Alaska Senate

Last updated

Alaska Senate
Alaska Legislature
State Seal of Alaska.svg
Type
Type
Term limits
None
History
New session started
January 19, 2021
Leadership
Peter Micciche (R)
since January 19, 2021
Majority Leader
Shelley Hughes (R)
since January 19, 2021
Minority Leader
Tom Begich (D)
since January 15, 2019
Structure
Seats20
Alaska State Senate 2019-2021.svg
Political groups
Majority caucus
  •    Republican  (13)
  •   Democratic (1)
    (caucusing with Republicans)

Minority caucus

Length of term
4 years
AuthorityArticle 2, Alaska Constitution
Salary$50,400/year + per diem ($200/day, in session)
Elections
Nonpartisan blanket primary / Ranked-choice voting
Last election
November 3, 2020 (11 seats: districts B, D, F, H, J, L, M (special), N, P, R, T)
Next election
November 8, 2022 (10 seats: districts A, C, E, G, I, K, M, O, Q, S)
RedistrictingAlaska Redistricting Board
Meeting place
Senate Chamber, Alaska.jpg
State Senate Chamber
Alaska State Capitol
Juneau, Alaska
Website
Alaska State Senate

The Alaska Senate is the upper house in the Alaska Legislature, the state legislature of the U.S. state of Alaska. It convenes in the Alaska State Capitol in Juneau, Alaska and is responsible for making laws and confirming or rejecting gubernatorial appointments to the state cabinet, commissions and boards.

Contents

With just twenty members, the Alaska Senate is the smallest state legislative chamber in the United States. Its members serve four-year terms and each represent an equal number of districts with populations of approximately 35,512 people, per 2010 Census figures. They are not subject to term limits.

Powers and legislative process

The Alaska Senate shares the responsibility for making laws in the state of Alaska. Bills are developed by staff from bill requests and information from the bill's sponsor. Bills undergo three or four readings during the legislative process. After the first reading, they are assigned to committee. Committees can amend measures or hold legislation and prevent it from reaching the Senate floor. Once a committee has weighed in on a piece of legislation, the bill returns to the floor for second hearing and a third hearing, which happens just before the floor vote on it. [1]

Once passed by the Senate, a bill is sent to the opposite legislative house for consideration. If approved, without amendment, it is sent to the governor. If there is amendment, however, the Senate may either reconsider the bill with amendments or ask for the establishment of a conference committee to work out differences in the versions of the bill passed by each chamber. Once a piece of legislation approved by both houses is forwarded to the governor, it may either be signed or vetoed. If it is signed, it takes effect on the effective date of the legislation. If it is vetoed, lawmakers in a joint session may override the veto with a two-thirds majority vote (three-fourths majority is required if it is an appropriations bill). [1]

The Alaska Senate has the sole responsibility in the state's legislative branch for confirming gubernatorial appointees to positions that require confirmation.

Committees

Current committees include: [2]

Current composition

Past partisan compositions can be found on Political party strength in Alaska.

Membership

Qualifications and terms

Senators must be a qualified voter and resident of Alaska for no less than three years, and a resident of the district from which elected for one year immediately preceding filing for office. [3] A senator must be at least 25 years old at the time the oath of office is taken. [3]

Senators may expel a member with the concurrence of two-thirds of the membership of the body. [3] This has happened only once in Senate history. On February 5, 1982, the Senate of the 12th Legislature expelled Bethel senator George Hohman from the body. Hohman was convicted of bribery in conjunction with his legislative duties on December 24, 1981, and had defiantly refused to resign from his seat. Expulsion was not a consideration during the 2003–2010 Alaska political corruption probe, as Ben Stevens and John Cowdery were the only Senators who were subjects of the probe and neither sought reelection in 2008.

Legislative terms begin on the second Monday in January following a presidential election year and on the third Tuesday in January following a gubernatorial election. [4] The term of senators is four years and half of the senators are up for election every two years. [4]

Leadership

The President of the Senate presides over the body, appointing members to all of the Senate's committees and joint committees, and may create other committees and subcommittees if desired. Unlike many other states, the Lieutenant Governor of Alaska does not preside over the Senate. Instead, the Lieutenant Governor oversees the Alaska Division of Elections, fulfilling the role of Secretary of State. Only two other states, Hawaii and Utah, have similar constitutional arrangements for their lieutenant governors.[ citation needed ] The other partisan Senate leadership positions, such as the Majority and Minority leaders, are (usually) elected by their respective party caucuses to head their parties in the chamber.[ citation needed ]

Current leadership

PositionNamePartyResidenceDistrict
President Peter Micciche Republican Soldotna O
Majority Leader Shelley Hughes Republican Palmer F
Minority Leader Tom Begich Democratic Anchorage J

Members of the 32nd Senate

Alaska State Senate
31st Alaska Legislature, 2019–2020
DistrictNamePartyResidenceAssumed
office
Next
election a
A Scott Kawasaki Democratic Fairbanks 20192022
B Robert Myers Republican North Pole 20212024
C Click Bishop RepublicanFairbanks20132022
D David Wilson Republican Wasilla 20172024
E Mike Shower RepublicanWasilla2018↑2022
F Shelley Hughes Republican Palmer 20172024
G Lora Reinbold Republican Eagle River 20192022
H Bill Wielechowski Democratic Anchorage 20072024
I Elvi Gray-Jackson DemocraticAnchorage20192022
J Tom Begich DemocraticAnchorage20172024
K Mia Costello RepublicanAnchorage20152022
L Natasha von Imhof RepublicanAnchorage20172024
M Josh Revak RepublicanAnchorage2019↑2022
N Roger Holland RepublicanAnchorage20212024
O Peter Micciche Republican Soldotna 20132022
P Gary Stevens Republican Kodiak 2003↑2024
Q Jesse Kiehl Democratic Juneau 20192022
R Bert Stedman Republican Sitka 2003↑2024
S Lyman Hoffman Democratic a Bethel 19952022
T Donny Olson Democratic Golovin 20012024

↑: Senator was originally appointed
^a : Terms listed as up for election in 2024 are subject to truncation by proclamation of the Alaska Redistricing Board.

Past composition of the Senate

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 Legislative Process, Alaska Legislature (accessed April 25, 2013)
  2. "Alabama Senate Committees". Open States. Sunlight Foundation. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Alaska Handbook to State Government (accessed April 25, 2013)
  4. 1 2 Article 2 of the Alaska Constitution, Lieutenant Governor's Office (accessed April 26, 2013)

Coordinates: 58°18′08″N134°24′38″W / 58.302198°N 134.410467°W / 58.302198; -134.410467