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Difference between revisions of "Alaska State Senate"

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===2011===
 
===2011===
 
::''See also: [[Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions]]''
 
::''See also: [[Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions]]''
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 18th to April 17th. A special session was called on June 27 to discuss reauthorization of the state's Coastal Management Program, which is set to expire June 30. Measures to reauthorize the program failed during the regular session. <ref>[http://www.statescape.com/SessionUpdates/Sessionupdates.asp#item975 ''StateScape.com,'' Session Updates, accessed June 28, 2011]</ref>
+
In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 18th to April 17th. A special session was called on June 27 to discuss reauthorization of the state's Coastal Management Program, which was set to expire June 30. Measures to reauthorize the program failed during the regular session. <ref>[http://www.statescape.com/SessionUpdates/Sessionupdates.asp#item975 ''StateScape.com,'' Session Updates, accessed June 28, 2011]</ref>
  
 
===2010===
 
===2010===

Revision as of 16:01, 21 May 2013

Alaska State Senate

Alaska State Seal.gif
General Information
Type:   Upper house
Term limits:   None
2014 session start:   January 15, 2013
Website:   Official Senate Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Charlie Huggins (R)
Majority Leader:   John B. Coghill (R)
Minority leader:   Johnny Ellis (D)
Structure
Members:  20
   Democratic Party (

7) Republican Party (

13)
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:   Art II, Alaska Constitution
Salary:   $50,400./year+ per diem
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 (19 seats)
Next election:  November 4, 2014 (10 seats)
Redistricting:  Alaska Redistricting Board has control
Meeting place:
Alaska capitol.jpg
The Alaska State Senate is the upper house of the Alaska State Legislature. There are 20 state senators; they represent 20 districts each composed of an average of 35,512 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[1] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 31,347 residents.[2] The districts are identified by a letter of the alphabet, rather than a number as is the more common norm in other states. The senators serve four-year terms and are not subject to term limits.[3] Half of the senate is up for re-election every two years.

As of May 2013, Alaska is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Sessions

Section 8 of Article II of the Alaska Constitution contains provisions relating to the timing and length of sessions of the Alaska State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part. However, the provisions related to the convening date of the Legislature have been changed by law, and the provisions limiting the length of legislative sessions have been changed by the Alaska 90-Day Legislative Session Amendment. This amendment was passed in a 2006 ballot initiative, and it limits the regular sessions of the Legislature to ninety days.

Section 9 of Article II allows for special sessions to be called by the Governor of Alaska or by a two-thirds vote of the legislators. Special sessions are limited to thirty days.

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 15 to April 14.

Major issues

Oil taxes figure to be the dominant issue facing lawmakers. Other major issues include the use of public money for private schools, energy projects, voter ID and social concerns.[4]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature was in regular session from January 17 to April 15. It was in special session from April 15 to April 30.[5]

2011

See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions

In 2011, the Senate was in session from January 18th to April 17th. A special session was called on June 27 to discuss reauthorization of the state's Coastal Management Program, which was set to expire June 30. Measures to reauthorize the program failed during the regular session. [6]

2010

See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions

In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 19th to April 18th.

Elections

2012

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2012

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senator were held in Alaska on November 6, 2012. Ordinarily, half (10) of the senators would have been up for election in 2012, with the remaining half up for election in 2014 because senators serve staggered four-year terms. However in 2012, every senator except Dennis Egan (D) faced re-election due to changes resulting from state legislative redistricting. Senators normally scheduled for the 2014 election were elected to two-year terms in 2012, preserving Alaska's staggered Senate elections. Thus, a total of 19 seats were up for election in 2012.[7]

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 1, 2012, and the primary election day was August 28, 2012.

The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.

2010

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2010

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senator were held in Alaska on November 2, 2010. State senate seats in all even-numbered districts excluding District 20 were on the ballot in 2010, in addition to the District 19 seat.

The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 1, 2010, and the primary election day was August 24, 2010.

During the 2010 election, the total contributions to the 29 Senate candidates was $1,227,692. The top 10 contributors were:[8]

2008

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2008

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 26, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.

During the 2008 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $863,330. The top 10 contributors were:[9]

2006

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2006

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 22, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.

During the 2006 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $1,560,798. The top 10 contributors were:[10]

2004

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2004

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 24, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.

During the 2004 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $1,867,581. The top 10 contributors were:[11]

2002

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2002

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 27, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.

During the 2002 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $2,196,193. The top 10 contributors were:[12]

2000

See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2000

Elections for the office of Alaska State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 22, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.

During the 2000 election, the total contributions to Senate candidates was $2,116,529. The top 10 contributors were:[13]

Qualifications

Article II, Section 2 of the Alaska Constitution states: A member of the legislature shall be a qualified voter who has been a resident of Alaska for at least three years and of the district from which elected for at least one year, immediately preceding his filing for office. A senator shall be at least twenty-five years of age and a representative at least twenty-one years of age.

Vacancies

See also: How vacancies are filled in state legislatures
How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures
NevadaMassachusettsColoradoNew MexicoWyomingArizonaMontanaCaliforniaOregonWashingtonIdahoTexasOklahomaKansasNebraskaSouth DakotaNorth DakotaMinnesotaIowaMissouriArkansasLouisianaMississippiAlabamaGeorgiaFloridaSouth CarolinaIllinoisWisconsinTennesseeNorth CarolinaIndianaOhioKentuckyPennsylvaniaNew JerseyNew YorkVermontVermontNew HampshireMaineWest VirginiaVirginiaMarylandMarylandConnecticutConnecticutDelawareDelawareRhode IslandRhode IslandMassachusettsNew HampshireMichiganMichiganAlaskaVacancy fulfillment map.png

If there is a vacancy in the Senate, the Governor is responsible for selecting a replacement. The Governor must select the replacement within 30 days after the vacancy happened. The Governor cannot appoint a replacement if the vacancy happens before a new legislative session is schedule to convene[14]

Redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Alaska

The Alaska Redistricting Board is responsible for redistricting. Alaska is one of 9 states that appoint a commission to carry out redistricting.

2010 census

The Board received census data on March 14, 2011. The state saw a growth of about 83,000 (13.3%), leaving a total population of 710,231. This was higher than the national average of 9.7 percent, but was also the lowest growth in the state in 80 years; as far as moving in and out of state, Alaska showed a net loss.[15]

The Board officially adopted new maps on June 14, 2011. The plan removed a House seat from the Southeast and added one in Mat-Su. It also split the Aleutian Islands into separate House districts, which the Alaska Supreme Court has previously ruled unconstitutional in 1992. In total, the plan created six House districts and six Senate districts where Native representatives stand a good chance of being elected. Given population shifts, these districts are largely rural.[16]

Senators

Leadership

From 2010 until 2012, the Republican and Democratic parties each held ten seats in the 20-seat senate. However, a majority coalition known as the "Alaska Senate Bipartisan Working Group", composed of members from both parties, was the senate's majority coalition. The working coalition consisted of all ten Democrats in the state senate, and six of its GOP members, and elected the chamber's leaders.[17],[18]

Current leadership

Current Leadership, Alaska State Senate
Office Representative Party
President of the Senate Charlie Huggins Ends.png Republican
Majority Leader John B. Coghill Ends.png Republican
Minority Leader Johnny Ellis Electiondot.png Democratic

Salaries

See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries

As of 2013, members of the Alaska State Senate are paid $50,400 per year as a base salary rate. They are also paid a per diem of either $238 or $253/day, tied to the federal rate. This per diem varies depending on the time of the year. Legislators who live in the Juneau area receive 75% of federal rate.[19]

When sworn in

See also: When state legislators assume office after a general election

The terms of Alaska legislators begin on the 4th Monday of the January following a November election.

Partisan composition

See also: Partisan composition of state senates


Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 7
     Republican Party 13
Total 20


The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Alaska State Senate from 1992-2013.
Partisan composition of the Alaska State Senate.PNG

In response to the tie between the parties in the Alaska State Senate, a group of 16 senators (all of the Democrats and six Republicans) created a bipartisan working group.[20] The Senate group has reportedly functioned, although tensions reportedly rose between the group and Governor Sean Parnell (R) at one point in 2011. Other chambers have also had to contend with tied partisan groups in legislative chambers in the recent past, and the Oregon House of Representatives is also currently tied.[21]

Current members

Current members, Alaska State Senate
District Senator Party Assumed office
A John B. Coghill Ends.png Republican 2009
B Pete Kelly Ends.png Republican 2012
C Click Bishop Ends.png Republican 2012
D Mike Dunleavy Ends.png Republican 2012
E Charlie Huggins Ends.png Republican 2004
F Fred Dyson Ends.png Republican 2002
G Bill Wielechowski Electiondot.png Democratic 2006
H Berta Gardner Electiondot.png Democratic 2012
I Johnny Ellis Electiondot.png Democratic 1992
J Hollis French Electiondot.png Democratic 2002
K Lesil McGuire Ends.png Republican 2006
L Kevin Meyer Ends.png Republican 2008
M Anna Fairclough Ends.png Republican 2012
N Catherine A. Giessel Ends.png Republican 2010
O Peter Micciche Ends.png Republican 2012
P Dennis Egan Electiondot.png Democratic 2009
Q Bert Stedman Ends.png Republican 2002
R Gary Stevens Ends.png Republican 2002
S Lyman Hoffman Electiondot.png Democratic 1994
T Donald Olson Electiondot.png Democratic 2000

Committees

See also: State senate standing committees

The Alaska State Senate has 10 standing committees:

There are also three special committees:

History

Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Alaska
Partisan breakdown of the Alaska legislature from 1992-2013

From 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Alaska State Senate for 15 years while the Democrats were the majority for six years. The final three years of the study depicted a shift in the Alaska senate with the first two years being Democrat and the final year (2013) becoming a Republican trifecta.

Across the country, there were 544 Democratic and 517 Republican State Senates from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Alaska, the Alaska State Senate and the Alaska House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Alaska state government(1992-2013).PNG

External links

References