2024, Alaska, Newsletter

Newsletter Vol 2 Issue 1

Last Updated: February 4th, 2024

 The 2024 Legislative Session begins!

As the 2024 Legislative session kicks off, we begin by welcoming in an election year.  All of the House of Representative members are up for election, as well as half of the Senators.

We’ll be watching all of the activities unfold this session, and will be sending out this newsletter to keep you up to date on bills, hearings, and ways for you to voice your opinions.

We’ll provide ample links to our educational website – VotingRightsAlaska.org – where you can read additional information and find additional ways to be involved. Please check it out!

The Alaska Board has listed the following priorities for this legislative session. We’ll be focused on these areas this spring.

The LWV-AK priorities for 2023/24

    • Election Process and Procedures
    • Ranked Choice Voting – Advocacy and Education
    • Judicial Selection and Retention through the Judicial Council
    • Gun Safety
    • Reproductive Rights Protection
    • Civics Education


Governor’s Budget

In December, Governor Dunleavy released his budget for the second session of the 33rd Legislature.  The Governor’s proposed budget was about $13.9 billion dollars with approximately $6.27 billion in Federal funding. This leaves about $7.3 billion for the state to cover.  This is roughly $1.3 billion more than the current year (due primarily to a proposed PFD of $3,400 which would amount to $2.3 billion). 

Total projected revenue available to the state is about $6.3 billion this year  – basically the same as last year. This is made up of about $3.5 billion  from the Permanent Fund earnings and the rest from oil (~$1.8 to 2.3 billion estimated) and various other taxes and fees.  The Governor is requesting  the Legislature  draw the remaining  (approximately) $1 billion dollars from the Constitutional Budget Reserve and the Statutory Budget Reserve. 

The Constitutional Budget Reserve (CBR) currently has about $2.8 billion and the Statutory Budget Reserve is now part of the General Fund and has no funds as of January 2024 (per Sen. Kiehl’s office). The Statutory Budget Reserve and the Permanent Funds Earnings Reserve holds funds which can be used by the Legislature with a majority vote (although with caveats).  The CBR needs a 3/4 majority in order to take money from it. 

You can read the entire analysis at Governors Budget 2024.

New Pre-Filed bills of interest

There are eleven (11) pre-filed bills that we have flagged as those to watch. In the Elections area, four of them are interesting, but may not get hearings this session. We will flag them if they do.

HB225 Rep. Gray (D-Anchorage) Relating to the tabulation of ballots;

HB246 Rep. Story (D-Juneau) Relating to voter preregistration for minors

HB250 Rep. McCabe (R-Big Lake) Relating to municipal and school board elections; declaring Election Day a holiday;

SB 177 Sen. Hughes (R-Palmer) Relating to artificial intelligence; requiring disclosure of deepfakes in campaign communications;

In the area of school safety, this bill also may be of interest to our members.

 SB 173 Sen. Hughes (R-Palmer) Requiring school districts to grant qualified persons an assigned duty to carry a concealed handgun on school grounds under certain conditions;

If you want to see the full list, see Pre-file bills January 2024.

What to Know:  Week 1 – Legislation Tracking

There are quite a few bills held over from last session. For more details and a full list, see What to know Week 1.  A few highlights here:

HB 129  VOTER REGISTRATION (see upcoming meetings below), 


SB 29  CIVICS EDUCATION Sponsored by Sen. Stevens (R-Kodiak)

HB 37    ELECTIONS, VOTING, BALLOTS Sponsor: Rep. Schrage (NA-Anchorage) This is a bill that the LWV-AK supports. 

Other bills of interest

Here are a few  other bills on which we have taken positions on, and which our members may want to follow.

We encourage you to continue to track these bills on the akleg.gov website.

HB 36    APOC; REFERENDA/RECALL; CONTRIBUTIONS. Sponsor: Rep. Schrage (NA-Anchorage).

HB 65    INCREASE BASE STUDENT ALLOCATION. Sponsor: Rep. Ortiz (NA-Ketchikan).

HB 105  and SB 96 SEX/REPRODUCTION EDUC; SCHOOLS.Sponsor: Request of the Governor.

HB 106  and SB 97 TEACHER RECRUITMENT; LUMP SUM PAYMENT. Sponsor: Request of the Governor.

HB 165  CHARTER SCHOOLS; CORRESPONDENCE PROG. Sponsor: Ways and Means Committee.

SB 17: Campaign Contributions  Sponsor: Sen. Kawasaki  (D-Fairbanks)

SB 140  INTERNET FOR SCHOOLS. Sponsor: Sen. Hoffman (D-Bethel).

Upcoming Meetings / Public Testimony

HB 129  VOTER REGISTRATION Sponsored by by the House Judiciary Committee chaired by Rep. Vance (R-Homer).

Rep. Vance has proposed a number of changes to the way Alaskans vote. 

There is a meeting scheduled already on Jan 17 Wednesday 1:00 PM (H)JUDICIARY in room GRUENBERG 120 and it is TELECONFERENCED. 

There are additional documents and updates already posted. Please keep an eye on this. Anything that makes it more difficult to vote, is a concern to the League, so we want to understand the focus of this bill.

You can help! If you can, review these documents, listen to the meetings and give us your input. Send comments to lwvak@lwvalaska.org



There is a meeting scheduled already on Jan 17 Wednesday 1:00 PM (H)JUDICIARY at GRUENBERG 120 TELECONFERENCED

While the Senate hasn’t seemed to be interested in taking up this topic, it is still important for us to voice our input against this bill.


SB 17: Campaign Contributions  Sponsor: Sen. Kawasaki  (D-Fairbanks)

There is a meeting scheduled on  Jan 19 Friday 1:30 PM (S)JUDICIARY in room BUTROVICH 205 TELECONFERENCED

Legislative Calendar and Events 

  • February 19, 2024 – President’s Day
  • April 14, 2024  – 90th day of the session (By law (AS 24.05.150))
  • May 15, 2024  – 121st day of the session (Per the Alaska Constitution)

Wrap Up/Links

How are we doing?

The League always needs volunteers!  Writing letters, talking to your legislators, and helping out by giving us your feedback – it doesn’t have to be a total commitment.  

We would LOVE to hear from you.  Please encourage  others to take action by sharing this Legislative Newsletter, Action Alerts, and Calendar Events.  Contact us at lwvak@lwvalaska.org, and/or work to get the word out with your local leagues. 

Expanding the League’s impact helps us to Empower Voters and Defend Democracy as a community!  We’ll keep these links accessible here for you.

You can see your LWV Alaska Board members and Officers and their contact information on the AlaskaLWV.org/Board/ site.

League of Women Voters of Alaska
PO Box 101345
Anchorage, AK 99510-1345

Email us at lwvak@lwvalaska.org


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