Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

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

After promising to expand the state’s Medicaid program on the campaign trail, Gov. Bill Walker has announced he will sidestep the Legislature to make that happen. Download Audio:

Last October, executive branch was ordered to release thousands of pages of documents related to the Guard just days before an election that then-Gov. Sean Parnell lost. Recently, Gov. Bill Walker has re-released many of those same records, along with new ones. Download Audio

Gov. Bill Walker is delaying payment of $200 million worth of oil tax credits. The veto is the most significant change the governor made to the state budget. Download Audio

The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of citizens to make changes to the congressional redistricting process through initiatives. With one congressional district for the whole state, it’s impossible to gerrymander Alaska when it comes to national representation. But the decision could draw more attention to how political lines for the Legislature are drawn. Download Audio:

Alaska’s film tax credit program has gone from comatose to dead. Gov. Bill Walker signed a bill ending the subsidies on Monday. The program was created in 2008, and it’s paid out about $50 million in credits to television shows, movies, and documentaries film in the state.

A new inquiry into the Alaska National Guard reaches many of the same conclusions as last year’s federal investigation into the force. It finds that sexual assault and harassment claims were mishandled, and calls for increased accountability and transparency to prevent future abuses.

Some rank-and-file members collected per diem while the Legislature was meeting in near their districts. Sen. Lesil McGuire collected more than $7,300, and Sen. Cathy Giessel received $5,000.

Nearly two months after its regular deadline, the Alaska Legislature finally gavels out. Both chambers have approved a $5 billion operating budget and agreed on a way to pay for the deficit. Download Audio:

As one of its final acts, the Legislature is advancing the Alaska Safe Children’s Act. After passing in the House during the regular session, the bill passed unanimously in the Senate today. Download Audio:

The Alaska House of Representatives has passed an operating budget, signaling the end of a stalemate over the state’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit.

The stalemate finally ended on Wednesday night, when a conference committee between the two bodies agreed to pay for the contracts this year, but placed limits on future increases.

After holding the bill for three weeks, the Senate Finance Committee has unveiled a new version of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act -- known nationally as “Erin’s Law.” Some controversial riders have been removed. Download Audio:

A spokesperson for the Senate Majority caucus has been arrested for a hit-and-run accident in the parking lot of the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. Press secretary Carolyn Kuckertz, 38, has been charged with three felonies and misdemeanor for allegedly striking two people while drunk. The arrest occurred on Tuesday around 5:30pm. Download Audio:

Between the regular session, the extended session, and now two special sessions, the Legislature has been meeting for 135 days. But even with all the extra time, lawmakers appear no closer to a budget deal than they were a month ago. Download Audio:

After weeks of an impasse, House Republicans have a new message for Democrats: Take our latest budget package, or we’ll go around you. Download Audio:

The House's Republican Majority is moving forward with a contingency plan to tap the rainy day account without Democratic support. The bill would shift money around the Permanent Fund without using it to plug the state's multi-billion-dollar deficit.

For weeks, the Alaska Legislature has been wrestling with how to cover its multi-billion-dollar budget deficit. Now one Juneau man has a modest proposal for them: Try crowdfunding. Download Audio:

With negotiations over the state’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit still underway, the Alaska House and Senate met in brief and uneventful floor sessions over the weekend. But legislative leaders say there has been some progress on a compromise between the Republican Majority and Democratic Minority.

The topics that came up after were varied. Some called for increased education funding, others Medicaid expansion, and then there were comments on a smorgasbord of other cuts. But there was one common theme: frustration.

The Alaska State Legislature has gaveled out of special session, without voting on any of the items on the governor’s agenda. But almost immediately, lawmakers called themselves back -- but on their own terms. They have formally relocated to Anchorage, and have set aside Medicaid expansion. Download Audio: