What You Need to Know about how the Alaska Legislature Works

Few Alaskans ever really go to Juneau and experience the place first-hand as it is in session. The expense is too great for a casual visit.

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My work for the Alaska Legislature ended in mid-April after 100 days. Reflections upon what I had witnessed in Juneau over this time began while aboard the Alaska Marine Highway vessel M/V Columbia as we pled the waters toward Haines. As a certified Alaska teacher I have long been amazed at how Public Education funding is handled as a political hot potato.

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Adventures in Juneau

Few Alaskans bother to visit our state capital city where elected officials pass laws and conduct state business. Being a product of Southcentral Alaska myself, as a young man I wondered about what Juneau was like, and on two previous occasions I had traveled to Juneau by plane and ferried a senator’s car, before my first drive there alone--777 miles through White Pass from Costco Gas to Haines. At Haines, I took the ferry ride to the Juneau/Auke Bay Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) terminal.

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Area has solid representation in Juneau

The second session of the 30th Legislature opens Jan. 16 in Juneau. It is scheduled to end April 15 under the constitutional limit of 90 days. Of the 20 members of the Senate, Chugiak-Eagle River has two, with two more in the 40-member House of Representatives. They are Senators Shelley Hughes and Anna McKinnon and Representatives Dan Saddler and Lora Reinbold. They have deep footprints to follow, from a long list of dedicated public servants who preceded them.

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Choices, Chances and Changes How I got here from there

There comes a time in every person’s life when one must decide if where they are going is leading to where they want to be. Perhaps you have sought opportunities that are not now fulfilling. Can you dare to change direction? For me the question arose while I was in Juneau. I had already enjoyed a couple of interesting career moves from my original home in Anchorage.

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Juneau Budget and Tax Battle is Clash of Political Cultures

One side wants to prop up big and growing state government with higher oil taxes and with an income tax taken from your paycheck.

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