ST. PAUL (AP) -- Putting yet more twists in the budget pretzel, a House committee on Tuesday tacked two abortion-related measures to the bill that contains the bulk of the House's plan to balance the budget.
The bill strips $310 million from a roughly half-billion dollar anti-tobacco endowment and cuts $61 million from health and welfare services, mainly by repealing a plan to cover more children under a medical assistance program and by transferring people off a program that provides health insurance for low-income, childless adults.
In all, the budget that passed the Health and Human Services Finance Committee contains about 85 percent of the House's $439 million in cuts for balancing the budget through 2003.
The plan has already been criticized by Senate DFL leaders for taking too much from programs benefitting the state's most vulnerable.
The amendments to the bill would restrict family planning grants for organizations that provide, refer for or counsel about abortions and impose a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions. Before that period, she would have to be told specific information such as medical risks related to the procedure. They were both offered by Rep. Mary Ellen Otremba, DFL-Long Prairie.
Gov. Jesse Ventura in the past has vetoed bills containing similar abortion measures and committee DFLer Rep. Betty Folliard of Hopkins predicted any bill with the provisions will die in the Senate or fall to Ventura's veto pen.
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