JUNEAU, Alaska — The legislature is limited to just a handful of bills during its ongoing special session. Anything that wasn't voted down this year else will have to wait until next year, or won't go anywhere at all. Here are a few bills that won't make it this time around.
Cell Phone Use While Driving
Would have outlawed use of hand held cell phones while driving in Alaska. Hands-free devices would be allowed under various versions of the bill, but none advanced beyond committee.
Creating a Medical and/or Law School in Alaska
"I just more than anything wanted to get back to talking about how we grow our own workforce here," bill sponsor Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) said back in December. That conversation never took place on the record this session.
This would have banned the use of toxic fire-resistent substances (PBDEs) in furniture. The bill sponsor, Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) argues there are safer, equally as effective alternatives, but he wasn't able to convince his colleagues.
Would have allowed Alaskans to use deadly force to protect themselves in any place that they have a right to be. This bill passed the House but never went anywhere in the Senate.
Use of Foreign Law/Shariah Law
Would’ve banned the use of foreign law in Alaska. Bill sponsor Rep. Carl Gatto (R-Palmer) said he's not targeting any one group, religion, or culture; but he writes in an initial sponsor statement that his bill is meant to prevent the influence of Shariah law into Alaska's court system. Much of the testimony focused on Shariah law. Gatto’s bill is still sitting in the House Finance Committee.
Suspending 8 cent per gallon Motor Fuel Tax
This was one of Gov. Sean Parnell's priorities this year, but lawmakers were reluctant because they say the last time they suspended the tax, the oil companies just made up the difference and Alaskans never saw any relief at the pump. Plus they say income generated by the tax is meant to help repair roads and other transportation infrastructure.
Funding for School Breakfast and Lunch
This passed the Senate, but did not get a floor vote in the House. It's sitting in the Finance Committee where it might come back up next year.