Alaska Legislature

Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska Senate on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in favor of a bill that would prohibit discrimination against people for wearing their natural hairstyles in schools and workplaces. The bill passed with only one nay vote. (Screenshot)
Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the Alaska Senate on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in favor of a bill that would prohibit discrimination against people for wearing their natural hairstyles in schools and workplaces. The bill passed with only one nay vote. (Screenshot)
A notice board at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, shows the cancellation of the House of Representatives floor session for that morning. For the second day running the House has canceled floor sessions over disagreements between caucuses over masking rules amid an outbreak of COVID-19 among some lawmakers and their staff. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A notice board at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, March 29, 2022, shows the cancellation of the House of Representatives floor session for that morning. For the second day running the House has canceled floor sessions over disagreements between caucuses over masking rules amid an outbreak of COVID-19 among some lawmakers and their staff. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled on Monday, March 28, 2022, after some lawmakers refused to wear face masks in the chamber. House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, reinstated the masking rule for the floor after several members of the body tested positive for COVID-19. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

COVID cases, mask debates delay House

Lawmaker absences push back timeline for budget bill.

A floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled on Monday, March 28, 2022, after some lawmakers refused to wear face masks in the chamber. House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, reinstated the masking rule for the floor after several members of the body tested positive for COVID-19. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
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This May 21, 2019, photo shows people attending a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska voters this year will be asked if they want a constitutional convention, and simmering anger over the legislature’s failure to settle the issue of how big a check residents should receive from the state’s oil wealth fund could provide a tail wind for groups seeking to change the constitution on a range of hot button topics, such as abortion. (Michael Penn/ Juneau Empire File)

State constitutional convention measures stoke partisan fear

Alaska is one of three states where voters will decide this fall whether to call a convention.

This May 21, 2019, photo shows people attending a rally against anti-abortion laws at the Dimond Courthouse Plaza in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska voters this year will be asked if they want a constitutional convention, and simmering anger over the legislature’s failure to settle the issue of how big a check residents should receive from the state’s oil wealth fund could provide a tail wind for groups seeking to change the constitution on a range of hot button topics, such as abortion. (Michael Penn/ Juneau Empire File)
Attorney for the State of Alaska Matthew Singer defends the Alaska Redistricting Board to the Alaska Supreme Court on Friday, March 18, 2022. The Court will return a decision on the state's new electoral districts by April 1. (Screenshot)
Attorney for the State of Alaska Matthew Singer defends the Alaska Redistricting Board to the Alaska Supreme Court on Friday, March 18, 2022. The Court will return a decision on the state's new electoral districts by April 1. (Screenshot)
(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)

State House passes campaign contribution limits bill

Bill would set a $2,000 limit on what someone could contribute to a candidate per campaign period.

(Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, talks with a reporter after attending at an event to celebrate the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Washington. Murkowski spoke the the Alaska House of Representatives Special Committee on Tribal Affairs Thursday about what the bill means for Alaska. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, talks with a reporter after attending at an event to celebrate the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, March 16, 2022, in Washington. Murkowski spoke the the Alaska House of Representatives Special Committee on Tribal Affairs Thursday about what the bill means for Alaska. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
The House Finance Committee hears a presentation from Department of Revenue Chief Economist Dan Stickle on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. It was a busy day at the Alaska State Capitol Wednesday with both the House of Representatives and the Senate passing multiple bills. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The House Finance Committee hears a presentation from Department of Revenue Chief Economist Dan Stickle on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. It was a busy day at the Alaska State Capitol Wednesday with both the House of Representatives and the Senate passing multiple bills. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a March 8, news conference at the Alaska State Capitol. On Tuesday, Dunleavy released the state's updated revenue forecast and called for Permanent Fund Dividend payments of $3,700. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a March 8, news conference at the Alaska State Capitol. On Tuesday, Dunleavy released the state's updated revenue forecast and called for Permanent Fund Dividend payments of $3,700. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Reps. Clavin Schrage, I-Anchorage, left, and David Eastman, R-Wasilla, discuss a bill on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives to enact limits on individual contributions to political campaigns, on Monday, March 14, 2022. House members spent several hours debating amendments to the bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Reps. Clavin Schrage, I-Anchorage, left, and David Eastman, R-Wasilla, discuss a bill on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives to enact limits on individual contributions to political campaigns, on Monday, March 14, 2022. House members spent several hours debating amendments to the bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A car is shown at a gas pump, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at a gas station in North Miami, Fla. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Alaska state lawmakers are moving to temporarily suspend the state's motor fuel tax as oil prices rise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
A car is shown at a gas pump, Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, at a gas station in North Miami, Fla. Gov. Mike Dunleavy and Alaska state lawmakers are moving to temporarily suspend the state's motor fuel tax as oil prices rise. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Alaska Sen. Tom Begich, left, and Rep. Zack Fields, right, both Anchorage Democrats, joined a news conference Thursday to talk up President Joe Biden's agenda in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Sen. Tom Begich, left, and Rep. Zack Fields, right, both Anchorage Democrats, joined a news conference Thursday to talk up President Joe Biden's agenda in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
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At a news conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Gov. Mike Dunleavy outlined his plan to have the state divest its assets from Russia. The disruption in the global market could be beneficial to Alaska, the governor said, if it is able to develop its resources. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
At a news conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, Gov. Mike Dunleavy outlined his plan to have the state divest its assets from Russia. The disruption in the global market could be beneficial to Alaska, the governor said, if it is able to develop its resources. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Rep. Ben Carpenter speaks at a town hal meeting in Nikiski on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Election changes dominate town hall

Carpenter addressed ranked choice, legislation aimed at voter fraud

House Rep. Ben Carpenter speaks at a town hal meeting in Nikiski on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)
Senate Finance Committee members Sens. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, and Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, listen to public testimony for bills related to the Permanent Fund Dividend on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. The majority of callers accused lawmakers of stealing PFD money. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate Finance Committee members Sens. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, and Natasha Von Imhof, R-Anchorage, listen to public testimony for bills related to the Permanent Fund Dividend on Monday, Feb. 21, 2022. The majority of callers accused lawmakers of stealing PFD money. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Rep. Ron Gillham speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai area rep introduces raft of education-focused bills

One bill targets critical race theory; another would create state scholarships for private schools.

State Rep. Ron Gillham speaks at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Kenai Municipal Airport on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Senators and members of the House of Representatives gather in the House Chamber for Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State speech on Jan. 25, 2022. Both the House and Senate Chambers are located on the second floor of the Alaska State Capitol building. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senators and members of the House of Representatives gather in the House Chamber for Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State speech on Jan. 25, 2022. Both the House and Senate Chambers are located on the second floor of the Alaska State Capitol building. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the lieutenant governor's office on the third floor of the Alaska State Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Constitutional convention could change everything, or nothing

This article appears in the Juneau Empire’s Guide to the 2022 Alaska State Legislature. Legislative impasse over the past few years has led some in… Continue reading

Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the lieutenant governor's office on the third floor of the Alaska State Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)