Senate committee meeting ends abruptly

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) A push for a vote on a constitutional amendment to protect the PFD did not go over well with Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Coghill.

    Senator Bill Wielechowski, who sponsored the bill, said action must be taken sooner of later, "Here is what I think will happen.  The voters will take action in 2020 on whether or not to hold a constitutional convention.  If the legislature is not going to take action, that is something the voters could do.  I don't think this is going away and we should have this discussion."

    Sen. Wielechowski said the bill had been in committee for over a year and action should be taken.  When he asked for when public comment could be taken and was denied a date, he tried to have the committee approve the resolution.  That is when Coghill adjourned the meeting.  He said he was not in favor of the resolution, "It was my intention not to hear public testimony.  We have three significant bills to consider.  I have been reluctant to hear this.  You guys twisted my arm.  You used the rules to get this.  Its one solution but obviously I don't agree with the solution.  You proposed a solution that you put a lot of thought into, for that I'm grateful."

    The abrupt end to the meeting ended any discussion of other laws like criminal justice reform and renaming Bree's Law for the teen dating violence prevention education program.  Bree Moore was murdered by her boyfriend in 2014.

    New hearings could be held on the bill provided the sponsors don't try to force a vote in committee.

    Senator Mia Costello has proposed Senate bill 127 to repeal and replace Senate bill 91 that many blame for the rise in crime in Alaska.

    Coghill said he will not allow a rehearing on the PFD resolution.








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