EDGMON RETURNS BROKEN BILL TO COMMITTEE FOR AMENDMENTS
The Alaska House Majority was on “Gabby Damage Control” today.
If Speaker Bryce Edgmon had allowed a simple bill about recognizing the problem of sexual assault to be debated and voted on he might have seen his fragile majority fracture over a right-to-life amendment. Because debate was surely in the cards.
Rules Committee Chairman Gabrielle LeDoux of Anchorage had so bollixed up the modest resolution that Edgmon sent it back to her committee, safely avoiding a floor blow-up.
After all, Rep. David Eastman,of Wasilla, seemed prepared to add a right-to-life amendment to the bill on the floor of the House, since LeDoux had blocked him from offering it in committee.
If Eastman moved ahead with his amendment, it would have put every one of the 40 members on record on abortion, a dangerous place to be for the Democrat-run House in a session that is now two weeks over due.
It started out as a simple resolution to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it was offered several weeks ago by Sen. Kevin Meyer, as it is each year. The bill does nothing more than offer moral support to the victims of sexual assault. It couldn’t make its way out of LeDoux’s committee without rancor, however.
Then, on April 26, LeDoux attempted to water it down, roll in some amendments, adding recognitions for Child Abuse Awareness Month and Go Blue Friday into Meyer’s bill.
Meyer also has a bill that is aimed at ending the kind of lobbyist influence-buying that LeDoux has engaged in by starting her own political action committee, Gabby’s Tuesday PAC. LeDoux may have thought she would try to strip Meyer out of his own bill and replace it with hers as a micro-aggression against the senator who was implying her political action committee was corrupt.
Yet in the same meeting where LeDoux’s amendments were inserted into the bill, she refused to allow Republican minority members of the Rules Committee to also offer their amendments.
When asked by Rep. Lora Reinbold why there could be no other amendments, LeDoux responded, “Because I don’t want any amendments.” Except for hers, of course.
LeDoux took a vote, got her majority to go with her, and abruptly ended the four-minute meeting without even so much as allowing public testimony.
By the time Monday rolls around, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, traditionally April, will be in the rear view mirror. It will be May 1.
But LeDoux has rescheduled a Monday meeting of the Rules Committee and has put the pretzel-like SCR 2 on the agenda.
Reporter Liz Raines of KTVA reports tonight that she has heard LeDoux will accept amendments on Monday.
Meanwhile, Eastman has asked for an apology from LeDoux and a censure of her for her behavior.
She did not apologize, but House Majority Leader Chris Tuck could be heard privately apologizing for her behavior to both Eastman and Reinbold during an at-ease in the House today.
Twenty-six bills now are stuck in LeDoux’s committee awaiting her actions.