Lawmakers take an extra long weekend during special session

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Whether they're at home or a hotel in Juneau, lawmakers are not doing any official business the rest of the weekend to try to reach a compromise on the state’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit.

Channel 2 reached out to dozens of lawmakers to find out what they will be doing during that five day break.

Opening themselves up to questions, comments and debate, only a few legislators said they’ll be hosting town halls with constituents.

On Thursday, Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer held an open house between 4pm-6pm. Later that evening, Reps. Jason Grenn and Matt Claman hosted what is expected to be the only town hall in Anchorage this weekend.

"It's actually a real opportunity not for us to be down in Juneau to be talking with other lawmakers, but to actually be here listening and hearing your concerns, getting your feedback on what's going on in Juneau and what needs to be going on to move Alaska forward," said Claman.

Palmer Sen. Shelley Hughes said she'll be holding a town hall with Rep. DeLena Johnson on Saturday from 9am-10:30am at the Mat Su LIO. According to a flyer, the event is described as “your opportunity to give input on state budget solutions and other issues important to you.”

Anchorage Rep. Charisse Millett posted a flyer stating she will be sitting down for coffee with constituents on Sat. from 4pm-6pm at Kaladi Brothers on Brayton Dr.

Anchorage Sen. Berta Gardner said she plans to give a legislative update at the “Sunday Forum” at the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Ketchikan Rep. Dan Ortiz said he's working on scheduling a town hall in Wrangell this weekend.

Rep. Dean Westlake said he spoke with constituents in Kotzebue on his way home to Kiana.

The press contact for the Alaska Senate Majority wrote, “...several members, some of whom are military veterans, are observing Memorial Day with their families…”

Sen. Cathy Giessel wrote, “I will be joining other Alaskans, remembering the purpose of Memorial Day, remembering the service of my own father and father-in-law who fought in WWII. I will also be honoring my mother who turns 90 this weekend.”

Wasilla Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard said she “will be at the Mat-Su Wall of Honor handing out American flags on Memorial Day.”

Reps. Andy Josephson, David Guttenberg, Geran Tarr, Dan Saddler all said they do not currently have plans to leave Juneau for the weekend and will be taking questions and comments over the phone, email and Facebook.

Senate President Pete Kelly, Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche, House Majority Speaker Bryce Edgmon and House Majority Leader Chris Tuck did not respond to an email asking if they will be meeting with constituents this weekend.



 
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