JUNEAU–Following comments in a House Judiciary Committee hearing in which Wasilla Rep. David Eastman asserted that child victims of abuse who die represent a “benefit to society” and a “cost savings” to the state, Rep. Andrew Gray moved for the censure of the representative. The motion to censure passed the House by a vote of 35-1.
“When Rep. Eastman says that the death of an abused child might be in the interest of the public, he is undermining the dignity of the Alaska Legislature,” said Rep. Andrew Gray (D-Anchorage). “Today’s vote to censure Rep. Eastman sent a clear message that there is no place in the Alaska Legislature for his abhorrent comments.”
“As the only Alaska Native woman serving in the legislature, I find it deeply offensive for a member of this body to utter such harmful, hateful rhetoric once again,” said Rep. Maxine Dibert (D-Downtown Fairbanks). “Alaska Native children make up the majority of foster children in Alaska and deserve the best we can provide to help ensure they are safe, healthy, and able to succeed. I am grateful my colleagues stood together to censure the representative.”
“I was glad to see the body as a whole join in the censure of the representative for his reprehensible comments,” said Minority Leader Calvin Schrage (NP-Anchorage). “The House Coalition will continue fighting to support the health and safety of all children and families in Alaska, and stands ready to work with all members to do so.”