Creating Alaska

Organization & Procedures

The Constitutional Convention will have full authority to establish its own organization and rules for procedure, following its call to order by the Governor of Alaska at its opening session on November 8, 1955. This memorandum, prepared by the staff of the Alaska Statehood Committee, is intended to outline the major initial steps in the organizational process and procedure of the Convention, and to suggest some alternative approaches which may be considered.

A. Initial Procedures

  1. The law establishing the Convention provides that the Governor shall preside until temporary officers are selected.
  2. Election of a temporary chairman.
  3. Appointment by temporary chairman of necessary temporary committees, if any, such as, temporary committees on credentials, distinguished guests, or allocation of seats.
  4. Adoption of temporary rules (these may be some preexisting rules, such as those of the Territorial House or Senate, Roberts Rules of Order, or others, with a proviso that such rules are adopted in so far as they are consistent with and applicable to the Convention.
  5. The Act establishing the Convention states: "Following its organization the convention shall declare on behalf of the people of the proposed State that they adopt the Constitution of the United States. "

B. Establishing the Convention's Permanent Organization and Procedure.

  1. Election of permanent officers. Permanent officers must by law include a President and Secretary, and may include other appropriate officers, such as one or more vice presidents, and a sergeant at arms.
  2. Selection of technical and administrative staffs (see sections of this Handbook on Technical and Administrative Staffs).
    1. May be appointed by resolution of Convention.
    2. Rules may authorize President to select staff and set salaries.
  3. Provision of permanent rules of Convention.
    1. Appointment by President of permanent committee on rules. (Convention by resolution may require inclusion of particular rules, such as those dealing with selection of committees).
    2. Report of committee, with draft of proposed rules.
    3. Discussion and adoption of rules by Convention.
  4. Appointment of committees and committee chairmen.
    1. Rules may provide for appointment by President of all committee members and chairmen.
    2. Rules may require polling of Delegates to determine preferences for committee assignments, and consideration of stated preferences by President in making appointments.
    3. Committee chairmen may be elected:
      1. by the entire Convention, or
      2. by the members of each committee.

Thereafter the Convention will proceed with the work of drafting a Constitution, in accordance with such rules as the Convention adopts.