Sen. Lora Reinbold asks to be excused from floor sessions, citing her ban from Alaska Airlines

Sen. Lora Reinbold walks the halls of the legislature before an announcement from Senate leadership that she had been stripped of most of her committee positions on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska. (Photo by Rashah McChesney/KTOO)

Alaska Sen. Lora Reinbold, a Republican from Eagle River, has been excused from attending Senate floor sessions starting this weekend through next January.

She has been banned from flying on Alaska Airlines for refusing to wear a facemask and is arguing that she doesn’t have an alternative way of getting back and forth to Juneau. On Thursday she asked her fellow lawmakers to be excused.

“I move and ask unanimous consent to be excused from the call of the Senate from Sept. 11 through Jan. 15 because there is no airline other than Alaska Airline(s) that flies into Juneau during that period that I’m aware of. The political ban is still in place as long as Biden’s illegitimate mask mandate is in place,” she said.

In general, legislators ask to be excused when they have another commitment that prevents them from attending floor sessions.

Reinbold was barred from most of the Capitol briefly during the regular session for not wearing a mask and refusing to get tested for COVID-19. She eventually started to comply with the rules.

The special session must end by Tuesday. No other special sessions have been announced before the regular session begins in January.

Andrew Kitchenman

State Government Reporter, Alaska Public Media & KTOO

State government plays an outsized role in the life of Alaskans. As the state continues to go through the painful process of deciding what its priorities are, I bring Alaskans to the scene of a government in transition.

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