Gov. Inslee calls for Senate vote on Reproductive Parity Act

By | February 18, 2013 | 0 Comments

Gov. Jay Inslee called for a vote on an abortion insurance bill in the state Senate in front of a group of hundreds of pro-choice supporters at a rally on Monday.

The bill, also known as the Reproductive Parity Act, would require all insurance carriers that provide maternal care to also provide coverage for abortions.

“Our challenge is to make sure that every woman in the state of Washington has access to a health care insurance policy that respects and pays for her right of choice,” Inslee told the crowd gathered on the steps of the Capitol. “The way to do that is to pass the Reproductive Parity Act this year.”

Elaine Rose, CEO of Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, said passing the Reproductive Parity Act is the number one item on the organization’s agenda.

“Family planning funding is also crucial — as the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, there will still be a need for funding during the period of transition,” Rose said.

Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom also spoke at the rally.

“I’ve always been fiscally conservative,” said Tom. “And if you look at family planning, in terms of return on investment, it’s one of the best things we do in state government. It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s the fiscally smart thing to do.”

The bill is expected to get a vote in the Democratic-controlled House. Senate Democrats recently urged the GOP-controlled Senate Majority Coalition to schedule a public hearing on the bill, which has been referred to the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee and Health Care Committee.

TVW has more photos on our Facebook page from the event.

Sens. Rodney Tom and Joe Zarelli: New House budget creates a $2B problem

By | March 8, 2012 | 0 Comments

Sens. Rodney Tom and Joe Zarelli talked to Jessica Gao this morning. Watch the whole thing here:

Some takeaways:

“If we pass the budget that the House Democrats are going to send over to us, what we have next January is easily a $2 billion problem,” Zarelli said.

Tom said his constituents are tired of budget shortfalls. “At some point, just like households, you have to live within your means. It’s not rocket science,” he said.