive Parity Act, HB 1044, would move our state in the opposite direction of the 21 other states that have banned abortion coverage in their insurance markets, and it would do so by upholding our state’s long tradition of allowing women - not insurance companies - to make their own health care choices.
These bills uphold the fundamental Washington values of fairness and choice. The Washington Dream Act, HB 1817, would allow all deserving Washington students to pursue their full potential in education and in life – and it would do so by opening up state financial aid to young dreamers who are currently penalized simply because their parents are undocumented immigrants.
These bills are supported both by a majority of Washingtonians and by a majority of members of this chamber.
Today, we attempted to use a parliamentary procedure known as the Ninth Order to allow these bills a vote. We believed that too much was at stake for the health and well-being of thousands of Washingtonians for these bills to fail.
Make no mistake – while the actions of the majority today were procedural in nature, they were aimed squarely at two popular bills with bipartisan support. Their vote is an attack on a woman’s right to choose and on a free, fair and accessible education system for all.
When the majority caucus formed, their leaders spoke about the importance of putting policy over politics. Today, we saw how hollow those words were. more...