Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill meant to keep Gov. Bill Walker from spending money on an alternate gasline proposal. The action is part of an ongoing power struggle between Republican leadership and the governor over the state’s most high-profile megaproject.
With just three weeks left in the legislative session, a pair of Anchorage Democrats are offering what they describe as an “emergency fix” to Alaska’s oil tax system.
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would end a program that dedicates money for art in public buildings.
When Alaskans voted to regulate marijuana, a discrepancy was created where possession of small amounts of the drug was legal and where possession of larger amounts meant higher level felonies. The Alaska Senate has passed a bill to bridge the gap. And in the process, they rejected a controversial effort to preemptively ban marijuana concentrates.
Manipulating an Excel spreadsheet with dozens of inputs, Legislative Finance Director David Teal showed what would happen if the state cut formula programs, added a variety of taxes, and shrunk its agencies. None of the actions taken on their own made any difference. At projected oil prices, the state still does not close its multi-billion-dollar deficit.
Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country, but it has no mechanism for tracking untested rape kits. Now, legislators are considering an audit to find out just how big the backlog is.
Earlier this month, public broadcasting survived an effort in the House to slash its state funding by half. Now, a subcommittee in the Senate has axed the appropriation entirely.
The Alaska Senate has passed a bill that would stop state reimbursement of new school bonds, including ones that are currently being considered in Anchorage.
When the Alaska Senate votes on its primary marijuana bill later this week, the version they will consider treats marijuana as a controlled substance.
A bill with the goal of seizing federal land is now one step away from a vote on the House floor.
The Alaska House has fired its latest salvo at Gov. Bill Walker in an ongoing dispute over a gasline. The body passed a bill to keep him from pursuing an alternative to the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project on Monday, ignoring a veto threat from the governor.
At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools in the state.
After sailing through the Senate, a bill to exempt Alaska from daylight saving time has lost momentum in the House.
After failing to expand Medicaid through a budget item, Gov. Bill Walker is trying again. He has introduced a standalone bill that would allow the state to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion, while also offering
some reform measures.
Last week, Rep. Lora Reinbold voted against the operating budget, breaking one of the House.e Majority caucus’ rules for membership. Now, the Eagle River Republican has lost her committee chairmanship, and her seat on all but one committee.
A Medicaid reform bill has been filed in the Alaska Senate. Many Republican legislators have said reform of the state’s low-income health care program must happen before they accept federal dollars to expand it.
Every state agency saw its non-formula funding reduced compared to the previous budget. The Departments of Commerce, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs took the greatest hits, with funding cut by roughly a third each.
The amendment, which failed on caucus lines, would have allowed the state to accept $145 million in federal funds so that Alaskans near the poverty line can get health care through Medicaid.
The Alaska Department of Revenue expects a proposed tax credit for the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski to cost the state between $3 million and $4 million in foregone revenue annually.