Information & Teleconferencing
The Legislative Affairs Agency Information and Teleconferencing Section has one fundamental mission - to facilitate communication between legislators and their constituents. To fulfill this mission, Information and Teleconferencing maintains two integrated programs; a network of 23 Legislative Information Offices (LIO) throughout Alaska and an audio teleconference network. The two systems have been enhanced to include video conferencing, a growing presence on the internet, and a variety of handouts. Additionally, the agency has produced a video tour of the Capitol.
The LIOs distribute a wide range of data on legislative records, documents, schedules and events. In Alaska's smaller communities, the LIOs also serve as resource centers for information on the executive and judicial branches and the federal government.
During regular sessions of the legislature, which begin in January and run for 90 days, the LIOs are staffed and equipped to provide Alaskans with up-to-the-minute information on the status of bills, as well as the particulars of committee and floor activities. In addition to having access to the information via the Alaska Legislative Computer System, hard copies of bills are available.
Through the LIOs, Alaskans may communicate with their legislators using the Public Opinion Message System (POMS). Constituents may participate in legislative committee hearings and/or constituent meetings with legislators using teleconference facilities. LIOs can provide addresses, email addresses, phone and fax numbers and toll free numbers that many legislators maintain for use by their constituents.
Public Opinion Messages
Public Opinion Messages (POMs) are brief communications sent from citizens to legislators via the Legislative computer system. The POM program is not intended to replace other forms of communication such as personal letters, but is designed to provide Alaskans with a timely forum for expressing their views on legislative issues. POMs are taken and sent only during legislative sessions.
If you wish to send an online POM go to http://www.legis.state.ak.us/poms/. To send an online POM you will need to input your personal information as it appears on your voter registration card. Or you may mail, fax or hand deliver your signed message to any LIO, or call an LIO to have it transcribed. POMs may not exceed 50 words. They must include the sender's name, address, telephone number and the name of the receiving legislator(s). They may not contain vulgar or obscene language.
The LIOs maintain a library of current legislative and executive branch reports, publications, and other documents of public interest, including the official printed and annotated copies of the Alaska Statutes and Administrative Code and the Session Laws.
Each day during session, the Juneau LIO distributes copies of bills, journals, weekly status reports, etc., to all LIOs. Additionally, much of the information is now available immediately via BASIS on the Legislature's web site.
If you want to regularly receive bill status books, all bills and/or all journals for the entire legislative session, a subscription service is available. Subscription forms are available online, at your LIO or you may write Legislative Affairs Agency, State Capitol Room 3, Juneau, AK 99801-1182 or call (907) 465-3763.
Below are a sampling of Legislative materials on this website and at the LIOs:
Each of the LIOs has computer access to information on floor and committee action as it occurs via BASIS (Bill Action Status Inquiry System). For each bill introduced, a file is created in BASIS containing the title, sponsor and fiscal information. The system then tracks all activity pertaining to the bill, including committee referrals, floor action, minutes and vote tallies. Information available through LIO terminals also includes reports on a bill's history, committee substitutes, sponsor summaries, bills awaiting action, passed legislation, action by day and the daily calendars. Committee and teleconference schedules are also available. You may obtain BASIS information from your nearest LIO or directly from the internet. Printed copies of the Status of Bills and Resolutions are produced every week during session and bound into a booklet. This booklet is distributed to the LIOs and available for the public.
If you do not know a specific bill's number, or if you want to word search a Statute, Regulation, or other legislative infobases, you can access the Legislature's searchable Folio InfoBase Server on the internet, or ask someone at the LIO to assist you.
Folio, although it provides more information than BASIS, will update the bill status information nightly rather than immediately.
State and Federal Forms
Commonly requested State and Federal forms are available at the LIOs as a public service. The LIO will assist you or may refer you to the appropriate agency for additional help or information.
A library of telephone directories for most Alaskan communities are maintained in the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau LIOs. In addition, the agency publishes the Directory of State Officials (DOSO) which can be purchased at any of the LIOs.
Most of the LIOs provide voter registration services.
It is the policy of the Legislative Teleconference Network (LTN) to assist in broadening communication between legislators and citizens and to facilitate legislative responsiveness to the public.
The LTN is the combination of Cisco MeetingPlace E-Conferencing software and hardware, telecommunications, datacommunications, specialized on site audio conferencing systems, and LIO staff located in the State's Capitol and LIOs across the state.
The LTN may be used by any legislator for the purpose of communication with individuals and groups concerning pending legislation or other matters about which legislation might be proposed or legislative action taken.
Legislative administrative use of the LTN means use by Legislative Affairs staff to conduct LIO business or by persons employed as staff or aides to conduct legislative business, when such use is authorized by a legislator. The legislator who authorizes staff or aides to use the LTN is responsible for ensuring that such use is confined to conducting legislative business.
The LTN may, in accordance with designated priorities, be used by agencies or entities of the state, federal and local governments for the purpose of conducting governmental business. In the case of Alaska's Congressional Delegation, this includes press conferences held between the delegates in Washington, D.C. and members of the press and media in Alaska.
The LTN may also be used to broadcast, without participation by persons at network sites, sessions of the legislature and legislative committee meetings.
Under no circumstances may LTN facilities, equipment, or personnel be used for teleconferences related to election campaigning or campaign planning.
LTN staff shall maintain a schedule of fees that reflects the actual costs of providing services and shall charge the appropriate fee to agencies of the executive and judicial branches of state government, to local governments and to federal agencies for use of LTN services.
LTN User Priority
Alaska State Legislature, Permanent and Standing Committees, Special Committees, Groups of Legislators or Individual Legislators, Legislator(s)/Constituent, Legislative Administrative Use
U.S. Congressional Delegation
Other Government Entities, State Boards and Commissions, Executive & Judicial Branch Agencies, Federal & Local Government.
In exceptional cases, any user may be preempted by higher priority users, but never within 24 hours of the scheduled teleconference.
Teleconference protocol during formal committee meetings shall be designed to serve the ends and accommodate the conventions of a legislative hearing. All communication between committee members and remote witnesses, whether testimony or question and answer, shall be at the discretion of the chair. Conversations initiated by committee members, subsequent to testimony, must be recognized by the chair.
All meetings on the Legislative Teleconference Network (LTN) are open to the public except where closed meetings are specifically authorized by law or legislative rule. Physical limitations of the system also can restrict access. However, active participation in a teleconference shall be at the discretion of the chair.
Types of Teleconferences
Public Hearing teleconferences are electronic extensions of the committee process and are usually limited to a specific subject or bill. Public Hearing teleconferences are used by the legislature to allow you to participate directly in the legislative process. Hearing protocol is selected by the committee chairperson. As a general rule, anyone may listen in, but permission of the chair is required to testify.
Work Session teleconferences may be scheduled by committees, groups or individual legislators. These meetings are generally invitational and are held to conduct internal business.
Constituent Meeting teleconferences are usually between an individual legislator or group of legislators and residents of a particular voting district. They are usually held in the evening hours with an informal open-subject question/answer format.
Non-Legislative Meeting teleconferences by governmental agencies may be conducted on the network when time is available. Information on the fee schedule for non-legislative teleconferences may be obtained by calling the Teleconference Coordinator at the Juneau LIO.
Attending a Teleconference
When you arrive at the LIO or teleconference center to attend a teleconference, you will be asked to sign in, giving your name and address and to indicate whether you are planning to testify. The moderator of the teleconference will assist you in the use of the equipment and let you know when you may testify. The chair may request that testimony be limited to a certain length of time and will decide the order of participation in the teleconference. Before beginning your testimony, state your name and who you are representing, if applicable. Remember to identify yourself each time you speak.Indicate to the chair when you have concluded your testimony.
Use of LAA Equipment, Space and Staff
The services, equipment, office space and staff of the Legislative Affairs Agency may not be used by any person for campaign purposes or personal services. Campaign purposes is defined as any use which contributes directly to a person's election activity. It does not mean that incumbents will be impeded in carrying out legitimate obligations of their office. Personal services are defined as any special treatment beyond that which would be furnished a member of the general public who requests such services in gathering, duplicating or communicating information or providing assistance of a non-legislative nature. Any violation of this policy shall be reported to the Executive Director of the Agency who shall, if the Executive Director determines there is a probable violation, report the matter to the chairman of the Legislative Council and to the person involved.