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SJC REJECTS HEALTH CARE BALLOT QUESTION

THE STATE’S HIGHEST COURT HAS REJECTED A LAST DITCH EFFORT TO GUARANTEE HEALTH COVERAGE FOR ALL CITIZENS OF MASSACHUSETTS. THE SUIT WAS FILED LAST YEAR AFTER THE LEGISLATURE RECESSED WITHOUT VOTING ON A PROPOSED HEALTH CARE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. TODAY THE SJC AGREED THAT THE LEGISLATURE WAS REQUIRED TO TAKE A VOTE…BUT THE COURT SAID IT HAS NO POWER TO ORDER THE QUESTION TO THE BALLOT. DONALD STERN, ATTORNEY FOR THE CITIZENS GROUP WORKING ON THE AMENDMENT, CALLS THE DECISION DISAPPOINTING.

We have a clear constitutional mandate, a clear violation by the legislature to vote up or down, but the court saying that there is nothing they can do about it.

SENATOR RICHARD MOORE SAYS A VOTE ON THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT DIDN’T MAKE SENSE WITH MASSACHUSETTS IN THE MIDST OF A SEPARATE EFFORT TO INSURE ALL CITIZENS. HE SAYS THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT DID HELP PUSH LAWMAKERS TO TACKLE THE ISSUE. BARBARA ANDERSON WITH CITIZENS FOR LIMITED TAXATION SAYS THE INITIATIVE PETITION PROCESS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS IS DEAD BECAUSE NO ONE WILL WORK ON A PETITION DRIVE KNOWING THAT THE LEGISLATURE DOES NOT HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES.

This program aired on March 10, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

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