Abortion Bill Transferred to Senate Health and Human Service Committee to Avoid No Votes

Total Views : 88
Zoom In Zoom Out Read Later Print

In a stunning announcement, House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata transferred the pending House Bill 5125 Sub A - regarding the RI Reproductive Act to the Health and Human Services Committee

Abortion Bill Transferred to Senate Health and Human Service Committee to Avoid No Votes

 

In a stunning announcement, House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Erin Lynch Prata transferred the pending House Bill 5125 Sub A - regarding the RI Reproductive Act to the Health and Human Services Committee.

 

In her opening statement, Chairman Lynch Prata has stated that ex-officio members of the Senate were there to vote in committee, and she thought that was irregular. Stating that ex-officio members usually only vote in a celebratory instance, she felt that their presence would change the outcome of the vote. Also, she stated that this would be a disservice to her committee that the ex-officio members would vote.

 

Stating Senate rule, 6.14, Chairwoman Lynch Prata transferred the bill to the Health and Human Services Committee without any debate or comments from members. She had the right to do that as Chair of Judiciary, without debate.

 

Both Senate Republican Minority Leader Dennis Algiere and Minority Whip Elaine Morgan came to the Senate Judiciary Committee (as ex-officio members) hearing room with the intent to vote “no”, and that would have changed the expected outcome of the bill.

 

Senate President Domenic Ruggerio released the following statement.

 

“I have been clear that this critical piece of legislation should follow the normal committee process, whereby it would reach the Senate floor upon winning the support of a majority of the committee members. Last month, a version of an abortion rights bill failed to meet that threshold. At the time, I encouraged all parties to work together to craft a bill that would garner a majority of the committee members support.

 

A majority of committee members reached a consensus last week. I commend Chairwoman Lynch Prata for her strong and steady leadership and her passion, Sen. Archambault for continuing the dialogue and hard work, and all the members of the committee for their efforts regarding this matter.

 

This morning, I learned that Republican members sitting in an ex-official capacity planned to launch an unprecedented last-minute political stunt to torpedo this bill.

 

Throughout the day, I implored Republican leadership not to undermine the hard work of the Senate Judiciary Committee by abusing their powers as ex-officio members. In fact, Democratic and Republican leadership held several discussions this session where we agreed that we would not vote in committee on the bill because we wanted the committee process to take its normal course.

 

The transfer of the bill to our Health and Human Services Committee ensures a path forward.”

 

The bill will now be heard by the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services which is chaired By Senator Josh Miller and supported by many members of that committee.

 

Members as stated below.

Senate Committee on Health and Human Services

 

 

 

 

Legislator

Appointment

E-mail

Senator Joshua Miller

Chairperson

sen-miller@rilegislature.gov

Senator Gayle L. Goldin

Vice Chairperson

sen-goldin@rilegislature.gov

Senator James C. Sheehan

Secretary

sen-sheehan@rilegislature.gov

Senator Elizabeth A. Crowley

Member

sen-crowley@rilegislature.gov

Senator Valarie J. Lawson

Member

sen-lawson@rilegislature.gov

Senator Donna M. Nesselbush

Member

sen-nesselbush@rilegislature.gov

Senator Thomas J. Paolino

Member

sen-paolino@rilegislature.gov

Senator Adam J. Satchell

Member

sen-satchell@rilegislature.gov

Senator Bridget Valverde

Member

sen-valverde@rilegislature.gov

 

 

Stay tuned, more to follow as this story continues.