SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


In Legislature's Request for More Time on Same-sex
Partner Benefits for State Employees,
Governor Supports Letting Alaskans Vote


November 22, 2006

Alaska Governor Frank H. Murkowski on Tuesday gave the following statement regarding the Legislature's passage of HB 4001 and HB 4002, bills that would affirm that the Commissioner of Administration does not posses statutory authority to implement same-sex partner benefits for state employees, and requiring a statewide advisory vote to be held in April where Alaskans would be asked whether they want the Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the November 2008 ballot:

Murkowksi said, "The Legislature clearly wants more time to thoroughly deliberate the issue and widen the debate to consider how the state should move forward on providing employee benefits."

"As I have stated before, this is a policy matter that needs to be addressed through the legislative process. I was pleased that as legislators became educated on the need for action, the earlier notion of ignoring the issue and gaveling out of special session without addressing this important issue was quickly dismissed," said Murkowski.

The governor said, "Unfortunately, once the Supreme Court issues a decision interpreting the Constitution we are really left with two choices, implement the decision or amend the Constitution."

"The Legislature has taken a step forward by asking the people, through an advisory vote, whether they wish to pursue a constitutional amendment. I hope the court system has the patience to respect the democratic process and delay implementation until the people have the opportunity to speak through the ballot," said Murkowski.

He said, "Unfortunately, if the court refuses to respect the Legislature's request for more time and wait for the people to vote and refuses to delay its decision, I'm afraid the Legislature's actions will not stop the implementation of same sex benefits and will place the policy call in the hands of appointed judges."

"I continue to encourage the Legislature to intervene in the litigation so that the court system can hear directly from them regarding their interests as policy makers," said Gov. Murkowski.

Source of News:

Office of the Governor

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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska