Budget Impasse Continues as Assembly Republicans Protest Abortion Coverage Under Healthy Families Expansion
The impasse over the state budget for fiscal year 2001-02 continued yesterday, with Assembly Republicans "again closing ranks to block passage" of several appropriations measures needed to implement the spending plan, saying that a measure to expand Healthy Families would also expand funding for abortions, the Sacramento Bee reports. On Monday, four Republican Assembly members joined Democrats to create the two-thirds majority necessary to approve the budget. Following that vote, however, the GOP members said they "could not support the trailer bills needed to authorize some of the spending." One of the measures would provide funding to expand Healthy Families to parents of enrolled children (Hill, Sacramento Bee, 7/20). Republicans yesterday objected to the provision, saying it would expand funding for abortions. "You are condemning to death 10,000 unborn Californians every month with taxpayer money," Assembly member Dennis Mountjoy (R-Monrovia) said (Tamaki, Los Angeles Times, 7/20). But Democrats "countered" that the Healthy Families expansion was "no different" than other state-run health programs. "It is about the opening of access to people who otherwise would die if they could not see a doctor," Assembly member Sarah Reyes (D-Fresno) said (Sacramento Bee, 7/20). As of today, the budget is 20 days overdue, and state Senate leader John Burton (D-San Francisco) has said he will not move on the budget until the Assembly passes the trailer bills (Los Angeles Times, 7/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.