Alaska Legislature

Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, seen here on Feb. 7, 2022, announced Thursday he was running to fill the Alaska State Senate seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson who's announced a bid for the U.S. Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, seen here on Feb. 7, 2022, announced Thursday he was running to fill the Alaska State Senate seat soon to be vacated by Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson who's announced a bid for the U.S. Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore speaks at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, to announce three bills introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy meant to address sex and human trafficking in the state. (Screenshot)
Deputy Attorney General John Skidmore speaks at a press conference in Anchorage on Friday, Feb. 11, 2022, to announce three bills introduced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy meant to address sex and human trafficking in the state. (Screenshot)
Members of the House Committee of Military and Veterans' Affairs heard testimony on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers amid public pressure to take disciplinary action against Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, who is a member of the group. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Committee of Military and Veterans' Affairs heard testimony on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022, on the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers amid public pressure to take disciplinary action against Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, who is a member of the group. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, seen here Feb. 4, 2022, has come under scrutiny from the public and some of his legislative colleagues for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a far-right organization whose leaders have been arrested and charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State rep defends Oath Keepers, laments ‘cancel culture’

A Q & A with Rep. David Eastman amid public scrutiny, potential disciplinary action.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, seen here Feb. 4, 2022, has come under scrutiny from the public and some of his legislative colleagues for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a far-right organization whose leaders have been arrested and charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, filed her paperwork on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 at the Division of Elections offices in Juneau, to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski. Gray-Jackson, a Democrat, is the first from her party to enter the race and the first Black woman to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Elvi Gray-Jackson, an Anchorage Democrat, filed her paperwork on Thursday, Feb. 10, 2022 at the Division of Elections offices in Juneau, to run for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Republican Lisa Murkowski. Gray-Jackson, a Democrat, is the first from her party to enter the race and the first Black woman to run for a U.S. Senate seat from Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seated, speaks with senators during a floor debate on a bill to revamp the state's alcohol laws on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. The bill was one of Micciche's own, and Tuesday's floor vote came after nine years of trying to pass a bill modernizing Alaska's alcohol regulation. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, seated, speaks with senators during a floor debate on a bill to revamp the state's alcohol laws on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. The bill was one of Micciche's own, and Tuesday's floor vote came after nine years of trying to pass a bill modernizing Alaska's alcohol regulation. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, Feb. 3, 2022. Eastman has come under scrutiny for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a right-wing paramilitary group whose leaders have been charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A House committee will meet next week to investigate the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives on Friday, Feb. 3, 2022. Eastman has come under scrutiny for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a right-wing paramilitary group whose leaders have been charged with sedition for their role in the Jan. 6, riot at the U.S. Capitol. A House committee will meet next week to investigate the Oath Keepers. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The House Labor and Commerce Committee speaks with Alaska's Congressional delegation on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which is set to bring billions of dollars to the state. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The House Labor and Commerce Committee speaks with Alaska's Congressional delegation on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022, about the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill which is set to bring billions of dollars to the state. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A scheduled floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, following a positive COVID-19 case in the body and close contacts among roughly half the members. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A scheduled floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was canceled Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2022, following a positive COVID-19 case in the body and close contacts among roughly half the members. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the Lt. Governor’s office at the Alaska State Capitol. A Senate bill with bipartisan support is seeking to enhance civics education for Alaskan students. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Copies of the Alaska State Constitution are available outside the Lt. Governor’s office at the Alaska State Capitol. A Senate bill with bipartisan support is seeking to enhance civics education for Alaskan students. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House tabled action Monday on a proposal to remove from legislative committees Eastman, who has said he joined the Oath Keepers far-right organization years ago. The House Committee on Committees voted 5-2 to remove Republican Rep. Eastman of Wasilla from his committee assignments, said Joe Plesha, communications director for the House's bipartisan majority. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

House tables vote affecting lawmaker with Oath Keepers ties

The meeting was not widely publicized beforehand.

Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. The Alaska House tabled action Monday on a proposal to remove from legislative committees Eastman, who has said he joined the Oath Keepers far-right organization years ago. The House Committee on Committees voted 5-2 to remove Republican Rep. Eastman of Wasilla from his committee assignments, said Joe Plesha, communications director for the House's bipartisan majority. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

Legislature rejects higher pay, per diem restrictions

Action came quickly.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, speak to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor's optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer; Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna; Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak and Sen. Click Bishop, R-Fairbanks, speak to reporters Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022, immediately following Gov. Mike Dunleavy's State of the State address. Members of the Senate Republican leadership said they appreciated the governor's optimism, and hoped it signaled a better relationship between the administration and the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska Redistricting Board’s decision to pair District 21 (teal) and District 22 (purple) into one senate district is the subject of a lawsuit from East Anchorage residents of District 21. An Anchorage Superior Court heard the first arguments in that case on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, part of several lawsuits against the Redistricting Board that have been consolidated into a single case. (Screenshot / Alaska Redistricting Board)
The Alaska Redistricting Board’s decision to pair District 21 (teal) and District 22 (purple) into one senate district is the subject of a lawsuit from East Anchorage residents of District 21. An Anchorage Superior Court heard the first arguments in that case on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022, part of several lawsuits against the Redistricting Board that have been consolidated into a single case. (Screenshot / Alaska Redistricting Board)
Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, speaks to the Empire in his office of the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Begich introduced the Alaska Reads Act with Gov. Mike Dunleavy in 2020, but despite strong bipartisan support, disruptions from COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the bill’s progression. But Begich is confident this will be the year a reading bill passes the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate Minority Leader Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, speaks to the Empire in his office of the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Begich introduced the Alaska Reads Act with Gov. Mike Dunleavy in 2020, but despite strong bipartisan support, disruptions from COVID-19 pandemic has slowed the bill’s progression. But Begich is confident this will be the year a reading bill passes the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers but to restrict the daily allowance lawmakers can receive. The changes will go forward unless the Legislature expressly rejects them. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)

State lawmakers face proposed salary hike, allowance limits

A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers but to restrict the daily allowance lawmakers… Continue reading

This photo shows the Alaska State Capitol. A commission tasked with reviewing legislative pay on Tuesday voted to raise the annual salary for Alaska lawmakers but to restrict the daily allowance lawmakers can receive. The changes will go forward unless the Legislature expressly rejects them. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
The next session of the Alaska State Legislature will begin next week at the Capitol building in Juneau, seen here on Jan. 10, 2022, and lawmakers have already filed dozens of new bills for consideration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
The next session of the Alaska State Legislature will begin next week at the Capitol building in Juneau, seen here on Jan. 10, 2022, and lawmakers have already filed dozens of new bills for consideration. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmakers will return next week to the Alaska State Capitol building, seen here on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, for the next session of the Alaska State Legislature, but local leaders were cautious about what could be accomplished in an election year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers will return next week to the Alaska State Capitol building, seen here on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022, for the next session of the Alaska State Legislature, but local leaders were cautious about what could be accomplished in an election year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

State Senate president lays out vision for upcoming session

Micciche seeks path forward on budget, looks to pass legislation on fishing permits, alcohol regulations

State Sen. Peter Micciche fields questions from constituents during a joint chamber luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell was fired as CEO on Dec. 10 by APFC's board, a decision which has lawmakers and others asking 'why?' (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell was fired as CEO on Dec. 10 by APFC's board, a decision which has lawmakers and others asking 'why?' (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)