Sen. Stedman takes over as chair of Legislative Budget and Audit Committee

(Photo by Senate Majority Press Office)

Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman is the new chair of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee, replacing Kodiak Republican Sen. Gary Stevens who filed to run for lieutenant governor.

The announcement comes today from Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks. The announcement also puts Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, into Stevens’ seat on Legislative Council.

Stevens’ position at the head of the LBNA committee was automatically terminated under state law when he filed for a statewide office. The statement says Stevens stepped down, but talk is he might not have known the implication.

“When a member of the council files a declaration of candidacy for an elective office other than that of member of either house of the legislature, and the member has not resigned from membership on the council, the member’s council membership terminates on the date of filing.”

The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is a powerful, though infrequently publicized, arm of the Alaska Legislature that can review and evaluate other state agencies. An audit published last year, for example, found the state’s new crime lab facility hasn’t made a material improvement on the state’s ability or speed to review criminal evidence.

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