October 30, 2006
Murkowski said his decision is based upon a recommendation from Commissioner of Administration Scott J. Nordstrand that the Legislature would need to address the Supreme Court order of June 1, 2005, requiring the State of Alaska to implement benefits for same sex domestic partners.
Nordstrand transmitted a letter to the governor earlier Friday outlining the ongoing regulatory process and court proceedings concerning the implementation of same sex domestic partner benefits for state employees and retirees, as required by the Alaska Supreme Court. Nordstrand pointed out that the Superior Court has continuously intervened in the Executive Branch process of developing the regulations. The commissioner also referred to a recent letter from Lieutenant Governor Loren Leman to the governor, questioning the commissioner's authority to adopt the proposed regulations.
In the letter transmitted earlier Friday, Nordstrand told the governor, "Caution and good public policy demand that I recommend the Legislature be given the opportunity to address this matter."
In making his announcement of a special session, Murkowski said, "I am disappointed in the courts' actions and believe they are ignoring the voice of Alaska citizens who passed a constitutional amendment establishing that marriage is between a man and a woman. Now that the Supreme Court has made its decision, we need to carefully craft responsible and sound legislation that protects Alaskan values while implementing the court order."
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