The 28th session of the Alaska State Legislature is underway.
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell gaveled in the House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday then administered the oath of office to 59 House and Senate members. Juneau Sen. Dennis Egan did not have to stand for re-election after redistricting. Twelve legislators have not previously served.
The first day of the 90-day session is largely ceremonial. And Treadwell took time to note a one-hundredth year milestone for Alaska.
“Come March 3 of this year, it will be a century that the Alaska Legislature, beginning in territorial times, has convened to carry out the democratic ideal of protecting the liberty, promoting the health, welfare, safety, education and prosperity of Alaskans. You, the group just sworn in, are the centennial class of the Alaska Legislature.”
Some committees begin their work on Wednesday, but the big event is Gov. Sean Parnell’s State of the State speech at 7 p.m.
Parnell will address a joint session of the House and the Senate for the fourth time as governor. Gavel Alaska and KTOO Radio will provide live coverage of the speech.
On the way to the governor’s speech, don’t forget Juneau’s 28th Annual Legislative Welcome Reception from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at Centennial Hall.
It’s a chance for Juneau residents to greet new and returning legislators, family and staff.
The Alaska Committee, Juneau Chamber of Commerce, Juneau Convention and Visitors Bureau, City and Borough and many local businesses and individuals contribute to the event.
- “Scrap it,” said Matanuska-Susitna Borough Assemblyman Steve Colligan. “We would be better off spending $500,000 to send it to the scrapyard.”
- Some 34,000 Alaskans are eligible for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits but don't apply. That's $65 million from the federal government that's not getting into local economies.
- Nick Pletnikoff, who has autism, was pepper-sprayed outside his home by Kodiak police in September. He was never charged with a crime. The family is suing for more than $100,000 plus punitive damages.
- Scalia was perhaps the leading voice of uncompromising conservatism on the Supreme Court. In his 29 years on the court, he achieved almost a cult following for dissents.