Session in Full Swing Early This Year


Jay Barrett/KMXT

The Alaska Legislature has been in session a couple of weeks now, and according to Senate President Gary Stevens of Kodiak, legislators and staff are already scrambling to get their work done. Never a fan of the 90-day session mandated by a voter initiative, Stevens says it short-changes constituents who would like to be heard on issues important to them.

(Gary 1 31 sec "I think there’s not … what we’re going to deal with.")

Stevens is optimistic that Kodiak will get its fair share of capital works projects this year, given the informal agreement legislators made last year to largely forego them:

(Gary 2 37 sec "I’ve been talking with … what may happen in the end.")

Stevens says there are a lot of people associated with school districts in Juneau this week seeking funding, but he says they shouldn’t worry, as the legislature has already committed to forward-fund education:

(Gary 3 26 sec "We are going to be able … they’ll be getting those funds.")

House Speaker Mike Chenault (shen-alt) of Nikiski has floated the idea of an advisory vote of the people to look into funding an in-state gas pipeline with money from the Alaska Permanent Fund. Stevens says that’s exactly what it would take before the legislature ever touched the state’s "rainy day savings account":

(Gary 4 23 sec "It’s worth discussing, but … it’s time to touch it.")

Stevens, along with Kodiak Representative Alan Austerman, will be holding their first constituent call-in on Thursday evening at 6 p.m., which will air live here on KMXT.


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