U.S. Sens. Murkowski, Begich, Inouye and Akaka Ask for Mail Delivery Field Hearings in Alaska, Hawaii

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski, Mark Begich, Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka today called on the Postal Regulatory Commission to hold field hearings in Alaska and Hawaii on a Postal Service proposal to reduce mail delivery to five days a week.

The Commission has announced hearings on the proposal in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Rapid City and Buffalo. But the senators said in a letter today to Ruth Y. Goldway, Chairman of the Commission, that mail delivery is different in Alaska and Hawaii, as residents there depend on the post office for "basic and necessary items."

The senators said the information gleaned from hearings in the Lower 48 "will bear little relevance to the concerns of the people of Alaska and Hawaii. Such concerns include the likely degradation of efficient and timely delivery of medication, food, water and other necessities."

The Commission has said that the nationwide elimination of Saturday mail delivery service is one of the most significant changes ever proposed for the Postal Service.

"It is extremely important, therefore, that you are fully informed about the impact of this proposal on our constituents and to the efficiency and effectiveness of the Postal Service on our states," according to the senators' letter. "Holding hearings in our states will also generate press coverage that will further inform our constituents about the pros and cons of this proposal."

The senator's letter to Chairman Goldway is attached.

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