JUNEAU, Alaska — It’s a relatively quiet Monday in the state Capitol. It’s the day before the Legislature gavels in for the first time this year, and it’s a holiday to boot.
Much of the commotion from the Capitol hallways is coming from people tearing down boxes used to move supplies into lawmakers’ offices -- part of the last-minute preparation for the 90-day session ahead.
Even though the state's 60 lawmakers haven't begun their work in Juneau yet, some big debates loom ahead:
Lawmakers have already filed 58 new proposed laws and resolutions. Among them is a bill that would affect every driver in the state who texts and drives. Some lawmakers are looking to fix what they call a loophole in the law that was passed in 2008, because a judge in Kenai said the current law does not actually ban texting while driving.
Lawmakers will also have to approve the state's budget for next year -- something that kept them deadlocked during a special session last time around.