Recess stalled work; Democrats say time to move special session forward
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11th, 2015
JUNEAU – The House Democratic Independent Coalition and the Senate Democrats will be holding a press availability at 1pm, TODAY, at the Anchorage LIO to discuss the disappointing lack of progress in the special session and to announce a plan of action for public hearings.
For members of the media or public not able to attend in person, a teleconference line is available for participation. That number is 1-844-586-9085.
On April 30th the Republican led House and Senate majorities, over Democratic and Independent objections, voted to authorize a 13 day break from work in Juneau.
“These imposed delays during special session have been aimed at running out the clock. Without all legislators working together in one place, the current break is getting Alaska no closer to a budget. No hearings have occurred on Medicaid expansion or Erin’s Law in the past two weeks of this special session. That’s not work, it is a delay. Alaska needs a plan of action,” said Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Leader Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).
Starting tomorrow, the Republican-led majorities plan to send only 2 or 3 people to Juneau for “technical” sessions. Technical sessions do not include meetings of the full legislative body or substantive consideration of legislation on the call of the special session.
“The Senate Democrats, the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition and the Governor have consistently outlined priorities that are in the best interests of Alaska. We will not waiver on those priorities. Let’s get to work and stop delaying progress,” stated Senate Democrats Leader Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).
During this current special session convened on April 27th, there have been zero public hearings on Medicaid expansion and Erin’s Law. Four hearings, without public testimony, have been held on the state budget. The special session is scheduled to end May 26th.
The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition and the Senate Democrats plan to hold a series of public hearings across Alaska starting this Thursday in Anchorage at the Legislative Information Office. The public hearings will focus on listening to the Alaska public on the special session issues of the state budget, Medicaid expansion, and Erin’s Law.
For more information contact Myer Hutchinson at (907) 957-8384.