little more than a third of the way through the legislative session, and Senate
President Gary Stevens of Kodiak says the legislators are still trying to
figure out how to divvy up the half of the budget surplus that was not already
put into various state savings accounts. To that end, Stevens has once again
posted a survey online so he can get a sense of what his constituents want.
-- (Stevens 1 31 sec "It's
just good to get a ... much going back to communities.")
He did say
municipal revenue sharing - where the state shares part of its oil wealth
directly with cities and boroughs - is
on the table this session.
One of the
questions on the survey again this year regards the 90-day session, which was
imposed on legislators by a voter initiative:
-- (Stevens 2 36 sec "Well,
I don't think they're ... know what you think.")
session could seem even shorter if a move to increase the size of the state
legislature by a dozen seats succeeds.
-- (Stevens 3 44 sec "I'm
not really in favor ... end of the state and the other.")
also against a plan floated by Fairbanks Representative Scott Kawasaki to make
Alaska the second state with a one-body, or unicameral, legislature. Only
Nebraska has such a system. Stevens says it's often good to have the State
House or Senate give careful consideration to bills coming out of the other