Mary Pilcher-Cook Praises Judiciary Committee Action; Thanks Public for Attendance
Topeka, KS – On Friday, Feb. 3, 2012, the Kansas Health Care Freedom Amendment passed the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 6 to 4 vote. Originally introduced in the 2010 legislative session, the proposed constitutional amendment was adopted in 2011 by the Kansas House with a 91-27 vote, and this year, on Friday, the measure was forwarded by the committee to the full Senate for debate. Final passage of a constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds vote from the Kansas Senate. It does not need approval by the governor; instead, it would be placed directly on the November ballot for consideration by the voters.
Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook (R-Shawnee), the chief sponsor of the amendment and who has spearheaded it through the legislative process, praised the committee’s actions.
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“I would like to thank my colleagues on the Judiciary Committee who took their legislative duty seriously to protect the health care liberty of Kansas citizens, and who voted to forward the Health Care Freedom Amendment to the full Senate, giving each senator a chance to be heard on this critical measure. I look forward to the debate and am optimistic we can achieve the required super majority,” she said.
Throughout the three years of debate, Pilcher-Cook has emphasized how critical this measure is for protecting the health care freedom of Kansas citizens from both federal and state government intrusion, and how the proposed amendment would give the Kansas attorney general an additional tool to use in arguments before the United States Supreme Court.
“The current national discussion about health care freedom is a debate in our generation, which we as legislators and citizens must do everything we can to protect present and future liberties, and limit the federal and state governments to their proper constitutional roles,” said Pilcher-Cook. She added, “We must resist every attempt by government at all levels to compel a purchase by an individual simply because they are alive and exist. The people of Kansas deserve an opportunity to have their voices heard on this vital issue of our time.”
Pilcher-Cook also thanked members of the public for their attendance and noted the full committee room may have very well played a factor in the outcome.
“I want to thank the members of the public who, in a driving, cold rainstorm drove to Topeka to witness today’s debate and vote. On such a close vote, there can be little doubt that the packed committee room had an impact on how senators voted. Given the committee chairman would have voted “No” in the case of a 5-5 tie, the voice of the citizenry clearly was vital in earning six votes for the measure. We may not have achieved today’s victory without such deep enthusiastic support, that did not waver or weaken over three years.”
Oral arguments before the Supreme Court on the federal health care law will be in late March. Pilcher-Cook has pledged to work on getting a date for floor debate as early as possible.