The person holding the bill up is Chugiak/Matsu legislator Bill Stoltz. Kokayi began his hunger strike Feb. 7 in Juneau. I've known Kokayi for a while and he's a very passionate guy. He's been outraged that in the United States there are hungry kids. Unlike most of us, he's not willing to just let this go on without doing something serious about this problem.
You have to be serious to go on a hunger strike for three weeks (now).
I've been out of the state since before he started the strike. But I understand there has been a lot of press coverage. Here's a tv example. And here's one from the Mudflats blog.
I don't know that Stoltz is reachable by logical argument. Kokayi told me last night that Stoltz has refused to speak to Kokayi. If I were Stoltz, I'd invite Kokayi to meet me in my office and serve him the most delicious smelling meal I could find and sit there talking to Kokayi while the fragrance drifted into Kokayi's nostrils. But that doesn't seem to be Stoltz's way. I heard him tell the Legislative Council in 2010, when they were discussing whether they should lift the block on Facebook for legislative computers (Yes, legislators can't be trusted with Facebook from their offices):
I’m confessing a total lack of knowledge on this. I don’t know enough to vote other than negatively. [This was as close to verbatim as I could get at the meeting.]He then spoke for about ten minutes on why it would be bad to pass the motion. Even though he admitted he had a total lack of knowledge.
I'm not sure constituent contacts would make a difference, but it is the one thing that tends to get legislators' attention. So I'm posting these maps of Stoltz's district 16. If you live there call or email to ask him to pass SB3 out of committee. Or if you know people in it, ask them if they know what their rep is doing and urge them to contact him.
Here's the current district:
You can click to enlarge it. Basically, it's from Chugiak up into the Matsu and much of it is unpopulated mountains. Here are some enlargements so you can see where it is.
|NW District 16 click to enlarge|
|NE District 16 - click to enlarge|
|South District 16 - click to enlarge|
It's District 11 in the new redistricting plan which you can see here.
Do let Rep. Stoltz know how you feel about this. (The Senate has passed this bill at least twice already and now it's being held by the House Finance Committee as it was the last time.).