The first session of the 26th Alaska State Legislature came to a non-controversial end Sunday evening. The spotlight ended up shining on Dennis Egan who was accepted by Senate Democrats and sworn in as Juneau’s newest Senator which put an end to that controversy.
The session ended with the House and Senate passing a grand total of 52 pieces of legislation; 37 sponsored by the House and 15 sponsored by the Senate. Although it is likely this is one of the lowest numbers of bills passed in recent history, I don’t believe this is a bad thing. The focus this session was on the operating and capital budgets, particularly in light of falling oil prices this past year, sorting out the federal stimulus funding and whether or not strings were attached and several pieces of legislation that were considered major reforms; combining all the electrical utilities, energy, in-state gas, parental consent for abortions, capital punishment and health care. I suspect a number of these issues are going to be addressed during the interim and I will try and keep you posted on dates, places and times meetings occur as the information becomes available.