Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, speaks in support of his bill to recognize Alaska’s 229 already federally-recognized tribes on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, speaks in support of his bill to recognize Alaska’s 229 already federally-recognized tribes on Friday, March 13, 2020. (Peter Segall | Juneau Empire)

Capitol Live: House adjourns to Monday, leaves bills on calender

Live updates from the Capitol.

Summary: Correction: This article incorrectly stated the House had passed HB 221. The House did not vote on that bill and instead voted to adjourn. The three members who listed below voted against adjourning, not against HB 221. The Empire regrets this error.

After a long at ease, the House votes to adjourn so members can attend a meeting of the recently formed COVID-19 working Group. The adjournment vote passes with 29 yeas and 3 nays from Eastman, Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, and Sharon Jackson, R-Eagle River.

11:40 A.M.

Kopp says his bill would only bring the state in line with what is already well established federal policy with U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

“This bill would officially end an era of colonial thinking,” Kopp says, and would help repair a broken relationship with people who have lived in Alaska for millennia and long self-governed themselves.

11:26 a.m.

The House passed a motion which would give the Legislative Council, a bipartisan joint committee, the authority to close the Alaska State Capitol until further notice.

Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, said this would not end public access to live-streams or other electronic coverage that allow the public to view and participate in the public process.

But another Anchorage Democrat, Chris Tuck, said this wasn’t the right time for such a move. People are already beginning to panic, he said, and the Capitol closing its doors would send the wrong message.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, attempted to add an amendment which would set an end date to the motion. Currently the motion has no end date. But as House Speaker Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, noted, the motion was simply to give Legislative Council decision making power over the matter. Eastman’s amendment failed however.

11:23 a.m.

Today the House will debate a bill which would have the state government officially recognize Alaska’s 229 already federally recognized tribes.

House Bill 221, sponsored by Anchorage Republican Chuck Kopp, already have 19 Democratic and Independent co-sponsors already giving it 20 votes. It needs 21 to pass.

The bill would be largely symbolic, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson, president of the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska previously told the Empire. But that symbolism would go a long way to heal the often fraught relationship between tribal and American government entities.

“Just a simple act of recognition can heal decades of hurt,” Peterson told the Empire in February. “One of the things that will happen for the larger community of Alaska, this will normalize the thought of tribes as sovereigns.”

More in News

Jasmine Chavez, a crew member aboard the Quantum of the Seas cruise ship, waves to her family during a cell phone conversation after disembarking from the ship at Marine Park on May 10. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Ships in port for the week of May 18

Here’s what to expect this week.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Friday, May 17, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Thursday, May 16, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Students and staff play a kickball game on the field between the Marie Drake Building and Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé on Friday afternoon. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
School district leaders debate biggest needs for extra $5.2M approved by Legislature, in hope governor won’t veto it

Staff for special education and gifted students, homeschooling, paying off city loan high on list.

Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, speaks Wednesday, May 8, on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
After several deadly drownings, Alaska Legislature votes to require harbor safety ladders

Bill by Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, passes on final day of session.

Members of the Thunder Mountain High School culinary arts team prepare their three-course meal during the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore on April 26-28. (Photo by Rebecca Giedosh-Ruge)
TMHS culinary arts team serves a meal of kings at national competition

Five students who won state competition bring Alaskan crab and salmon to “Top Chef”-style event.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, May 15, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, listens to discussion on the Senate floor on Wednesday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
A look at some of the bills that failed to pass the Alaska Legislature this year

Parts of a long-term plan to bring state revenue and expenses into line again failed to advance.

Most Read