Blogs by Rep Bob Lynn

Blog site of Representative Bob Lynn, Alaska House of Representatives,District 31 Anchorage, Alaska. Blogs consist of public comments during legislative sessions, speeches, political commentary, as well as personal observations, and some journal type entries. Comments are invited.

Location: Anchorage, Alaska, United States

Member of the Alaska State House of Represeentatives since 2003. US Air Force, Retired; military bandsman; F94C interceptor pilot; Vietnam service as radar controller (Monkey Mountain), radar site commander(Pleiku); Government Contract Management; Public school Teacher, Retired. Married 55 years to Marlene Wagner Lynn, 6 children, 20 grandchildren, 1 great-grandchild. Member St. Elizabeth Ann Seaton Church. Former Tucson Arizona policeman, Ambulance Driver and Mortician's Assistant, Realtor (currently on referral status).

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Sine die is Latin for permanent adjournment of a legislature. With sine die motions in both houses of the legislature, the 24th Alaska State Legislature will have no more regular sessions. All bills and resolutions not passed in the 24th Legislature are now dead. The new 25th Legislature will convene in January 2007.

The last day of session was consumed mostly by House bills changed by the Senate, and sent back to the House for concurrence. Bill sponsors explained the changes, and recommended “concur” or “non-concur.” Bills with concurrence passed the legislature. Some bills seeking concurrence didn’t make it to the House floor for a concurrence vote, before adjournment sine die– and those bills are also dead.

About 6 :00PM, my bill providing a mandatory 60 sentence for a criminal assault on school property (meant to help protect teachers and other school employees), passed House concurrence with changes made in the Senate – after some battles with minority legislators. I jokingly refer to HB41 as my “Lazarus Bill,” because it’s taken four years to get it passed, and was resurrected from several “deaths” enroute through the legislative process. Good thing I’m persistent! Later in the evening HB258, my bill making rape by someone diagnosed with HIV/AIDS an aggravating factor at sentencing, passed House concurrence with Senate changes without a problem. Both these bills are now going to the governor for his signature – I hope.

It’s a very difficult to get any legislature into law. Bills and resolutions must run a gauntlet through House and Senate committees – where committee chairs has the power to never hold a hearing, or never let the bill go to a vote. And, of course, legislation must have a majority vote in both the House and Senate. Then the governor must sign the legislation, not veto it.

Too often politics – personalities, favors, grudges, partisanship, currying district support, et cetera – have more to do with legislation surviving the gauntlet process than the merits of a bill. It’s all messed up, but it is truly less messed up than anywhere else in the world. God Bless America!!

An example of how legislation doesn’t pass “until the fat lady sings” is SB305, the contentious oil tax bill (PPT). That’s the bill the House struggled with and didn’t pass until daybreak today. It got wrapped around multiple political axles and became terminal on the Senate’s last day.

The Senate killed the SB305, the oil tax bill, on a 10 -10 tie vote. 8 Republicans voted and 2 Democrats voted YES. 4 Republicans and 6 Democrats voted NO. Party switching caused the bill’s demise.

In an effort to salvage SB305, a last minute motion was made to rescind killing the bill, but that motion failed 9 to 11. This time, 7 Republicans and 2 Democrats voted to rescind, but 6 Republicans and 5 Democrats voted NO. With that action the Senate adjoined sine die moments before midnight. And the regular session of the 24th Alaska Legislation became history.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Web Site Counter
Free Counter