In Alaska, it is that time of year to remember Mark Twain’s dire warning: “No man’s life, liberty, or property are safe while the legislature is in session.”
Ours is supposed to convene today to address the issues confronting Alaskans, but if the 40-member House’s inability to form a leadership coalition is any harbinger of things to come, this meeting of the 31st Legislature should be a doozy. It has been unable to decide on committee assignments, staffing or possible coalitions involving Democrats and Republicans.
Neither Republicans nor Democrats can muster enough members to form a solid majority. It would be nice if, at some point very soon, if the mess would sort itself out; the games would be over; and, lawmakers would remember who they are there to represent.
This legislative session’s agenda contains some very important issues and delay only makes the work harder. The budget. Crime control. How the Permanent Fund dividends are figured. Retroactive dividends. Fiscal policy. The list goes on and on. It is time for lawmakers to put partisan bickering behind them and get on with business.
On the other hand, Twain had it right. Perhaps it is better in the long run for Alaskans that the Legislature stay snarled.