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.
- For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus.
- The U.S. Senate is working on the health care bill, and Alaska health commissioner Valerie Davidson is in Washington, D.C., to meet with Alaska's senators, Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski. One-quarter of Alaska's population currently is covered by Medicaid.
- Police posted this security video of the suspect on its Facebook page and described him as white, 25 to 30 years old, 6-foot-3 and skinny with scruffy facial hair.
- Uber and Lyft are negotiating with the City and Borough of Juneau over the collection of the city's sales tax. The companies insist it's the drivers' responsibility to collect and remit the 5 percent tax on fares.