In an abrupt turnaround, the Senate approved and sent to the House a bill that would allow voters to decide whether to bar state services for illegal immigrants.
The bill was approved on a 22 to 12 vote with no debate. It now goes to the House, where Democrats are determined to kill it. Democrats were angered after senators replaced the original bill with a measure that would have asked voters to ban non-emergency state services for all illegal immigrants.
The original bill would not have gone on the November ballot. It would have established a new law requiring state and local agencies to verify the legal status of people over age 18 before they could receive certain non-emergency services. Agencies could provide some services to adults without seeking proof of legal status, such as screening and diagnosis for breast cancer and other diseases and prenatal care.