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Uniform Rules - Executive Sessions
Sponsor Statement for HCR 7
Alaska State Legislature
Alaska State Legislature
Attachments Attachments
 
Released:
February 19, 2003
Linda Sylvester
465-4963

    "Proposing an amendment to the Uniform Rules of the Alaska State Legislature relating to executive sessions of legislative bodies; and providing for an effective date for the amendment."

"It is important to have this authority when on occasion, the need of a legislative body to hear confidential briefings from state, federal and local officials charged with Homeland Security."
- Rep. Weyhrauch

 

The kinds of security concerns facing our state and nation may potentially affect more than security of a governmental unit. In Alaska, our legislative bodies discuss security concerns related to the pipeline, ferries, cruise ships and oil refineries and terminals among other things. On occasion, these discussions rise to the level of classified information. For example, a legislative body may hear of efforts taken to analyze terrorist threats, securing the borders and airports as well as efforts to protect our critical infrastructure. Thus, this amendment to Rule 22 of the Uniform Rules slightly broadens the legislative ability to call an executive session.

Currently, Rule 22 (of the Alaska State Legislature's Uniform Rules), allows a legislative body to call an executive session at which members of the general public may be excluded for the following reasons:

  1. discussion of matters, the immediate knowledge of which would adversely affect the finances of a government unit;
  2. discussion of subjects that tend to prejudice the reputation and character of a person;

HCR 7 is introduced to allow a legislative body to call an executive session at which members of the general public may be excluded when:

  1. discussion of a matter that affects the security of the state or nation, or that affects the security of a governmental unit or agency.

It is important to have this authority when on occasion, the need of a legislative body to hear confidential briefings from state, federal and local officials charged with Homeland Security. This amendment to the Alaska State Legislature Uniform Rules slightly broadens the reasons that a legislative body may be able to convene an executive session.

Released: February 19, 2003

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