Senate bills would free Alaska legislators from binding caucus votes

    Sen. Mike Shower of Wasilla introduced measures this week to end the binding caucus system in the Alaska Legislature, whereby legislators are required to vote with their fellow caucus members on certain key issues or suffer the loss of leadership, committee memberships, staff and office space.

    The binding caucus has grown increasingly controversial over the past year among the more conservative members of Alaska’s Legislature. Both the House and Senate caucuses have shifted to the left as Republicans created multi-party caucuses that have severely restricted their more conservative members from key committee assignments and leadership posts. As a result conservative legislators now have very little influence over legislation in Juneau.

    Shower and other conservative senators were punished this year for refusing to vote with their caucus to cap Permanent Fund Dividend payments and refusing to vote to override Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget vetoes.

    Shower’s Senate Joint Resolution 17, which is accompanied by a SB 187 to the same effect, would amend the State Constitution to prohibit legislators from forming binding caucuses in which members must commit before hand to vote for or against proposed bills, appointments, vetoes or other measures before the Legislature. The amendment would, however, allow members of a caucus to vote on a matter “directly relating to the selection of an officer of a political caucus or leadership of a house of the Legislature.”

    Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

    Share this article

    Related articles

    Leave a reply

    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here


    Alaska Watchman relies on the generous support of our readers. All donations go directly to supporting and expanding our news coverage. Please consider becoming a regular supporter.

    Select a Donation Option (USD)

    Enter Donation Amount (USD)


    Personal Info

    Donation Total: $100.00

    Stay Informed

    Receive breaking stories and analysis from the Alaska Watchman directly to your inbox for free.

    No spam ever. Guaranteed.

    Latest articles

    Abortion is the paramount political issue

    “The future of Alaska is at stake!” “The future of America is at stake!” Liberals, conservatives,...

    The ‘equity’ police are really after political power

    Both in Alaska and around the country we hear a lot these days about the quest for “equity” in city council meetings,...

    Ballot Measure 2 replaces fair elections with political trickery

    You’ve likely heard the saying that politicians are like diapers: they should be changed often, and for the same reason.

    Fairbanks resumes push to radicalize schools with LGBT, anti-Christian courses

    Wouldn't it make sense that if parents objected to the pornography in the proposed Fairbanks North Star Borough School District curriculum that...

    News tips