BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A Senate committee approved the House-passed state-based insurance exchange, setting the stage for a final Senate vote before the measure goes to Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter.
The Senate Commerce and Human Resources Committee voted 8-1 Tuesday for the measure, which Otter favors.
The bill differs from a previous, Senate-passed version.
House additions include competitive-bidding requirements, gun-rights protections and the naming of three lawmakers to the exchange's now 19-member board, two from the majority party, one from the minority.
Adopting an exchange has been among the 2013 Legislature's most-disputed issues.
The House debated seven hours on the bill last week.
At Tuesday's hearing, insurers and the Catholic church urged passage.
Meanwhile, tea-party-leaning foes urged panelists to "stand in the gap" between Idaho and an ever-more-tyrannical federal government by rejecting the bill.