Local Leagues undertake studies of public policy issues at all levels of government.
Local policy issues to study are adopted by the LWVJ members at the Annual Meeting in March of each year. Suggestions for study are generated during a Program Planning meeting in January. The LWVJ has not undertaken any new local study for several years.
Local Leagues also participate in state and national policy issue studies. State studies are selected by delegates from local LWVs to the annual State LWV Convention, held in April. Two state studies were completed in 2015, with significant involvement from the Juneau LWV.
STATE STUDY – VOTING IN ALASKA
The LWVAK Voting study considered processes and procedures related to voting which are designed to increase equity and informed public participation in the electoral process.Scope of Study: The LWVAK Voting study conducted research on the processes and procedures related to voting including the following:
Redistricting (composition of redistricting board and board resources)
Methods of voting (at polls, by mail, absentee, permanent absentee)
Timing of voting (early voting, counting/reporting of election results)
Who can vote (felon rights, voter ID at polls)
Voting Security including electronic poll books
Informed voting (availability of voter information)
This study was accomplished in the summer/fall 2014 followed by a consensus process which led to a position statement adopted in place for the 2015 legislative session. For more information and background on this study click here
STATE STUDY – SCHOOL FINANCE UPDATE
This review and update of the existing State LWV position one financing of education considered the use of public funds for private schools, for-profit schools, and school vouchers; accountability for schools using public funding; forward funding of schools; adjustment for inflation in public school funding; and the usefulness of an education permanent fund. The study Committee looked at recent trends and research in these areas as well as what other state Leagues have done with their School Finance Positions. The specifically examined the following questions (and others suggested by Committee members.)
Should there be accountability for all schools receiving public funds (for-profit schools, secular and nonsecular private schools, online private/for-profit schools)? If so, what form should that accountability take? Should the form of accountability vary from school-type to type?
Should the School Finance Position of LWVAK support forward-funding for school finance?
Should LWVAK suggest tying school funding to inflation?
Should LWVAK support the establishment of a school finance permanent fund?
This study was accomplished in 2015 followed by a consensus process which led to a position statement adopted in place for the 2017 legislative session. For more information and background on this study click here.
The National LWV holds a biennial Convention in June of even years at which the delegates adopt a 2-year program of study and action. After each Convention, the LWVUS publishes a document “Impact on Issues” that explains in detail the study and advocacy program for the coming biennium. Local Leagues are encouraged to participate in national studies and advocate on national program policy issues.