House committee bolsters McCollum’s federal lawsuitby Dara Kam | April 15th, 2010
The House Rules Committee gave Attorney General Bill McCollum’ “boost” this morning by allowing him to add individuals in the state’s lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration over federal health care reforms.
McCollum, a Republican who is running for governor, doesn’t necessarily need a new law to give him that power, Chairman Bill Galvano said, but would let the courts know that the state supports McCollum’s efforts.
“However, at best it can bolster it. At worst, it’s window dressing,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said.
More than a dozen Republican attorneys general in other states have joined McCollum’s lawsuit, which in Florida has fueled a partisan fight echoed in the committee this morning.
” I don’t think we should be in the business of passing laws that aren’t necessary,” argued Rep. Jim Waldman, a Coconut Creek Democrat who is a lawyer.
“The law that’s not necessary is the unconstitutional mandate requiring Floridians to buy health care coverage and if not fining them,” retorted House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, R-Delray Beach.
The bill passed along partisan lines, with Ron Saunders of Key West the only Democrat voting with Republicans. Democrats had stopped McCollum’s measure from being tacked onto a different bill last week but GOP House leaders revived the bill at McCollum’s request.
Deputy Attorney General Joe Jacquot said McCollum’s office does not believe they need the statutory authorization but that it would bolster the lawsuit’s standing in the courts. McCollum’s office is seeking a Senate vehicle for the proposal.