The Alaska State Legislature has been in session 3 weeks plus now. All action has been at the committee level so far.
Some of the bills that this author has been watching and testified for are as follows.
HB 199 SB 98, Arming VPSO’s. Many issues on this have come up. The police union has wade into this and has tried to get the VPSO’s as sworn police officers. Beyond the union attempt, I have testified for the bill, but with questions as to training, evaulation, who will decide if a VPSO is armed or not based on training and evaluation, who will be responsible for the VPSO’s and whom will support them if they need to use deadly force. Right now they work for native corporations who are not law enforcement and haven’t a clue.
SJR 9 and HJR 1, Education Constitutional Amendment for school choice is a hot ticket item! The NEA and NAACP have called on their base to oppose. It is easy to tell if the person testifying is a member of the NEA, NAACP or co-opted in the issue, for the talking points and testimony is all the same. No vouchers, fear mongering on other than public schools can do anything they want to and the every present race card! In addition to the talking points they have no problem of purposely going long on testimony and trying to take up all the time away form us who are for this amendment. Many good people have spoken and the legislature is listening. SJB 9 passed out of committee and is now in Rules awaiting a floor vote, hopefully soon.
SB 111 and the Ombusman bills from the Governor’s office (section 2) is going well. This is about getting rid of the Exit Exam. Nobody is objecting to this. However, the Governor’s office and others want a three year transition which means kid trying to graduate this year, will not get a diploma until they pass this stupid test! I am fighting this transition with all I have. I could sure use some help!
One of the other lively bills, HB 245 from Rep Tammie Wilson looks like it will get more lively! This take away the “shall” and changes to “may” for local communities to pay the 2.6 mil toward education out of their property taxes. Tammie came in to the committee with both barrels loaded and a bandoleer of 12 gauge double OO, i.e. fully prepared. Rep Seaton had multiple concerns, comments etc., each and every one she blew apart!
There are two Article V calls for convention of states for the purpose of proposing US Constitutional Amendments. One from Convention of State and the other from Compact for America. I am trying to get a sponsor for Citizen Initiatives but time and the legislative load is a major hampering aspect.
Those are the highlights for now. Will try and keep Alaskan’s up to date as I can.