State Lawmakers Demand Special Session

Annie Feidt, APRN – Anchorage

A group of state lawmakers wants Governor Sean Parnell to call them back into special session so they can override his veto of a bill expanding access to Denali Kid Care. The program provides health care to low income families. Last week, Parnell said he was vetoing the bill because the program funds medically necessary abortions. Senator Bettye Davis, a Democrat from Anchorage, sponsored the bill.

The bill was meant to provide health care to 1,200 more kids in Alaska and 200 more pregnant women, by increasing the income guidelines. When he announced the veto, Parnell said he was changing his mind on the expansion because he had recently learned Denali Kid Care funded some abortions. But lawmakers say he has known for more than a decade. Senator Hollis French, a Democrat from Anchorage, pointed to a transcript of an exchange Parnell had when he was a Senator in 1998 and the Denali Kid Care bill was being considered for the first time.

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