Jenkins: Alaskans should be outraged at House failures

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If it were not so pitiful, it would be hoot to just sit back and watch our august state House of Representatives stumble around, looking, for all the world, like a Three Stooges act as it tries to sort out who is in charge.

A quarter of the way through the Legislature’s statutory 90-day session, as this was written, the House had no speaker, leadership was undetermined, committee assignments remained uncertain, legislation was trapped in limbo, a budget was coming due – and Alaskans were getting the short end of the stick. The Legislature was stalled.

Worse, the thumbs-twiddling was costing the state a lot of dough each and every day while not much was getting done. The Legislative Information Office estimates it costs about $37,000 per day to pay for the Legislature while it is in session. That figure includes payroll, per diem and miscellaneous services and equipment costs. The 25 days of unorganized legislative inaction – a record, by the way – has cost Alaska about $925,000, with darned little to show for it.

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