Demboski: Senate leadership has to remove Coghill as Judiciary chair

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Anchorage Assemblywoman Amy Demboski wants Sen. John Coghill to be removed as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee after he adjourned a hearing of the committee Saturday without voting on three bills.

Demboski, a conservative assembly member from the Eagle River-Chugiak area, told Channel 2 News the committee had been hijacked by Coghill, a Republican from North Pole.

"I think Senate leadership needs to lead," said Demboski as she called for Coghill to be pushed out from his position. "I think this is demonstrative of a leadership failure."

Three bills were scheduled to be heard by the Senate Judiciary Committee Saturday morning.

One bill would have enshrined the Permanent Fund Dividend in the Alaska Constitution, another would have repealed criminal justice reform bill SB-91, and the third would rename the Alaska Safe Children’s Act to Bree’s Law, named after Bree Moore, a young woman killed in Anchorage by her boyfriend.

Demboski said all three bills were crucial to Alaska.

Coghill told KTUU after he adjourned that he doesn't intend to let three pieces of legislation out of his committee. “[The bills] got to my committee, and since I disagree with them, and taking a temperature of the building, I’m probably in a good place there. I just don’t intend to move them along.”

Channel 2 reached out to Sen. Coghill's office for a response to Demboski's comments on Sunday and did not hear back at the time of publication.

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