Outlying Areas Senate Presidents Caucus
The Outlying Areas Senate Presidents Caucus is an informal legislative organization created in 2007 by leaders of the Senates of the U.S. states of Alaska and Hawaii and the United States territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Northern Marianas Islands. The organization's initial meeting took place in the Hawaii State Capitol on December 11, 2007 and was attended by Hawaii Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, Alaska Senate Majority Leader Gary Stevens, Guam Legislature Acting Speaker Eddie Baza Calvo, Senate President Joseph Mendiola of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands and Puerto Rico Senate President Kenneth McClintock, who convened the meeting.
The Caucus was created to develop the first dialogue ever among legislative leaders of the United States' outlying states and territories, identify common problems, many of which are not shared by the forty-eight contiguous states, and seek consensus regarding possible solutions. Among the issues initially discussed is the less-than-equal treatment by Federal agencies and private corporations, the lack of coverage of FCC-licensed satellite radio services in the non-contiguous areas of the nation and their non-inclusion in the 50 State Quarters program.
As a result of efforts by several caucus members, including a letter by them to the Federal Communications Commission included in the XM/Sirius merger docket, Sirius committed to take steps within 90 days of FCC approval of the merger to provide coverage to the most populated outlying area, Puerto Rico. Since 2009, the Sirius/XM signal is available to subscribers in Puerto Rico.
Senate leaders in American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands will be invited to join the caucus.
- Leaders from offshore U.S. declare alliance Others in the offshore group are Hawaii Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, Alaska Senate Majority Leader Gary Stevens, Guam Sen. Eddie Baza Calvo and Senate President Joseph Mendiola of the Northern Marianas.