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Okla. panel approves rejection of health care law

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 19, 2013 at 9:23 pm •  Published: February 19, 2013
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"The only thing that this is going to accomplish is wasting the time of staff," said Democrat Rep. Mike Shelton, who voted against the proposal. "We need to figure out how to fight this battle a different way."

But Rep. Rebecca Hamilton, D-Oklahoma City, called the bill a matter of religious freedom. She referred to groups that have fought the birth control mandate, including Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby. The arts and crafts retail chain is owned by a Christian family.

"If we can, by making a statement of any sort, throw our support behind those people ... then I'm certainly going to support that," she said.

Ritze's bill originally tried to make enforcement of the federal law in Oklahoma a felony. An amendment removed that portion.