Radio Update Report 6:30pm 02/22/10 (audio)
A bill that requires children to attend school until age sixteen rather than eighteen failed today in the House Education committee. Proponents say children shouldn’t be forced to stay in school. In the long run, supporters of the measure say students will resent receiving an education if it's mandated for them to attend school. Opponents disagree. Wade Pogany spoke on behalf of the Department of Education. He says every student is important and the school should send the message that it has high expectations for all students.
“No student is expendable. Sixteen year olds do not have the capability to make life changing decisions about their economics, their welfare and where they’re going,” says Pogany.
Committee members voted nine to five to defer the bill to the 41st day, in essence killing the bill.
A measure requiring heath insurance companies to cover contraceptives failed in the House Commerce committee. The committee killed House Bill 1156 by a vote of 7 to 6.
Representative Joni Cutler of Sioux Falls is the main sponsor of House Bill 1156. She says this bill not only gives greater access to birth control but overcomes a bias against women’s reproductive rights.
“Male reproductive challenges are covered by insurance while women’s ongoing reproductive needs are not. Men are rewarded with their pleasure women are punished in their pain. Viagra is covered contraception is not,” says Cutler.
Cutler says making contraceptives more available allows women to control the timing of pregnancy giving them greater power over their lives to achieve education and career goals. She says it also, saves the state and women money by preventing unintended pregnancies.
Opponents of the measure say putting mandates on insurances companies increases the cost of premiums.
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