The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which has jurisdiction over homeland security matters, will hold a public hearing to dig more deeply into the controversial no-bid contract state government had with The Institute of Terrorism Research and Response.
Senator Lisa Baker, who chairs the committee, says that as more information comes to light, state actions become more concerning.
“People were targeted for no reason other than they were exercising their fundamental rights of free speech and assembly. Beyond that, there seems no justification for sharing this kind of information with the private businesses who received it,” Baker stated.
“News reports are indicating that key administration officials had the chance to change this or put a stop to it months ago. But the program would still be running if someone had not blown the whistle. Citizens want to know why this was allowed to continue, and they deserve answers. This is too serious a matter to trust to an in-house inquiry alone,” she pointed out.
“I have had people contacting me to express concern about how this might affect them. They and others are very angry about what appears to be a serious abuse of government power,” Baker concluded.
The public hearing is scheduled for September 27th, in Hearing Room #1 in the North Office Building, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Letters requesting state officials to testify are being sent today.