Alaska lawmakers consider bill on TSA pat-downs

Associated Press Published:

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) -- Airport security around the state could be affected by proposals up for consideration before Alaska lawmakers.

The House Transportation Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to discuss HB270, a bill that would require signs warning of physical searches and electronic devices that use radiation outside Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in airports and anywhere else similar procedures are used.

Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, sponsored the measure. She made national headlines last year after she refused a pat-down at a Seattle airport.

Cissna was singled out for a pat-down following a full-body scan, her second, she said, within three months. Cissna is a breast-cancer survivor who has had a mastectomy. She refused the pat-down again and left the airport to return to Juneau, a city accessible only by air or water, by means including a rental car, small plane, taxi and ferry.

"Those aren't pat-downs," Cissna said of TSA procedures. "It was a feel-up. I did not experience a pat-down"

Another of Cissna's bills would criminalize anyone who conducts a physically invasive pat-down, which she considers unconstitutional, and she also calls for a study of psychological and physical effects of airport screening.