Marshall May Try End Run For Vote on Insurance Bill

By Fredrick Kunkle
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, February 7, 2009

RICHMOND -- A Virginia state delegate whose bill would require insurance companies to cover the cost of treating children with autism threatened yesterday to use a relatively obscure parliamentary maneuver next week to try to rescue the bill from committee inaction.

Still smarting after a House committee refused to vote the measure up or down, Del. Robert G. Marshall (R-Prince William) said he would seek a discharge petition Monday to bypass the committee and bring the measure to a full House vote.

"And everybody will faint," Marshall said. He said he has been warned that attempting such a move, bucking party leadership, could lead to his eviction from the House Republican Caucus.

Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel (R-Winchester) said she would work through the weekend to negotiate support for a companion bill when the measure goes before the Commerce and Labor Committee. "These are families that are practical and understand there are limitations," she said.

Meanwhile, an advocacy group called on supporters to rally in the capital Monday to persuade a Senate committee to pass the bill. Members of Autism Speaks said they will rally outside the General Assembly Building at 11 a.m.

No one on the House Labor and Commerce Committee made a motion to pass the bill or defeat it. Marshall, who is not assigned to the Labor and Commerce Committee, said he asked the panel's chairman, Del. Terry G. Kilgore (R-Scott), to use his authority to put the bill before the entire committee, but Kilgore declined.

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