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Alaska Legislature
Coat of arms or logo.
Type
Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
Leadership
President of the Senate Gary Stevens, Coalition Republican
Speaker of the House Mike Chenault, Republican
Structure
Members 60
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Election
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Alaska State Capitol, Juneau.jpg
Alaska State Capitol, Juneau
Website
http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/

The Alaska Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is a bicameral institution, consisting of the lower Alaska House of Representatives, with 40 members, and the upper house Alaska Senate, with 20 members. With a total of 60 lawmakers, the Alaska Legislature is the smallest bicameral state legislature in the United States and the second-smallest of all state legislatures (only the 49-member unicameral Nebraska Legislature is smaller). There are no term limits for either chamber.

The Alaska Legislature meets in the State Capitol building in Juneau.

Contents

Meetings

Annual sessions begin in January and are limited by statute to 90 calendar days. Special sessions of 30 calendar days may be convened by a consensus of two-thirds of each house.

In the 2006 elections, a voter initiative was passed that reduced the statutory length of the session from 121 days. The 2008 session was the first 90 day session. Although the session adjourned on time, some members of the legislature claimed that legislation was rushed and public input was jeopardized.[1]

Non-professional legislature

Unlike other state legislatures with longer sessions, the comparatively short Alaska Legislature session allows many lawmakers to retain outside employment, especially in the state's many seasonal industries, such as fishing and tourism. In this, the Alaska Legislature retains some of the volunteer nature that characterized most state legislatures until the middle of the 20th century. This has led to recurring but minor controversy around the potential for conflict of interest inherent in legislators' outside employment.[2]

References

  1. ^ "Legislature adjourns on time". Anchorage Daily News. 2008-04-13. http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/story/374722.html. Retrieved 2008-09-05.  
  2. ^ "Alaska editorial: Let a commission help decide legislator's pay". Juneau Empire. 2006-01-13. http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:ULzEwaHp2dwJ:www.juneauempire.com/stories/011306/opi_20060113001.shtml+alaska+legislator+%22outside+employment%22&hl=en&gl=us&ct=clnk&cd=1. Retrieved 2006-08-23.  

External links

See also

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