Now that the Alaska House of Representatives is organized, its members are urgently bustling about the Capitol.
There are now 69 bills filed in the House but only 83 days left in the session. Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s unprecedented budget proposal to cut $1.6 billion from the operating budget, along with the budget’s associated bills, will likely gobble up most that time.
Here is a quick sampling of some of the bills that have been filed since the House was organized:
• House Bill 43 would exempt the state of Alaska from participating in daylight savings time. It was introduced by Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton.
“I think there are a number of problems that we run into because of daylight saving time,” Rauscher said. “The shifting back and forth, resetting clocks. … It’s needless.”
• HB 58, also introduced by Rauscher, would create a new rule for electing a Speaker of the House. Under the bill’s proposal, if the House were to go 14 days without a speaker, the members of the political party with the majority would get to elect the speaker. This year the House went 31 days before electing Rep. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, as speaker.
“It’s a reoccurring problem,” Rauscher said about House organization. I think that the people deserve an organization in a matter of time which is more efficient. I think this is a very good solution for that. I’m hoping that the House and Senate see this is a very good option.”
• HB 55 would designate May 31 as Katie John Day. The purpose of the bill would be to “honor Athabaskan elder Katie John for her fight for subsistence rights.” The bill was introduced by Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome.
• Rep. Sara Hannan, D-Juneau, has written HB 63 that would require the lieutenant governor’s office to make a public posting whenever a state job position is created, eliminated or transferred to be classified, partially exempt, or exempt service. Hannan is a freshman legislator and this is her first bill.
• House Bill 69 was transmitted by request from Dunleavy. It would repeal the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission. The commission’s job is to provide oversight and administration of state funds that are granted to public radio and television stations.
• Contact reporter Kevin Baird at 523-2258 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @alaska_kev.