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Alaska State Legislature
On-Line Help Page



Majority Press Staff

Bud Curtis
Majority Web Master
465-6547 (Jan-Dec)
Ken Erickson
Majority Web Master
465-2671 (Jan-May)
269-0256 (Jun-Dec)
Ron Irwin
Senate Press Secretary
465-3803 (Jan-May)
269-0257 (Jun-Dec)

Site Structure

Site Search

The Site Search page is a very powerful tool for helping you locate a particular file or several files on a particular topic within this site only. This page also provides many helpful tips on how to refine your search queries and explains the filing structure of the site to better help you locate the specific documents you are looking for.

From here you can also access the State Search page, which provides many key links for direct access to important Alaskan web sites, or allows you to choose a specific Alaskan web site you would like to search through for information on a particualr subject.

Accomplishments

The Accomplishments page contains the most recent accomplishments of either the past session or Legislature. At the end of every session of Legislature a press packet is released by the majority organization within the Legislature summarizing all the successful pieces of legislation that passed, what was accomplished with the new budget, and how these actions will benefit Alaska and Alaskans. These accomplishments are a joint effort by all the majority members of the Alaska State Legislature and written and organized by the Majority Press Office.

Breaking News

The Breaking News page contains the latest news offered by the Bipartisan Republican-led Majority and its individual members in descending order from the most recent to oldest for the past week. During the session current press releases are posted on this page for a week at a time and then they archived on the appropriate archive page for that month and year. At the bottom of this page you will find two tables that contain direct access for each month of press releases and audio clips that have been archived since 1997. The Breaking News page also contains a section with links to the the latest Active On-Line Surveys and Mail Back Surveys. In addition, this page has a section with links to the Audio Clips that correspond to the latest day's press releases, which can also be heard on the Majority Actuality Line: 1-800-478-6540.

Legislators

The Legislators page has quick access to all 60 Alaskan State Legislators. From here you can find their Contact Information, Staff Members, Biographical Information, and Legislative Actions taken by that member. Press Releases, District information, Committee Memberships, Opinion/Editorial Articles and Personal Legislation can also be accessed from here for all the members of the Republican-led Majority.

Committees

The Committees page is a list of all the committees and their members, that are meeting during the current Legislature. From this page you will have quick access to the individual committee pages for those committees that have introduced Legislation during the current Legislature. Once a committee has introduced new Legislation a page is created for that specific committee which will contain the committee staff, schedule, follow its legislation, press releases, and any other information related to that committee.

Bills

The Bills page is a quick launch page that contains all the Legislation proposed during the current Legislature proposed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. From the pull down menus, simply click on the bill you are looking for and you are immediately taken to that bill listing on our site. From this specific bill listing you will find the prime sponsor of that piece of legislation with a link back to that Legislator's main page. When a particular piece of Legislation passes out of both bodies of the Legislature, the progress of that bill is noted and followed on this page until it has passed into law, which is a handy way to track a particular piece of Legislation.

The bill listings on the Majority Site are also helpful in that each piece of Legislation contains a small description as to what that bill is about. A lot of times, press releases or other information will mention bill numbers, but don't say what that bill is about. The Bills page allows you to quickly look up the legislation and read what it is, or follow the link to the particular sponsor statement associated with the bill, which describes the bill in greater detail, provided by the Legislator who is the prime sponsor of the legislation.

E-Newsletter

You can subscribe and unsubscribe from the Legislative E-News daily newsletter, by accessing the E-Newsletter page. Legislative E-News can be a valuable tool if you would like to keep up with the latest news from the Alaska State Legislature. Everyday the E-News newsletter is emailed to directly to your In-Box with links to the most recent press releases, what bills have passed or are up for a hearing, committee schedules, new surveys, audio clips, and even new opinion/editorial articles by individual legislators. To sign up is easy. Just enter your email address in the text field, click "Add me", and click the "Send" button or press "Enter" on your keyboard.

Surveys

Many of the Legislators are taking part in creating their own online surveys on a variety of subjects. This is very helpful for them to make sure they are working on right legislation that is important to the public and the people they represent. In order to do this these legislators are gathering information and data from the results of their online surveys. By getting involved and taking a survey, your comments and answers to the survey questions can be included into the final statistics on how a legislator decides to carry out a piece of Legislation.

The Surveys page contains a section for those online surveys that are currently active and collecting responses, and a section for active mail-back surveys, which would need to printed off your computer, filled out and mailed back to the appropriate legislator. There is also a section for achived surveys, surveys that are no longer taking responses, but you can access to see the results of those particular surveys.

Research

The Research page contains links to all the important sites on the internet for tracking down information pertaining to a variety of subjects and topics. Here you can get access to the Legislature's Bill Action and Status Inquiry System (BASIS) database of current and past legislative actions, as well as the Legislature's Infobase (Folio) of large volumes of free-formatted reference material that includes, amongst many other documents, the State Constitution and Statutes. From here you can link directly into both of these databases using standard html links rather than trying to understand the complex command lines these databases operate by. The Research page also contains links to Budget information and other Legislative information.

Talk Back

The Talk Back Page is the Majority Organization's Discussion Forum section of the site. This section dosen't appear with the same look and feel as the rest of the site, but when you first enter this page there will be a new left menu bar and a list of all the current discussion forum categories listed in the middle of the page. From here you can click on any of the links to any of the individual discussion categories and read what others have to say on that topic. You can even post your own message to any of the discussions that are being carried out, and be notified if anyone responds to your comments later on.

There is also a Help discussion forum that contains many of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about this site and the Legislature in general. This is very helpful if you are trying to find an answer to a specific question or need to post a new question.

Email This Page

The Email This Page page is a handy tool to let you email a particular you have just read or know contains important information to someone else who may be interested in the information. You can find this link on any of the pages within the 22nd Legislature and after. What makes this a handy tool is one doesn't need to be at computer with their own email program in order to be able to pass information on to someone else.

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Navigation

Left Menu

The left menu provides quick links to all the major sections of the Legislative Majority Web Site. See the Site Structure section above to learn more about how this site is structured. This left menu can be very useful for when you are viewing documents that are deep within one section of the site and you need to quickly move to a different section to find more information.

At the top of the Left Menu, below the "Site Search" link, is a text box window that allows you to type in a keyword or phrase and hit "Enter" on your keyboard. This performs a quick site search from anywhere within the site, which is handy for when you are viewing a page of information that mentions something particular and you would like to see what other information is available on the site about the same subject. You can quickly highlight the word or phrase from the page, copy it (ctrl-C), and paste it (ctrl-V) into the search box. For more information on performing site searches vist the Site Search page.

Right Menu

Below the Snap Poll on the right side of each page you will find the Right Menu. On smaller monitors with a lower resolution setting, you may have to use the horizontal scroll bar to scroll over to the right side. The Right menu is a different type of menu than the Left Menu because it is interactive and many change on a daily basis. During the Legislative Session The "Latest Posts" menu contains all the latest headlines for press releases that were released that very day and will change to tomorrow's headlines on the following day. On the front page you will also find a different right menu that displays all the most current activity within the Legisture up the most recent day something happened. This activity includes which bills have been introduced, which have moved, and which have passed. In addition there is a link to read more information about these particular bills.

The "Related Links" menus can be found on all sponsor statements, press releases, and certain other informational pages. These menus are different for each release and sponsor statement because they contain links to other related press releases, sponsor statements, or even other sites dealing with the same subject matter. These related links will usually take you to the first point of entry on a topic. For example the "Related Links" menu may take you to the most recent press release, from there you will find the sponsor statement in the attachment section at the bottom, and from the sponsor statement you can find the bill actions link to BASIS. If there is not a press release available yet on a topic the link will most likely take you to the sponsor statement first.

Attachments

Most press releases, sponsor statements, and other informational pages will always contain an "Attachments" section at the bottom of the page after the article. This is where you will always find the "Printer Friendly" version of the page. Supplemental information pertaining to the sponsor statement or press release, such as Departmental information, results of surveys, or other charts and graphs can also be found in this section. If there is a Sponsor Statement available, press releases will also link to the sponsor statement in the "Attachments" section and sponsor statements will link to any sectional analyses that may be available, and vice versa. A majority of the attachment documents are in PDF format and most of the time contain more information than can easily be displayed in regular web page format (HTML). To view PDF files you will need to have Adobe's Acrobat PDF viewer installed into your browser. See the Browser Plug-Ins section below.

Bottom Menu

At the very bottom of every page you will find a foot menu that allows you to jump to any of the sections on this site once you are done reading the information on a page. A lot of the pages on this site contain a vast amount of information that as you start reading the page and scrolling down, the left menu scrolls up out of view and is not as handy to use anymore. By utilizing the foot menu at the bottom of each page you can quickly jump to the section of the site you would like to find more information. Or you can use the "Top" link to quickly move back up to the top of the page again and gain access to the related links to the page you are viewing or perform a quick Site Search at the top of the left menu.

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Printing

In most platforms, meaning the current version of the internet browser you are using with the current operating system on your computer, each page on this site should print fine from any printer directly from your browser, provided your printer is configured correctly for your computer. There are however a couple exceptions. The main exception, which may cause you to have printing problems, is using version 4.x or 5.x of Netscape Navigator Web Browser in a Microsoft Windows 95 or 98 platform. For an odd reason the Windows 95 & 98 operating systems do not allow the page that is being displayed in the Netscape Web Browser to spool correctly to the printer the specific code information we use to program this site. This has been corrected in later Windows operating systems by Microsoft. If you find yourself using this type of platform there are a couple options you can use to handle this situation:

  • Beginning with the 22nd Legislature, all documents created that contain specific information that would not change, also include a "Printer Friendly" version in the attachment section at the bottom of the page. These Printer Friendly versions of the same page are PDF files that were formatted from the original text documents used to generate the web page containing the same content. PDF files are Adobe's Portable Document Format files which are specifically formatted to be able to print from any printer on any platform exactly as they appear on the screen. To do this you will need the free Adobe Acobat PDF Reader plug-in installed in your browser. See the Browser Plug-In section below.

  • An easy way to quickly print the information you need from a web page is to simply highlight the text you want to print, copy it (ctrl-C), and paste it (ctrl-V) into an open word processing document. From here you can use the print function from the word processing application you use.

  • At this time we have not been able to locate a specfic updated printer driver that will allow you to print from any printer using a Netscape Web Browser on a Windows 95 platform. However, there has been some luck finding updated printer drivers for the specific printer you are using. Figure out who is the manufacturer of the printer you use (Hewlett Packard, Epson, etc.) and visit their web site (www.epson.com, www.hp.com, or do a search by the manufactuer name) Normally the updated drivers are located under the "Printer Support" section of the manufacturer's site, in the "Printer Drivers" category. If this is unsuccesful, try the "Frequently Asked Questions" section of their web site. Most manufacturers have several models of printers and you will need to select the exact model for the printer you are using, to ensure you download the correct driver. If you are lucky enough to find and download an updated printer driver for this type of platform then this may be all you need to be able to solve the situation once and for all.

  • Another option is to change the platform you are using, either by switching to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser or upgrading to a more current Windows operating system. See the Browser Plug-In section below for downloading and installing Microsoft's free Internet Explorer. Upgrading to a new operating system will cost you some money and may not always be the best solution.

  • Lastly, if you are still having printer difficulties, please contact us by email or phone and we will try to help you with your printing situation using the methods above.

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Browser Plug-Ins

The Alaska State Legislative Majority Web Site works best in both internet browsers made by Netscape and Microsoft Internet Explorer version 4 or higher. If your internet browser is older then version 4 the pages on this site may report quite a few errors or may not even appear at all. To download and install the latest Netscape or Internet Explorer browser for your computer click on the appropriate links below.

Install Netscape Navigator Web Browser

Download and Install Netscape Navigator's web browser version 4 to version 6 by clicking on the icon to the left. Follow the instructions on Netscape's Product Installation page.

  Install Microsoft Internet Explorer

Download and Install the latest Microsoft Internet Explorer browser version 5.5 by clicking on the icon to the left. Follow the instructions on Microsoft's Internet Exploer 5.5 Service Pack 1 and Internet Tools page.

Download and Install the Macintosh version.

 

Download and Install the Macintosh version.

The current versions of internet browsers today already come with most plug-ins built in, including Adobe's Acrobat PDF Reader. Try accessing a PDF file from your browser first to see if you already have the plug-in installed. If not, you will be told that you need to install the appropriate plug-in, or your browser will simply download the file to your computer not knowing what to do with it from that point on. Real Media's Audio Player and Nullsoft's Audio Player only comes built into Netscape Navigator internet browsers and will need to be downloaded and installed seperately if you only use Internet Explorer.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader

You will find many documents on this site that are in PDF format and end in the extention ".pdf", rather than a normal web page that ends in ".htm, .html, or .shtml". This is Adobe's Portable Document file Format used to save an abundant amount of information that can be printed from any printer. As long as you have the latest version of Adobe's Free Acrobat PDF Reader plug-in installed in your Netscape or Internet Explorer browser you can view and print PDF files. Usually these files will be marked to indicate they require Adobe Acrobat to view or they are in PDF format. When you click on these files your installed Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader plug-in will launch and allow you to view the file.

Install Adobe Acrobat Reader

If you currently do not have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer, or you are receiving an error when you go to view or print a PDF file, because you may not have the most current version or the correct version for the current operating system you are using, then click on the Acrobat icon to the left.

For instruction on how to download and install Abobe Acrobat visit Adobe's Download Help page.

Winamp's Audio Player

Because the MP3 compression format has become prevalent over the web, the Majority Web Site has started posting audio clips in .mp3 format, in addition to Real Media's .ra format. MP3s are digital audio files that have been shrunken down while still maintaining their original digital sound quality. One of the best, free plug-ins available on the web to listen to sound files compressed in the .mp3 format is Nullsoft's Winamp Audio Player. This audio player not only lets you listen to your MP3 files in enhanced audio playback fidelity, but also organizes your files into playlists, transfers your MP3s to portable audio devices, streams audio from internet radio stations and other streaming audio web sites, and it can even convert your MP3 files to .WAV files in order to be burned to an audio CD to be played in any normal CD player.

Install Adobe Acrobat Reader

If you currently do not have Nullsoft's free Winamp Audio Player installed on your computer, you can download and install it by clicking on the Winamp icon to the left. Even the full installation of Winamp gives you all the features and is still free to download and install. For Macintosh users click here.

For instruction on how to download and install Nullsoft Winamp visit their installation Help pages for either Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator.

Real Media's Audio Player

All former and current audio clips of Legislators on this site have been produced using Real Media's Audio compression format, in addition to Winamp's MP3 compression format above for newer audio clips. Real Media's Audio files end in the extenstion ".ra" and require Real Media's Free Audio Player to listen to. Real Media's audio format is different from the popular MP3 format, which is a compression format that preserves the digital quality of the audio file. Real Media's audio compression format is used to save data size for the audio file.

Install Real Media Audio Player

If you currently do not have Real Media's free Audio Player installed on your computer, you can download and install it by clicking on the Real Audio icon to the left. Beware of Real Media's pop up ads when you first enter their site. The Link to Real Media's "Free" Audio Player, "RealPlayer 8," is not completely noticeable at first, but you can find it in the grey box at the bottom of the page.

For instructions and how to Download and Install Real Audio Player visit the RealPlayer 8 Basic Frequently Asked Questions page.

Once your download of RealPlayer 8 Basic is complete you will either be asked to open the newly downloaded file or you will need to double click on the Real Audio Player installation file that is now on your desktop. You will then be asked several questions about accepting Real Media's End User License Agreement, which directory you would like to install Real Audio Player, how many icons and links would you like to have placed all over your computer, and whether you would like Real Media's web site as your new home page that will appear everytime you open your browser from your computer. After answering these questions appropriately this should finish the installation process and Real Media's Audio Player will be installed onto your computer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about this site, and the Legislature in general, are interactive and exist in the Help section of our Discussion Forums. Each question is a discussion in and of itself, which means, you can add more to it, ask a more specific questions about that topic, or read through what others have asked or added the topic. If you don't find the answer you are looking for here you can post your new question to the ongoing list of Frequently Asked Questions. We will answer your question and add it to the current list of questions for others to read, in case they may have the same question in the future. Our On-Line Help Discussion Forum is humanly moderated on a daily basis during session and you can expect an answer to your post within the following day. Allow a few extra days during the interim for a reply.

The current Frequently Asked Questions on our online Help Discussion Forum:

 •  What is BASIS?

 •  What is FOLIO?

 •  Legislature Information

 •  Government Information

 •  Government Information

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Feedback

We always love to receive feedback on how we are doing here at the Majority Press Office, whether good or bad. In fact, we encourage people to let us know how we can make this site better, or to report a problem with the site, such as a broken link or information that has been posted incorrectly. The web staff is a team of only two people that maintain this entire site. We are human and occasionally we do make mistakes. It is better to be told about a problem we missed, so we can have it fixed immediately, rather than to let it continue to exist. If you have feedback on this site that you would like posted on our Feedback Forum for others to read, then please visit our Discussion Forums's Feedback section.

Webmaster Note: We reserve the right to post, or not to post, your feedback comments on our Feedback Forum, that are emailed to us directly.


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