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

The Commission has already announced hearings on the proposal in Las Vegas, Sacramento, Dallas, Memphis, Chicago, Rapid City and Buffalo.  The senators said in a letter today to Ruth Y. Goldway, Chairman of the Commission, that mail delivery is unique in Hawaii and Alaska, where residents depend on it for “basic and necessary items.”

The senators said the information gleaned from hearings on the mainland “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.”