Washington State Budget
Late Monday night, the Washington state Legislature passed a multimillion-dollar revenue package that increases taxes on bottled water, soda, candy and mass-produced beer as lawmakers finished their work to plug a $2.8 billion budget deficit. Legislators also passed the supplemental budget, which includes the reinstatement of $3 million of family planning funding. They adjourned from special session early Tuesday morning.
Supreme Court Watch
The Washington Post reports that the Obama Administration has not yet narrowed down a list of potential nominees to the Supreme Court.
Health Care and Abortion Coverage
Newsweek reports that due to a clause in the health care reform law that homes in on states’ right to regulate insurance coverage of abortion care, there is a renewed fight to put restrictions on women’s reproductive rights, despite the fact that this has been the states’ right for the past six decades.
The Nebraska state Legislature passed anti-choice legislation yesterday that severely limits women’s access to abortion care and puts physicians performing the procedure at an increased liability. The bill requires doctors to screen women seeking abortion care for vague “risk factors” before providing an abortion.
Today, Nebraska lawmakers also passed the “Pain Capable Unborn Child Act” which effectively bans abortion after 20 weeks based on the false assertion that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. This anti-choice legislation is a direct attack on women’s reproductive rights, and on the handful of late-term abortion providers left in the country. RH Reality Check has information about how you can take action to help prevent anti-choice legislation.
Anti-choice Democrat state Rep. Joel Sheltrown has announced that he will run against pro-choice Democrat Connie Saltonstall for the party’s nomination to succeed anti-choice Rep. Bart Stupak in the U.S. Congress.
Other News of Note
A New York Times editorial discusses the triumph of politics over rule of law in the withdrawl of Dawn Johnsen from nomination to lead the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department. The editorial touts Ms. Johnsen as the ideal candidate to re-establish the Office of Legal Counsel as a source of scrupulous legal analysis after its complicity during the previous administration.