Alaska senator seeks to overturn 2006 session length measure

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January 31, 2011

Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska: During the 2006 general election in the state of Alaska, voters approved a measure that shortened the length of legislative session to 90 days. The proposal was approved by a margin of 50.5% to 49.2%. Now, a state senator wants to overturn that decision made by voters. State Senator Gary Stevens wants to lengthen state legislative session in Alaska to 120 days because he argues that the measure has weakened the legislature. Stevens said, "The rationale was to save money, but it hasn’t saved money...I think the public has been shortchanged." Stevens also said that there was less time to review bills and less time for public involvement.

One of the sponsors of the initiative that shortened session, State Senator Thomas Wagoner, disagrees: "I think it’s working fine. We save everything until the last 10 days anyway, that’s when the business gets done.” Ballot measures passed in Alaska can be amended or repealed two years after approval.[1]

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