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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 1:00 am


Enshrining health care right is goal in Oregon

Associated PRess

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon's Legislature took a step Tuesday toward enshrining the right to health care in the state Constitution, a move that would be unprecedented in the United States but raises serious funding questions.

The House of Representatives' 35-25 endorsement of the bill sends it to the state Senate. If the Senate passes the bill, voters would be asked in November to consider amending the state's 160-year-old Constitution to declare:

“It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, medically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.”

Oregon is one of the most liberal U.S. states and was the first sanctuary state protecting immigrants in the country illegally and the first to legalize suicide for the terminally ill.

Governor rejects new district map

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf will not submit a new Republican-drawn map of Pennsylvania's congressional districts to the state's high court, saying Tuesday that it uses the same unconstitutionally partisan tactics as the 6-year-old boundaries that were struck down in a gerrymandering case.

Wolf's move came six days before the deadline set by the Democratic-majority state Supreme Court to impose new boundaries for Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts. Wolf's office said it remained possible that Wolf would submit one to the court.

Campaign doubts sexist, rep says

Republican U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn's campaign said Tuesday that anyone who thinks she can't win the general election in Tennessee's U.S. Senate race is a “plain sexist pig.”

Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Bozek released the statement after reports that some Republicans are encouraging U.S. Sen. Bob Corker not to retire over fears that Democrats will win the seat. A Corker spokeswoman said Tuesday the senator is “listening closely.”

Senate candidate's parents back rival

The parents of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Nicholson have donated the maximum allowed amount to the campaign of their son's Democratic rival, Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Federal records show that Nicholson's parents, Michael and Donna Nicholson, both gave $2,700 in December to Baldwin. Nicholson is a former Democrat, but his parents have a long history of donating to Democratic candidates.