A few weeks ago the Alaska House of Representatives passed a bill I very much hope will become law this year. House Bill 101 was introduced by the House Rules Committee at the beginning of the session in January. It was referred only to the House State Affairs Committee, which in the legislative world is a good thing, as fewer committee referrals tend to mean a bill will move more rapidly through the legislative process increasing its chances of ultimate success.
Over the past few weeks there's been a lot of talk about the redrawing of electoral districts by the Alaska Redistricting Board.
Political parties in Alaska have state conventions every two years, and 2010 means it's time for it to happen again.
The primary election is just more than four weeks away, and we'll be hearing a lot more from candidates in the final month of campaigning. One of the most crucial races to be decided on the 24th of August is the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Lisa Murkowski is finishing her first full term in office, while Joe Miller has put himself forward as an alternative on the Republican ballot.
As Primary Election Day approaches, candidates ramp up their efforts to convince us they deserve our votes. Joe Miller, who is challenging Lisa Murkowski for the Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate, sent me an e-mail message the other day with his clearly overhyped nine-point "plan for dealing with the growing challenging problem of illegal immigration."
I was home suffering from the flu this past Monday, feeling like I'd been run over by a dump truck. My physical ailments, while very unpleasant, dissipated when a friend called with sad news: Tim Kelly, my former boss, had passed away in his sleep Monday afternoon.
Juneau voters will go to the polls this Tuesday to elect a mayor, two representatives to the Juneau Assembly, and three School Board members. There also are two propositions on the ballot, both related to fiscal decisions. I already voted early, in order to avoid the lines on Election Day, but the majority of voters will probably wait to case their votes on the last possible day.
This past week, my friend Jay Ramras came to Juneau. Jay is the Republican Representative of House District 10, which encompasses the eastern part of Fairbanks and the Fort Wainwright Military Reservation.
Gov. Sean Parnell won a strong statewide victory to be elected to a full term as the state's governor, but in Juneau he did something rare for a Republican: He carried a majority of the votes in the capital city.
As the first special session of the 27th Alaska Legislature winds down, it is timely to look at things that were accomplished, how these tasks were done, what didn't get done, and what to expect this year and next in the Capitol. While there has been much gnashing of teeth about the impasse which frustrated the orderly conclusion of legislative business within the relatively new 90-day framework, on the whole legislative results have turned out all right, with a few solid accomplishments most Alaskans should appreciate.
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