It’s a little more than a third of the way through the legislative session, and Senate President Gary Stevens of Kodiak says the legislators are still trying to figure out how to divvy up the half of the budget surplus that was not already put into various state savings accounts. To that end, Stevens has once again posted a survey online so he can get a sense of what his constituents want.
— (Stevens 1 31 sec "It’s just good to get a … much going back to communities.")
He did say municipal revenue sharing – where the state shares part of its oil wealth directly with cities and boroughs – is on the table this session.
One of the questions on the survey again this year regards the 90-day session, which was imposed on legislators by a voter initiative:
— (Stevens 2 36 sec "Well, I don’t think they’re … know what you think.")
The 90-day session could seem even shorter if a move to increase the size of the state legislature by a dozen seats succeeds.
— (Stevens 3 44 sec "I’m not really in favor … end of the state and the other.")
Stevens is also against a plan floated by Fairbanks Representative Scott Kawasaki to make Alaska the second state with a one-body, or unicameral, legislature. Only Nebraska has such a system. Stevens says it’s often good to have the State House or Senate give careful consideration to bills coming out of the other body.