What We’re Watching…
House of Representatives
This year’s election brings 19 new House members into the group of 40, although two of them are former legislators. We are waiting to see when the House will determine a majority. No business will begin until a majority is established.
Pre-filed bills we’ll be monitoring this session (links will take you to the full text):
- HB 1– REPEAL BALLOT MEASURE 2 VOTING CHGS -Rauscher
- HB 4 -ELECTIONS: REPEAL BALLOT MEASURE 2 -Vance
- HB 24– GOV APPOINT BOARD OF GOVERNORS OF AK BAR – Rauscher
- Changes the membership of the Alaska Bar and requires the members to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the legislature.
- HB 34– CONFIRMATION/QUALIFICATIONS OF JUDGES – Rauscher
- Amends the selection and retention of judges, modifies the qualification of the supreme court justices, superior and district court judges, and magistrates, and requires legislative confirmation for a court of appeals judge or district court judge, and requires supreme court justices to have been confirmed previously by the legislature as a COA judge or district court judge.
- HB 36– APOC; REFERENDA/RECALL; CONTRIBUTIONS – Schrage
- Provides for campaign finance contribution limits including for initiatives and referendums.
- HB 37– ELECTIONS, VOTING, BALLOTS – Schrage
- Allows for election day registration and use of electronic signature. Prohibits the physical display of images of marked ballots within 200 feet of a polling place but does not preclude an individual from sharing on social media.
- HB 65– INCREASE BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION -Reps. ORTIZ, Fields, Dibert, Carrick, Schrage, Armstrong, Himschoot, Groh, Story, Josephson, Gray, Hannan
- An Act relating to education; increasing the base student allocation to $7,210
There are seven new senators out of their 20, but one is a former senator and three are former House members. The Alaska Senate has organized around a 17-member bipartisan supermajority with all nine Democrats and eight of 11 Republicans. The bills with sponsors in the majority have a better chance of moving forward.
Pre-filed bills we’ll be monitoring this session:
- SB 1– ELECTIONS: BALLOT, VOTING, SECURITY – Shower
- Requires the director of elections to adopt regulations providing for ballot security and chain of custody system.
- SB 2– REPEAL BALLOT MEASURE 2 VOTING CHGS – Shower
- SB 5-VOTER REGISTRATION – Shower
- Requires the director of elections to send notices to those registered voters not domiciled in the state and adopt regulations for regular review and updates of the master register.
- SB 6-VOTING MACHINES AND VOTE TALLY SYSTEMS – Shower
- Requires voting machines to meet the US Election Assistance Commission’s guidelines and certified by the commission.
- SB 7– ELECTION INTERFERENCE, FRAUD, MISCONDUCT -Shower
- Adds the intentional opening or tampering with absentee ballots or election machinery to the list of crimes of unlawful interference with an election, establishes a crime of election fraud as a Class B Felony
- SB 17– CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS – Kawasaki
- Establishes Campaign Finance limits for individuals, non-group entities, groups, and joint campaigns for gov/lg campaigns and establishes a 4 year CPI increase of those limits.
- SB 19– ELECTIONS; BALLOTS – Kawasaki
- Requires the director to provide postage-paid return envelopes for absentee ballots, examine each ballot and whether the signature is consistent with voter registration records, and create an online ballot tracking system. Creates a procedure for curing uncounted ballots
- SB 29– CIVICS EDUCATION; EST AK CVCS ED COMM – Stevens
- Requires school board to develop civics education curriculum and graduation requirement for high school students and prepare a report to the legislature.
- SB 31– SELECTION AND REVIEW OF JUDGES – Shower
- Requires voters retention of magistrates and places the same statutory provisions for district judges on magistrates. Removes the 45 day limit for the governor to fill a judicial vacancy and requires legislative confirmation of nominees.
- SB 52– INCREASE BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION – Senate Education
- An Act relating to education; increasing the base student allocation to $6,960
- SB 61– US PRESIDENT ELECT. POPULAR VOTE COMPACT – Wielechowski & Gray-Jackson
- An Act relating to an interstate compact to elect the President and Vice-President of the United States by national popular vote; and relating to the selection of electors for candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States and to the duties of those electors.