Legislature waits to hear capital move bills

Posted: Tuesday, March 18, 2008

JUNEAU - A bill to promote the construction of a new legislative hall, likely outside Juneau, has not been heard in the Legislature since a controversial hearing last week, and no further hearings were scheduled as of Monday.

The bill sponsored by Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Big Lake, would repeal a voter-passed law giving the public the right to know and approve the cost of a capital move, and set up a competition among communities to build a new home for the Legislature.

The bill was heard in the powerful House Finance Committee March 11, but a scheduled meeting to further discuss the bill Wednesday was canceled and has not been rescheduled.

Neuman's staff said the bill is being reviewed based on comments during last week's hearing.

A similar bill, House Bill 293, would move legislative sessions to Anchorage. Its sponsor, Rep. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, is co-chairman of the House Finance Committee.

It, too, is awaiting a hearing in House Finance, but Meyer said last week that he prefers Neuman's bill to his own.

A third bill, which would have held all special sessions "on the road system" was voted down in an earlier committee.

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