29 April 2007


As some of you particularly perceptive types figured out, I was away in Juneau this past week, seeing what the legislature is like up close and personal. It was certainly an edifying trip and I had many, many Socratic moments in which I learned the depth of my own ignorance time and again (an important note to those of you who take these writings without the requisite grain of salt).

This trip will, of course, influence these posts as I return to my daily existence in Nome but I'm not sure there are too many particular observations I feel tremendously compelled to share right now.

But I did want to make this note: Bert Stedman, at last Tuesday's press availability, said his Finance committee is focusing on a couple of major issues like AGIA, PERS/TRS, and the capital budget. He didn't come right out and say it but he did strongly intimate that it would be difficult for any other major (or minor) piece of legislation to make it through Finance before the end of the session.

I think this sets up a good test case of relative influence in the capital and a way to figure out what's going on behind closed doors. It seems to me that the only way legislation (beyond the big three) is going to get passed is if someone is well connected enough to convince Stedman and Hoffman to move it through committee.

For instance, let's keep an eye on the Ocean Ranger legislation and see just what the cruise ship industry is able to accomplish in these remaining weeks.

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