Partner Benefits for State Employees,
Governor Supports Letting Alaskans Vote
November 22, 2006
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.
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