Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
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.
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.
House Finance Committee Chair Steve Thompson says the committee will not advance the Governor’s Medicaid expansion bill.
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.
The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Eight days after the statutory deadline, the Alaska State Legislature has adjourned. But as soon as the gavel dropped, Gov. Bill Walker issued a proclamation calling them into a special session.
Lawmakers may gavel out this evening after a week long stalemate on the budget.
After a week of lots of gridlock and little accomplished, the Alaska State Legislature lurched into some fits of action on the budget this weekend.
A three-quarter vote is needed to access the state’s rainy day fund, and the House’s Democratic minority has made their support conditional on a few priorities, like increased education funding and Medicaid expansion. The Republican majorities in the House and Senate are now considering ways to avoid that vote.
The 4142-page file was sent to news organizations at 3p.m. on Friday afternoon. Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News requested the materials nearly a year ago, during the Parnell administration, but were denied access until a superior court judge ruled for their release in October.
Gov. Bill Walker is calling on lawmakers to do work on bills for as long as it continues to be in extended session.