Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
On Friday, state representatives will vote on a sprawling education bill that deals with everything from school budges to teacher tenure to the establishment of charter schools. Some lawmakers are already preparing for a marathon session.
A deal to buy the Anchorage Legislative Information Office building for $28 million is officially off the table. Rep. Mike Hawker, an Anchorage Republican, made the announcement early Thursday morning, at a six-minute meeting of the Legislative Council.
Between a contested Senate primary and a mess of ballot questions, the August election is expected to be particularly lively. But a set of unusual circumstances and odd timing has the potential to knock all but one of the citizen measures to the November general election, if the Legislature gavels out late.
Amid controversy over whether the non-residents can legally serve on state commissions, the Speaker of the Alaska State House is proposing a policy change that explicitly carves out an exception for the board that could oversee development of a natural gas pipeline.
If you’ve ever been charged with a crime in Alaska, it’s documented in an online database called “Courtview” that anyone can check. Landlords use it. Employers use it. Some people even use it use it while dating to see if their romantic partner has a criminal history. Soon, those searches could be limited to only cases where a guilty verdict has been reached.
While the Legislature is still hammering out how much money to put toward the base student allocation, the Senate Finance Committee has included a major injection of funds in their version of the operating budget.
This week, the House Majority Caucus released a new poll showing that about 70 percent of Alaskans support a citizen’s initiative to raise the minimum wage. Now, that’s got some legislators talking about making the change themselves. But initiative sponsors are not welcoming the possibility.
In the process of declaring “war on fetal alcohol syndrome,” a Fairbanks state senator was labeled as an enemy in the “war on women” by national media outlets for comments he made about birth control.
With less than a month of session to go, the Parnell administration is in a similar spot with HB77 as it was last year: Opposition came out strong and fast, key senators are on the fence, and movement on the controversial permitting bill has stalled.
Alaska Senate passes legislation that seeks to advance a liquefied natural gas pipeline.
A bill authorizing the state to build a billion-dollar bridge across the Knik Arm is back for consideration.
The State House wrestled with the tension between Alaska’s ban on gay marriage and the military’s recent policy of allowing gay man and lesbians to openly serve in the military.
The Alaska State House unanimously condemned language used by Gina McCarthy to describe gifts she received in the state.
A Californian that Gov. Sean Parnell had tapped to serve on a high-profile state board has withdrawn his name from consideration. The decision came before a legislative hearing where the nominee was expected to be questioned on his residency status, his tax records, and his ties to the oil industry.
After nearly a year of waiting for a rewrite of HB77, members of the public had plenty to say about the changes. They got their first chance to speak to them at a Senate Resources Committee hearing on Wednesday. Most of the testimony on the Parnell administration’s permitting bill was as negative as it was brief.
Over the past two legislative sessions, conservative lawmakers have prioritized an amendment that would allow public money to be spent at private schools. Wednesday was supposed to be the grand showdown, where the State Senate would take a vote on it. The measure did not even make it to the floor, because it did not have enough support to pass.
The new version of the bill will include provisions encouraging Alaska hire and addressing “project labor agreements.”
The State Assessment Review Board came under scrutiny after its chair was dismissed, and now Democrats in the Alaska Senate want Sean Parnell to withdraw the name of one of his board appointees because of residency issues. But the governor is backing his nominee
After sitting in limbo for nearly a year, a controversial permitting bill is on the move again. House Bill 77 has been sent back to the Senate Resources Committee, and it’s scheduled for hearings on Monday and Wednesday.
Last year, HB77 stalled in part because its opponents were vocal. People packed town hall meetings to tell their legislators to fight it, and tribes across the state passed resolutions asking for a “no” vote. But how widespread was that opposition? The Hays Group released a poll this week the gauges public sentiment on the bill.