The House Finance Committee, as part of their interim overview hearings of the Department of Health and Social Services, held hearings this week from Monday until noon on Wednesday in Fairbanks. It didn’t start well and it ended even worse when an HSS employee dropped a private f-bomb that went public while a legislator was speaking.
Reports indicated that committee members were becoming increasingly frustrated as time went on with what they perceived as the department’s lack of preparation and inability to answer questions. This frustration reached a boiling point earlier on Wednesday during the topic of federal sequestration, when members were scolding department officials for their inability to answer even broad questions on its impact to state programs.
Wilda Laughlin, HSS’s legislative liaison, was on the phone listening and apparently assumed that the phone was on mute. At one point, she shouted “shut the f#%k up,” when Chugiak Republican Rep. Bill Stoltze was talking.
Suffice it to say that she wasn’t on mute.
It should be noted that Stoltze is co-chair of the House Finance Committee, which approves HSS’s budget.
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