By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – A state senate committee has advanced legislation aimed at nullifying the federal health care insurance mandate in Pennsylvania.

The measure, which would call for an amendment to the Pennsylvania constitution stating that no one is required by law to purchase health care insurance, was approved by the Senate  Banking and Insurance Committee in a vote along party lines.

Philadelphia Democrat Michael Stack opposed it for this among other reasons.

“The legal folks that I’ve talked to have said that the federal law is certainly going to trump state law.”

The sponsor of the measure – President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, the top Republican in the GOP-controlled Senate – admitted as much.

“What this is really about is giving Pennsylvanians the ability to go to the polls and to vote how they feel about being mandated by the federal government on this issue.”

Pennsylvania voters would have to approve the constitutional amendment if lawmakers vote for it in two consecutive legislative sessions.

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