Update: Senate Democrats made another attempt to revive the Reproductive Parity Act on Wednesday. Sen Karen Keiser (D-Kent) proposed to add the abortion insurance bill to House Bill 1638 during a special order of business at 4:59 p.m. today. The motion failed by a 25-23 vote. Wednesday marks a key legislative deadline for bills to be considered by the opposite house.
Members of the Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus blocked a Democratic attempt to revive two key bills on Tuesday.
Senate Democrats attempted to use a parliamentary tactic called the Ninth Order to force a vote the Washington Dream Act and an abortion insurance bill known as the Reproductive Parity Act.
The attempt was voted down 25-23, with Sens. Rodney Tom (D-Medina) and Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island) voting against the effort, despite their support for the measures.
Democratic Sen. Jim Hargrove (D-Hoquiam) voted with the Republican-led majority to block the bill. He had previously said he would offer a proxy vote in the place of ailing Sen. Mike Carrell (R-Lakewood) if he is unable to be in Olympia for a close vote. Carrell is home battling a pre-leukemia blood condition.
The Washington Dream Act would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for state financial aid to help pay for college. The Reproductive Parity Act would require all insurance companies in the state to provide coverage for abortions if they also cover maternity care. Both bills passed out of the House, but never received committee votes in the Senate.
After the vote, Senate Democrats released a statement criticizing the majority coalition.
“A vote against the Ninth Order is a vote against the Reproductive Parity Act. It’s a slap back and forth across the face of Democracy in our state to continually block a vote that would ensure access to reproductive health care. With 25 votes waiting to vote the RPA off the Senate floor, strong public support, and Gov. Inslee waiting pen in hand to sign the RPA into law, this is anything but self-proclaimed bipartisanship,” said Sen. Karen Keiser (D-Kent), ranking member on the Senate Health Care Committee.
Watch the debate on the Senate floor below: