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Alfond: "I would congratulate Miss Volk…"

alfondKen Altschuler and Mike Violette, hosts of WGAN Morning News with Ken and Mike, grilled Senate President Justin Alfond Wednesday morning over his decision to reject Rep. Amy Volk (R-Scarborough)’s human trafficking bill.

Far from a mea culpa, Alfond blamed “Miss Volk” for not reaching out to Democrats on the Legislative Council.

Ken & Mike: Why did Amy Volk’s bill not make it through the first time when your wine-tasting bill did?

Alfond: “Well, let’s just back things up here. Uh, you know. We had over 400 bills. This was a rapid-fire process where we had very little information. We let only around 25 percent of the bills in. Uh, the Volk bill was something that we had no background knowledge of. She didn’t reach out to any of us. If this was so important to her, picking up the phone sending an email doing something to educate the Democrats on the Legislative Council would have been the thing I would have done. That’s why I did when I was in the minority when I reached out to my Majority Leaders, uh, both, uh, President Raye and Speaker Nutting. So I think there is plenty of time for lots of people to make appeals and that’s what tomorrows all about. And I would congratulate Miss Volk for doing what she needs to do to get the state talking about an important issue.”

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Volk’s bill would allow courts to vacate prostitution convictions for victims of human trafficking. It became a political lightning rod after the six Democrats who control the Legislative Council voted to prevent it from having a hearing. On Thursday, the council will hear an appeal from Volk and will likely vote to approve it.

Steve Robinson
Maine Wire Reporter