The Senate Appropriations Committee on October 11 approved, 16-13, the FY2002 District of Columbia (D.C.) appropriations bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The Senate committee-approved bill removes several restrictions on the use of local funds, while maintaining the restrictions on the use of federal funds. The measure could be considered on the floor next week.
Like the House-passed bill (H.R. 2944), the Senate measure would allow the use of local funds to implement health insurance benefits for all unmarried domestic partners of D.C. city employees.
The Senate bill also would remove the restriction on the use of local funds to implement needle exchange programs, while the House-passed bill would prohibit the use of local and federal funds for the programs (see The Source, 9/26/01, p. 1).
Both measures would prohibit the use of local and federal funds for abortion coverage for low-income women on Medicaid. Exceptions are made in the cases of rape, incest, or life endangerment.