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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra

In a press conference March 2, 2015, Gov. Bill Walker holds up a copy of House Bill 132 that would limit the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation's powers on the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline. House leaders introduced it earlier that day. The governor was adamant that the bill would hinder rather than help progress for the project by tying the state’s hands during negotiations. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Gov. Walker, Republican Leadership Tangle Over Proposed LNG Line

Since Gov. Bill Walker was inaugurated, he and the Legislature’s Republican leadership have traded reams of angry letters and testy press releases. Now, their paper battle has transformed into outright hostility in dueling press conferences. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez is on the line to talk about the disagreements over a proposed natural gas line.

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March 2, 2015
During a House Finance subcommittee meeting Feb, 27, 2015, Rep. Les Gara (left center) speaks out against cutting funds proposed in the state operating budget by Gov. Bill Walker that would expand Medicaid in Alaska. In spite of his arguments, the money was stripped from the budget bill. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

With Medicaid Language Stripped From Budget, Path To Expansion Uncertain

A House subcommittee has stripped Medicaid expansion language from the state’s operating budget. The move is a setback for the Walker administration, which has made Medicaid expansion a top priority, but the fight may not be over yet.

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February 27, 2015

New Marijuana Bill Would Require Alaska Residency Of Sellers

The 25-page bill would require marijuana retailers and growers to be licensed by the state, instead of just getting business registrations.

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February 25, 2015

With Budget Recommendations, Early Education Programs On Chopping Block

Pre-kindergarten grants, Parents as Teachers, Best Beginnings — all of these early learning programs were zeroed out in the budget recommendations offered by a House education subcommittee on Tuesday night.

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February 25, 2015

As Legislature Eyes Budget Cuts, Public Media Funding Targeted

Between operations and infrastructure, public radio and television were granted $5 million in state funds in the last budget. With the proposal offered by the House Finance subcommittee, funding would be reduced to $2.5 million.

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February 24, 2015

After Filing Bill To Limit Per Diem, Anchorage Democrat Pledges Some Of Her Own

A week after filing a bill that would prohibit legislators from collecting per diem when not in the capital, Rep. Harriet Drummond has pledged to return some of her own daily allowance. The Democrat will fly home for Anchorage caucus this weekend.

February 24, 2015

With School Choice Resolution, Legislature Revisits Voucher Question

With a crowd of charter school students in the gallery, the Alaska State House used a school choice resolution as a proxy for a debate on vouchers on Monday.

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February 23, 2015

Walker Files Bill Creating Marijuana Control Board

Just one day before marijuana possession becomes legal in Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker has filed legislation to create a marijuana control board.

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February 23, 2015

Walker Seeks To Scale Up State Gasline Project

When Gov. Bill Walker was elected, there were questions about the fate of the Alaska Stand Alone Pipeline project. The proposed $10 billion state-owned gasline was viewed as a backup plan to the large line currently being pursued alongside the North Slope producers, but Walker had criticized the project as being redundant. Now, Walker plans to keep the ASAP project alive — and make it bigger.

February 19, 2015

Walker Names Gasline Board Appointments

Gov. Bill Walker has appointed Rick Halford, Joe Paskvan, and Hugh Short as his directors on the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation board.

February 19, 2015

With Budget Changes, Walker Boosts Ferry, Community Jails Funding

With Wednesday’s deadline for changes, Gov. Bill Walker has sent his final amendments to the capital and operating budget to the Legislature.

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February 18, 2015
Alaska Lawmakers Frustrated After Meeting With Interior Secretary Jewell

Alaska Lawmakers Frustrated After Meeting With Interior Secretary Jewell

After President Barack Obama announced a plan to designate most of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as wilderness, Alaska lawmakers seized a chance to meet his Interior Secretary on their own turf. A team of nine legislators took a break from session work in Juneau to travel to Kotzebue this week to confront Sally Jewell about those actions. But while the meeting was hyped, neither the delegation nor the Secretary described it as a showdown.

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February 17, 2015

Sen. Murkowski Says Protecting Lands Is Top Priority

Beyond filing lawsuits and requesting meetings with administration officials, there’s little Alaska’s legislative or executive branches can do to influence President Barack Obama’s approach to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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February 17, 2015

Jewell, Governor, Delegation Descend on Northwest Arctic Borough

Instead of Juneau or Anchorage. For two days, the Northwest Arctic Borough is suddenly Alaska’s seat of power, with the governor, the lieutenant governor, the whole congressional delegation, and 10 legislators all descending on the region. But the most high-profile visitor is Sally Jewell, Secretary of the Interior and a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet.

February 16, 2015

Upon Filing Settlement Legislation, Walker Drops Point Thomson Lawsuit

Gov. Bill Walker has introduced legislation clarifying the powers of the attorney general when settling litigation related to Alaska’s oil and gas resources.

February 13, 2015

House Passes Arctic Policy Bill

The bill lays out the state’s values concerning the Arctic, and provides a general sense of direction for how lawmakers would like to see it developed.

February 13, 2015

Facing First Cuts In Years, Alaska Lawmakers Tackle The Budget

Right now, the Legislature is facing a deficit that some leaders are describing as a “$4 billion problem.” With oil prices half what they were a year ago, lawmakers are having to cut agency budgets for the first time in years. Today, the finance committees in the House and the Senate held their first hearings on the operating budget. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez was there, and joins us to talk about the Legislature’s approach.

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February 12, 2015
(Skip Gray/KTOO)

In Rare Appearance Before The Legislature, Walker Announces Plans For Point Thomson Lawsuit

Gov. Bill Walker has announced that on Friday, he will drop his Point Thomson lawsuit against the state and instead try to address his concerns with the settlement through a piece of legislation. It’s exactly what legislative leaders have been calling on him to do for the past two weeks. But the way Walker went about it left some of those same lawmakers less than amused.

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February 11, 2015
(Skip Gray/KTOO)

Chief Justice Stresses Need For Rural Presence

With lawmakers reviewing the state budget for cuts, Chief Justice Dana Fabe made the case for preserving the judicial branch’s funding in her annual speech to the Legislature on Wednesday.

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February 11, 2015

Lawmakers Consider Repeal Of Some Credits And Subsidies

Every year, the state of Alaska forgoes roughly a billion dollars because of tax credits, subsidies, and fee exemptions. With the state facing a multi-billion dollar deficit, the Legislature is taking a closer look at these potential revenue sources.

February 10, 2015