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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

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

House Republicans: Take It Or Leave It

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

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May 27, 2015

With Budget Talks Stalled, Republicans See Out With Permanent Fund Shift

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.

May 27, 2015

With Legislature At Impasse, One Alaskan Suggests A Kickstart

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.

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May 26, 2015

As Negotiations Continue, Little Public Action From Legislature

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.

May 25, 2015

Unhappy Public Speaks For First Time In Special Session

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.

May 22, 2015

Legislature Adjourns Special Session, Only To Call New One

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.

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May 21, 2015

‘Erin’s Law’ Hangs On For a Bumpy Ride

It took until Day 22 of the 30-day special session for a sexual abuse prevention bill to get a hearing. And when it appeared before the Senate Education committee Tuesday, it was in a radically different form than the original.

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May 19, 2015

Walker Announces Budget Vetoes, Warns Of Layoffs

In a letter sent to state employees, Walker explained that the partial veto is being made because the Legislature authorized $5 billion in state spending when only $2 billion are readily available.

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May 18, 2015

House Finance Committee Blocks Medicaid Expansion Bill

House Finance Committee Chair Steve Thompson says the committee will not advance the Governor’s Medicaid expansion bill.

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May 14, 2015

With No Budget Deal In Sight, Lawmakers Hold Brief Technical Session

The next floor sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday this week, and are also expected to be technical sessions barring any deal between lawmakers.

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May 12, 2015

Walker Administration Says Medicaid System Is On The Mend

The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials.

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May 12, 2015

While Pitching Expansion, Health Department Officials Cite Fixes To Payment System

The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials. The update comes as Gov. Bill Walker has asked lawmakers to accept federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid program.

May 12, 2015

Minority Democrats To Hold Own Hearings

As part of the Legislature’s majority party, Republican committee chairs have the authority to schedule official hearings. At a press availability on Monday, members of the minority explained they were dissatisfied with the progress of the special session, and decided to hold meetings of their own.

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May 11, 2015

With Foster Care Cases Up, Lawmakers Consider Funding Triage

The Walker administration is pushing for more funding for the Office of Children’s Services, in response to the growing number of foster children in the system.

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May 8, 2015

Lawmakers Seek Audit Of State Crime Lab

Sen. Berta Gardner, an Anchorage Democrat, filed a bill to audit the processing of rape kits in the state earlier this year, after a report by the Legislature’s research department was unable to get information on the number of untested kits.

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May 8, 2015

Can Alaska Lawmakers Break The Gridlock?

While negotiation meetings have taken place between legislative leaders and the governor, there has not been a formal structure with a clear, mutually agreeable path to a resolution.

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May 7, 2015
(Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles)

Grizzly License Plates Ready For Issue

The Division of Motor Vehicles has brought back a 1976 license plate that was originally issued for the United States’ bicentennial. The updated plate features a grizzly reared up against a sunset backdrop.

May 5, 2015

Legislature Votes To Allow Hearings Outside Of Juneau

While Gov. Bill Walker has ordered the Legislature hold its special session in Juneau, lawmakers may have found a workaround: He can’t control where they hold their committee meetings, or how often they have their floor session.

April 30, 2015

Walker Denies Request To Move Special Session To Anchorage

For days, the executive and legislative branches have been stuck on education funding, Medicaid, and the fundamental responsibility of paying for government. Now, they are disagreeing on where they want to disagree.

April 29, 2015

As Legislature Gavels In For Special Session, Leaders Ask For Break And Relocation

House Speaker Mike Chenault said he has broached the idea of taking a two-week recess and then reconvening back in Anchorage, noting that construction is scheduled to start on the Capitol building in a matter of days.

April 28, 2015