A House committee yesterday killed a Senate bill that would bar state universities and other public agencies from providing health insurance for domestic partners of employees.
The Health and Welfare Committee voted 9 to 6 to reject Senate Bill 112 -- but not before committee member David Watkins, D-Henderson, delivered a tongue-lashing to the bill's sponsor, Sen. Vernie McGaha, R-Russell Springs.
Watkins, a family physician, called the measure divisive and said the Senate is ignoring the state's biggest health problems, including smoking, obesity and a lack of adequate mental health services for its citizens.
"I am tired of the same petty issues coming before us when we've got major issues to address," he said.
McGaha said his concern is the "sanctity of marriage" and said he was offended by Watkins' comments.
"Dr. Watkins is totally off-base," McGaha said. "He is a disgrace to the process we have here."
Apparently the best way to preserve the sanctity of marriage is to rob people of health insurance. If that doesn't make sense to you, it's okay--these are Kentuckians speaking.
The vote on SB 112 came largely along party lines, with Democrats Bob Damron of Nicholasville and John Arnold of Sturgis voting with four Republicans for the bill. The nine Democrats who voted no included Rep. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington and a longtime opponent of the measure, who snapped "of course not" when asked for her vote on the bill.