Happy New Year and new Legislative Session from The Alaska Center. We anticipate both opportunity and struggle in the year ahead, another year in the lifetime work of protecting and nurturing our Democracy and saving our home from the ravages of climate change.
The 2022 legislative session will likely be consumed with election-year grandstanding antics. We already see some of this in the move by the Dunleavy Administration to remove the more or less moderate and politically seasoned Lt. Governor Kevin Meyer as a running mate – due in part to his honesty about the Division of Elections efforts in the 2021 elections and the fact that they are considered the most secure and legitimate in history.
This runs counter to partisan lies about elections that exposed much of the Right to be in a feverish tilt toward authoritarianism. Though it likely was not the Lt. Governor’s decision to leave the ticket, it is good for his legacy that he will not be made to bow in fealty to the dangerous bullpucky of the new Right. The Governor will be introducing new election legislation soon, and we will be monitoring it closely for poison pills relating to voting rights and election subversion.
As we recognized the one-year anniversary of the bloody insurrection of January 6, 2021, it is clear that we can never back down from the effort to halt legislation that would erode democratic norms. We all must work as if the future of the country depends on it to end the politics that ultimately seek to facilitate violence between Americans.
The list of pre-filed legislation for the 2022 legislative session hit the streets today. You can peruse the full list here. A second pre-file release is scheduled for next Friday, January 14, ahead of the convening of the legislature on January 18. There is no special magic to a pre-filed bill though it gives the sponsor a chance to introduce and develop an argument for the idea and get it into the public sphere in the relative quiet before the start of the session.
We look forward to communicating with you after the second pre-file regarding our analysis of those bills that The Alaska Center supports and opposes in the raft of the pre-files. Lawmakers and staff are headed to Juneau by land, sea, and air as we speak. We wish them safe passage and a healthy session.
Here is to the future.
The Alaska Center Team
PS: We are evolving our blog this year to include the Legislature and beyond. We will still be a resource for legislative updates but are inviting more voices in and will be providing more insights into the way we can all engage to defend our democracy, push for proactive climate policies and ensure Alaskans are at the decision-making table.
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