Ducey signs bill insuring low-income kids

Posted at 12:35 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 21:41:21-04

The Arizona Senate has passed a bill restoring a health insurance program for about 30,000 low-income children and sent it to Gov. Doug Ducey for his consideration. 

Ducey tweeted Friday afternoon he signed the bill into law. 

Friday's 16-12 vote came after a bipartisan group of lawmakers moved to change Senate rules and force consideration of Senate Bill 1457. Five Republicans joined all Democrats in backing the plan.

The maneuver was needed because Senate President Andy Biggs strongly opposes the program known as KidsCare and blocked it for weeks. But he noted before Friday's session began that the group pushing KidsCare was in the majority and he expected them to force a vote.

The development comes after the House moved Thursday to put the expansion on an unrelated school voucher bill. That prompted an hours-long fight but the measure passed on a 38-21 vote.

Arizona is the only state without a version of the federal Children's Health Insurance Program. Arizona's plan was frozen in 2010 because of a state budget crunch. There's no cost to the state at least through 2017.