Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
A Medicaid reform bill has been filed in the Alaska Senate. Many Republican legislators have said reform of the state’s low-income health care program must happen before they accept federal dollars to expand it.
Every state agency saw its non-formula funding reduced compared to the previous budget. The Departments of Commerce, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs took the greatest hits, with funding cut by roughly a third each.
The amendment, which failed on caucus lines, would have allowed the state to accept $145 million in federal funds so that Alaskans near the poverty line can get health care through Medicaid.
The Alaska Department of Revenue expects a proposed tax credit for the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski to cost the state between $3 million and $4 million in foregone revenue annually.
Sen. Anna MacKinnon’s bill would eliminate the need to adjust clocks twice a year.
A group of teenagers are calling on Gov. Bill Walker to create a climate change task force.
At a pair of confirmation hearings on Tuesday, Adjutant General Designee Laurie Hummel was asked about her plans for reforming the Guard, and went through a personal line of questioning along the way.
Next year, Alaska is supposed to move forward on the engineering and design work of a natural gas pipeline. The project would cost at least $45 billion, with that amount split between the state, Exxon, BP, ConocoPhillips, and TransCanada. If the project gets built, it would allow Alaska to sell North Slope gas to Asia, and and use the revenue to help pay for state government. But there are a lot of things that must happen before the state gets to that point.
With the state facing a deficit of more than $4 billion, the budget is arguably the most important issue facing the Alaska Legislature this session. The House Finance Committee is now hearing from the public on its cuts, in preparation for any changes it might make to the spending proposal.
Legislators, aides and others heard an alternate viewpoint on Medicaid expansion from a senior fellow with an organization that has referred to the “dangers” expansion poses in states that opt for it.
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.
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.
The 25-page bill would require marijuana retailers and growers to be licensed by the state, instead of just getting business registrations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Just one day before marijuana possession becomes legal in Alaska, Gov. Bill Walker has filed legislation to create a marijuana control board.