FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Legislature Requests TSA Hearings in Alaska
Air travel, airport procedures of upmost importance to Alaskans
JUNEAU – Today, fifty-nine of sixty members of the Alaska Legislature sent a letter to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs requesting hearings be held in Alaska on the often invasive procedures used by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
“Alaskans depend on air travel more than most other Americans,” said Rep. Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage) who drafted the letter and gathered signatures from his colleagues in the State House. “The committee needs to hear from Alaskans about our unique concerns.”
“I thank the good Lord that we don’t have to do the mandatory full-body pat downs in Alaska YET. It is my desire that the committee needs to leave the Washington, D.C. beltway to better find out from Alaskans what they are experiencing,” said Senator Linda Menard (R- Wasilla) who collected signatures in the Alaska Senate.
The letter specifically requests the hearing focus on the new pat-down procedures adopted on October 28, 2010 and “other TSA policies that may violate the privacy rights of law-abiding individuals.”
“Efficient air travel is a cornerstone of Alaska’s economy and quality of life. There is no way to travel to many areas of Alaska except via air. Furthermore, there is no way to travel to Alaska itself except by ship, airplane, or through Canada, which requires a passport. Therefore, the procedures used for air travel are of the utmost importance to Alaskans,” say the legislators in the letter.
The letter was addressed to Senator Joe Lieberman, Chair, and Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member, of the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs and also to Senators Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich of Alaska.
If the link above does not work, the letter is available at: http://www.akhouse.org/gruenberg/040811_signed_letter_to_US_Senate.pdf
Press Secretary, House Democratic Caucus
W: (907) 465-3842; C: (907) 209-7006