Alaska State Senate
|Alaska State Senate|
|2013 session start:||January 17, 2012|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Gary Stevens (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Kevin Meyer (R)|
|Minority leader:||John B. Coghill (R)|
|Democratic Party (7) Republican Party (13)|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art II, Alaska Constitution|
|Salary:||$50,400./year+ per diem|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (10 seats)|
|Next election:||November 6, 2012 (10 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Alaska Redistricting Board has control|
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.
- 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.
Legislators will be taking up Governor Sean Parnell's (R) suggestion to decrease the oil tax in order to increase economic growth. They are also expected to consider a ban on texting while driving, education funding, the state's unfunded pension liability, and whether to extend the legislative session from 90 to 120 days.
- 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. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
In 2010, the Senate was in session from January 19th to April 18th.
- See also: Alaska State Senate elections, 2012
Elections for the office of Alaska State Senator will be held in Alaska on November 6, 2012. Ordinarily, half (10) of the senators would be up for election in 2012, and half would be up for election in 2014 because senators serve staggered four-year terms. However in 2012, every senator except Dennis Egan (D) will face re-election due to changes resulting from state legislative redistricting. Senators normally scheduled for the 2014 election will be elected to two-year terms in 2012, preserving Alaska's staggered Senate elections. Thus, a total of 19 seats will be up for election in 2012.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was June 1, 2012, and the primary election day will be August 28, 2012.
- 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:
|Dziubinski, Philip L||$153,806|
|Moronell, Mark W||$39,162|
|Alaska Republican Party||$28,450|
|Giessel, Catherin A (Cathy)||$18,125|
|Alaska Association of Realtors||$15,800|
|Senate Democratic Campaign Cmte of Alaska||$15,000|
|Alaska State Employees Association Local 52||$13,000|
|Alaska Laborers Local 341||$12,000|
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.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
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
The Republican and Democratic parties each have 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, is the senate's majority coalition. The working coalition consists of all ten Democrats in the state senate, and six of its GOP members, and elects the chamber's leaders.,
|President of the Senate||Gary Stevens||Republican|
|Majority Leader||Kevin Meyer||Republican|
|Minority Leader||Charlie Huggins||Republican|
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2010, 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 $189 or $234/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.
The $50,400/year salary received by Alaska state senators as of 2010 is an increase over the $24,012/year that they were paid in 2007.
When sworn in
The terms of Alaska legislators begin on the 4th Monday of the January following a November election.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of June 2013|
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. 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.
List of current senators
|District||Senator||Party||Term Up||First elected|
|F||John B. Coghill||Republican||2010||2009|
|P||Catherine A. Giessel||Republican||2014||2010|
- See also: State senate standing committees
The Alaska State Senate has 10 standing committees:
- Community & Regional Affairs Committee, Alaska Senate
- Education Committee, Alaska Senate
- Finance Committee, Alaska Senate
- Health & Social Services Committee, Alaska Senate
- Judiciary Committee, Alaska Senate
- Labor & Commerce Committee, Alaska Senate
- Resources Committee, Alaska Senate
- Rules Committee, Alaska Senate
- State Affairs Committee, Alaska Senate
- Transportation Committee, Alaska Senate
There is also one special committee:
- The Alaska Senate's website
- Alaska Senate on Wikipedia
- Website of the Alaska Bipartisan Working Group
- Alaska Senate Minority
- Vote Smart profile of Alaska Senate
- Statenet's 2010 chart of partisan composition of all state legislatures
- ↑ Population in 2010 of the American states
- ↑ Population in 2000 of the American states
- ↑ Term limits on pg. 74
- ↑ Session dates for Alaska legislature, 2010
- ↑ StateScape, Session schedules, accessed April 30, 2012
- ↑ Anchorage Daily News, "Lingering issues to test Legislature," January 16, 2012
- ↑ StateScape.com, Session Updates, accessed June 28, 2011
- ↑ Anchorage Daily News, "New legislative map forces early elections for senators," June 13, 2011
- ↑ Follow the Money: "Alaska State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- ↑ Alaska Legal Resource Center "Alaska Election Law"(Referenced Statute 15.40.320)
- ↑ Alaska Senate puts together bipartisan coalition despite undecided races, November 6, 2008
- ↑ Sarah Palin's New Nemesis?, November 11, 2008
- ↑ Stevens, Chenault to lead Senate, House, November 7, 2008
- ↑ National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislator Compensation Data"
- ↑ Empire Center, "Legislative Salaries Per State as of 2007"
- ↑ Senate Bipartisan Working Group, retrieved June 14, 2012
- ↑ Governing, "How Tied Chambers Affect States," June 9, 2011
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