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Leg With Louie: Next Week Reviewed, with Editorial Comments – April 16

For certain dorks, like myself, 4:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon can be fraught with expectation. That is when the upcoming week’s schedule comes out. Under legislative rules, all committee hearing notices must be at the legislative Clerk’s office by 4 p.m. at the latest to be noticed for the next week. If you miss this cut-off time, you are, as …

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Leg with Louie: Springtime in the Legislature – April 9

It is an open question whether the winter will end this year out in the peaks and valleys and burbs and burgs and bays and straits and streams and swales of Alaska. Bills that resemble spring are few and far between in the Alaska State Legislature: buds that bring hope for a new beginning, a strong future. One such bill, …

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Leg With Louie: Building Alaska Better – April 2

After the intellectual, moral, racial, political, and physical trauma of 2020, this year is starting to look OK, like a new day and not a false dawn. The monumental federal investments proposed by the Biden-Harris Administration in Pittsburgh on Wednesday are smart and just and envision a modern America we might be OK sending our kids off into. The Thrive …

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Leg With Louie: Another Plea from Alaska – March 26

HJR 12 passed its final committee hurdle in the legislature this week and will head to the Senate floor next. HJR 12 is essentially a very long and rather pitiful letter from Alaska to Washington D.C. which bears no legal weight yet has a stunningly long title: Urging the United States Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, to …

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Leg With Louie: End-Run around Kachemak Bay protections – March 19

The House Fisheries Committee has long been an important place for fisher-folks in the Alaska State Capitol. Not only is it a safe and friendly room to engage in the mosh pit dancing that is fishery politics it also is a committee designed to do things that protect fish and thereby fishing. That is why it is a great and …

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BLOG 03/05/21: Leg with Louie: Bonding for a headache

The Senate Transportation Committee dove this week into the Dunleavy Administration’s proposed General Obligation (G.O.) Bond package. To put out bonds to pay for a suite of shovel-ready projects, this idea has been under discussion for the past few years of flat capital budgets and has a level of bipartisan support. I would say that this Senate hearing is the …

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BLOG 2/26/21: Leg With Louie: Sexual Harassment, Silence, and Supporting Women’s Leadership

On February 24th, Representative Sara Rasmussen of Anchorage gave a floor speech. This speech needs to be heard by Alaskan men and male leaders especially: “…I am excited to announce that the representative from east Anchorage and myself have restarted the Women’s Caucus. This is an incredible year for women leaders in Alaska.  In fact, we have a female minority …

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BLOG 02/19/21: Leg with Louie: Ways and Means to an Uncertain End

The Alaska State House has organized with coastal and rural interests maintaining positions of leadership. Speaker Louise Stutes offers a calm presence at the dais, flanked by superb and imperturbable Chief Clerk and Sergeant At Arms staff. You get the sense that this former Kodiak Island bar owner will take in stride any legislator’s outbursts and all heated floor debate …

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Leg With Louie: Deadlocks Cracked, and Implied Nefariousness

Following weeks of a 20-20 stalemate, Representative Louise Stutes of Kodiak was elected by a single vote to serve as the Speaker of the House, the third woman to serve in this position following Ramona Barnes (1993-94), and Gail Phillips (1995-98). Rep. Kelly Merrick of Eagle River broke rank with the House Republicans to provide the key vote: a brave …

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Leg With Louie: Part and Parcel of a National Voter Suppression Strategy

One clear sign that this voter suppression effort in the Alaska State Legislature is tied to the spirit of Trump’s false claims of election fraud is that Homer Representative Sarah Vance will likely file a new “election integrity” bill. In a recent constituent newsletter, she reported that she would soon file her Election Integrity Act (capitalized for increased legitimacy), which …