Monday night, the U.S. Senate voted to move ahead with a bill to protect gay people from workplace discrimination.
Sponsors expected Sen. Lisa Murkowski to be one of a handful of Republicans who would help them get the 60 votes needed to proceed. But Murkowski was absent.
“I had made a commitment to be in Midland, Texas, looking at how Midland and some of the operators in Midland are responding to this amazing, extraordinary boom in oil shale production,” Murkowski said.
A spokesman said she also attended a fundraiser in Texas. She says when she found out the Senate was going to take a rare Monday vote she tried to get back in time but didn’t make it.
The anti-discrimination bill cleared the 60-vote hurdle without her. It is expected to pass the Senate, and Murkowski says she looks forward to voting for it.
- Walker said the state government risks spending all of its savings if it denies there’s a problem and hopes for oil prices to rise.
- Newtok had hoped President Obama would declare a major disaster on its behalf before leaving office. A disaster declaration would have unlocked federal relief funding that could be used for relocation.
- Brad Snow and his girlfriend Lilly Allen were living on the Yukon River when writer John McPhee came through. Snow and McPhee spent four days together in a canoe.
- The Republican-led Senate majority is more focused on cutting spending to close the state’s budget deficit than the new mostly Democratic House majority or independent Gov. Bill Walker.