February 28, 2014 •
SB12, signed into law September 2013, goes into effect today. The bill amends the state procurement code and makes changes to procurement preferences, contract awards, small purchase procedures and thresholds, minimum competition requirements, methods of bid submission, vendor registration requirements, […]
SB12, signed into law September 2013, goes into effect today. The bill amends the state procurement code and makes changes to procurement preferences, contract awards, small purchase procedures and thresholds, minimum competition requirements, methods of bid submission, vendor registration requirements, and applicable definitions.
Vendors may contact Chief Procurement Officer Jason Soza with any questions concerning the bill. Additionally, a summary of all changes can be found on the Department of General Services website.
April 15, 2013 •
House Bill 104 To Change Primary Dates
Lawmakers adjourned the first session of the 28th Legislature on April 14, 2013. Before adjourning, lawmakers passed an elections bill to better comply with a federal law requiring absentee military voters to receive ballots 45 days before a federal election.
House Bill 104 moves the date of the primary election from the fourth Tuesday in August to the third Tuesday in August of every even-numbered year. The bill also proposes a special runoff election following a special election to fill the vacancy of a U.S. Senator or U.S. Representative if no candidate in the special election receives more than 50 percent of the vote.
In addition, the bill allows a person requesting an opinion from the Alaska Public Offices Commission to keep the name of the requestor confidential.
The effective date of the bill is January 1, 2014.
July 12, 2012 •
Pledging in return for campaign contributions would violate the Legislative Ethics Act
The Alaska Legislative Ethics Committee has issued an advisory opinion allowing incumbent legislators to sign pre-election pledges during re-election campaigns.
So long as the pledge is in exchange only for an endorsement or a promise of an endorsement it does not violate the Legislative Ethics Act. However, the committee also determined the signing of pre-election pledges in a quid pro quo exchange for a campaign contribution or a promise of a campaign contribution would violate the act.
Special interest groups often request candidates to take positions on certain topics by signing a pledge.
June 11, 2012 •
APOC acknowledges Citizens United may nullify Alaska campaign laws
The Alaska Public Offices Commission has issued an opinion allowing a new independent group, Alaska Deserves Better (ADB), to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money in this year’s elections. Although the commission’s director said the advisory opinion is specific to ADB and the way it plans to operate, the decision seems to be relevant for other independent committees.
Under current state law, groups such as ADB may receive, each year, contributions of no more than $500 from an individual and $1,000 from a different group. Additionally, groups may not receive contributions from an individual who is not a resident of the state, or from a foreign national.
With the exception of the foreign national restriction, the opinion acknowledges laws prohibiting independent expenditures by corporations and labor unions are likely unconstitutional in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision in 2010. As a result, ADB, an independent expenditure group, can obtain contributions in unlimited amounts, with no restriction on the amounts or sources.
The commission acknowledges that without a ruling from a court or a change in legislation, there will not be clarity in the state’s campaign contribution law.
May 9, 2012 •
We have news on redistricting issues from four states:
Alaska: “High court to hear redistricting petition” by The Associated Press in The Anchorage Daily News.
Kansas: “GOP redistricting fight could mean courts make final decision” by John Hanna (Associated Press) in the Lawrence Journal World.
North Carolina: “Redistricting sets stage for fall elections” by Emery Dalesio (Associated Press) in the Winston-Salem Journal.
Washington: “Supreme Court upholds state redistricting plan” by Warren Kagarise in the Issaquah Press.
May 2, 2012 •
Today we have items from eight states:
Alaska: “Redistricting map solutions elusive as court battle looms” by Richard Mauer in the Anchorage Daily News.
Kansas: “Kansas Senate OKs redistricting plan” by Brad Cooper in the Kansas City Star.
Kentucky: “Kentucky Supreme Court cites redistricting law as unconstitutional” by Franklin Clark in the Cadiz Record.
Mississippi: “Mississippi Senate unveils its redistricting map” by The Associated Press in the Clarion Ledger.
New Hampshire: “House redistricting plan faces more legal challenges” by Garry Rayno in the Union Leader.
Pennsylvania: “Redistricting panel to receive input on new Pa. maps” by Ali Lanyon (Associated Press) on WHTM.
South Carolina: “Supreme Court considering fate of primary candidates” by Gina Smith in The State.
South Carolina: “SC justices consider fate of dozens of candidates” by Jeffrey Collins (Associated Press) in the Spartanburg Herald Journal.
Vermont: “Vt. lawmakers finish redistricting” on NECN.com.
May 1, 2012 •
Special session officially over
The Alaska House of Representatives adjourned the special session on Monday following the Senate’s adjournment last week.
While lawmakers passed a bill pertaining to human trafficking, the governor pulled his oil tax measure after the bill appeared to be going nowhere.
The Senate adjourned claiming that the governor’s removal of a bill on a special session call, while the session was under way, ended the session.
April 30, 2012 •
House weighs options
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives are considering their next step after the Senate abruptly adjourned from the special session on Friday.
The Senate adjourned following the Governor’s decision to pull an oil tax bill, which was one of two measures on the special session agenda.Under the state Constitution, the House could remain in session, forcing the Senate to return every three days.
It is not clear how soon a decision will be reached or announced.
Photo of the Alaska State Capitol by Kevin Lam on Wikipedia.
March 28, 2012 •
Today we have news on redistricting issues from nine states:
Alaska: “Alaska Redistricting Board says it has adopted new election districts” by Matt Buxton in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
Arizona: “Brewer signs bill to keep Arizona redistricting commission going while new maps are pending” by The Associated Press in The Republic.
Florida: “Redrawn Senate map passes House, scramble for seats begin” by Mary Ellen Klas in the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida: “Legislature ends redistricting session, new Senate map approved” by Mary Ellen Klas in The Miami Herald.
Idaho: “Redistricting will shake up Idaho Legislature” by Sean Ellis in the Capital Press.
Kansas: “Kan. House to debate congressional remap bill” by The Associated Press in the Salina Journal.
Maryland: “Group seeks referendum on new Md. congressional map” by Annie Linskey in The Baltimore Sun.
Missouri: “Missouri Supreme Court upholds House districts” by Elizabeth Crisp in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
West Virginia: “W.Va. lawmakers seek OK of congressional districts” by Eric Eyre in the Charleston Gazette.
Wisconsin: “Judges: Collaboration needed on Wis. voting maps” by The Associated Press on Madison.com.
Wisconsin: Opinion piece “Redistricting decision offers important lesson” by Christine Neumann-Ortiz in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
February 22, 2012 •
Alaska Governor Sean Parnell signed a campaign finance bill into law and Super PACs in the news, too!
Alaska: “Governor signs campaign finance bill” by The Associated Press in USA Today.
“Financial disclosures show power of super PACs” by Fredreka Schouten in USA Today.
“Santorum ‘super’ PAC returned big foreign donation” by Stephen Braun in the Boston Globe.
February 17, 2012 •
Android app expected by April, before session ends
Good news iPhone owners! NCSL’s blog just noted the Alaska Legislature has come out with an app allowing you to keep up with legislative news on your phone. Best of all, it is free!
According to the blog, this is what you will find: “The app provides information on committee schedules, bill status, the house and senate calendars, and contact information of every legislator in both chambers. It also allows the user to stream committee hearings directly from your phone and watch the proceedings in real time.”
Be sure to take look at “New Alaska iPhone App” by Morgan Cullen on The Thicket.
Here is the iTunes App Store page with The Alaska Legislature App.
Thank you to Research Associate George Ticoras for pointing me in the direction of this news.
January 26, 2012 •
Insight should be back online this afternoon.
The online filing system, Insight, will be offline today, January 26, from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (EST). Filers who attempt to access the system during this time risk losing data.
A separate notice will be sent by the Alaska Public Offices Commission if the fix takes longer than proposed.
Questions can be addressed to Joan Mize at (907) 465-4865.
January 4, 2012 •
To be held January 6
The following announcement is from the Alaska Public Offices Commission website:
The Alaska Public Offices Commission will be conducting a brief training designed to provide basic information about group campaign disclosure and to introduce filers to the new electronic filing system.
The training is scheduled for Friday, January 6, 2012 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Filers may participate in person at the Anchorage office, remotely by computer, or by telephone.
Email or call Attorney Vullnet Greva at email@example.com or (907) 276-4176 for details regarding participation.
October 3, 2011 •
Only lobbyists in Alaska who are constituents in a state candidate’s newly certified district may donate to a candidate’s campaign, an Advisory Opinion from the Alaska Public Offices Commission has declared.
Because a lobbyist residing in a candidate’s district may contribute to a candidate, Representative Bob Lynn requested an opinion regarding whether a lobbyist in his current district could donate to his campaign when he or she may not be a constituent in his proposed new voting district.
Advisory Opinion 11-14-CD concludes candidates “will only be able to accept donations from lobbyists residing in the new district.”
Presently, only candidates for the proposed new districts, and not the current districts, are being certified by the Division of Elections. In its analysis, the Advisory Opinion also articulates, “Whether or not a lobbyist resides in the candidate’s district is determined on the day the contribution is accepted.”
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.