House minority lawmakers walk off floor after education funding debate

House minority lawmakers walk off floor
Published: Apr. 6, 2023 at 9:41 AM AKDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

JUNEAU, Alaska (KTUU) - More than a dozen members of the House minority left chambers on Wednesday, stalling proceedings on the House floor and leaving even the House minority leader wondering where they were.

The members left the House floor during a session that included debate about increasing education funding.

Rep. Bryce Edgmon then questioned whether House minority leader Rep. Calvin Shrage had any control of his minority when Shrage was unable to locate the missing members or reach them by phone. Capitol security officers were seen checking the offices of members after a call on the House was issued before a recess was called that halted proceedings until 3 p.m.

“We have went to look in the building. We have went to offices. We have had security look in the parking lot for the members who are not here, so that we can continue to have the discussion on this amendment and to continue to move forward in the budget process,” House Speaker Rep. Cathy Tilton said.

The members who walked out were accused of being dilatory by Rep. Kevin McCabe — the act of intentionally delaying proceedings — which Shrage denied.

“This is in no way dilatory, this is in no way bad faith,” Schrage said. “I am here to ensure that they are able to vote on these important issues before us, and the fact they are taking a moment to find a path forward is in no way dilatory, it is a solution-oriented, problem-solving path forward that they are pursuing, and I am insulted that the member from Big Lake would insinuate otherwise.”