The Legislature has been ignoring an Alaska law that says the session should end within 90 days. So a lawmaker has proposed putting the limit in the state constitution in House Joint Resolution 2.
That’s one of several legislative proposals released Monday ahead of the legislative session.
Anchorage Democratic Rep. Matt Claman has proposed the 90-day session amendment to the constitution in previous sessions. He noted that the Legislature has repeatedly gone past the limit since voters passed a law in 2006 setting the session length. The constitution currently allows sessions of up to 121 days.
“The Legislature has really grown to ignore that 90-day limit,” Claman said. “And the public is frustrated with how long we’ve been in Juneau and doesn’t understand why we can’t follow that requirement.”
Claman’s joint resolution is one of five proposed amendments to the constitution in the first batch of legislation ahead of the session. Another would put Alaska Permanent Fund dividends in the state constitution.
There were also 38 bills in this batch. They included a bill that would change the definition of first-degree sex assault to cover cases like that of 34-year-old Anchorage resident Justin Schneider. He served just under one year of house arrest after committing a sex act. This prompted a public outcry that contributed to the judge losing his retention election.
Another measure, Senate Bill 7, would require many Medicaid recipients to work to receive health coverage.
The second batch of pre-filed legislation will be released on Friday.
- Air traffic controllers in Yellowknife, Canada, joined in a widespread, pizza-based act of goodwill recently as the U.S. federal employees’ unpaid payday came and went.
- Alaska’s attorney general and two of the state’s congressional lawmakers are calling on a federal appeals court to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act. A U.S. district court judge struck the law down in October.
- A new Blood Bank of Alaska location celebrated its grand opening Thursday in Juneau. The region has been served by mobile blood donation facilities in the past, but this is the first permanent center in years.
- On Tuesday, the U.S. Forest Service notified objectors of a proposed timber sale about a public meeting in Klawock. By Thursday, the meeting was canceled. But some groups are wondering why this work is happening now at all.