Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
Outside of a 20-minute Senate floor session, the only scheduled activity that took place on Tuesday was a Senate Finance committee press conference.
It is Day 92 of the legislative session, and lawmakers still have not reached a compromise on the state’s budget. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez joins us from a very quiet Capitol.
After a day of stalled and canceled meetings, the Alaska Legislature made small advances on a capital budget.
The hold up is a vote to draw from the constitutional budget reserve to fill a multi-billion-dollar deficit. Without support from the Democratic minority, the Legislature is short at least three votes to tap the rainy day fund.
Most of the high-level appointments made it through with unanimous support. But Attorney General Craig Richards saw significant — though not fatal — pushback from the Legislature.
The Alaska State Legislature is scheduled to gavel out on Sunday, before the stroke of midnight. But many of the issues lawmakers have delved into – the budget, Medicaid, marijuana – are still unsettled. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez joins us to talk about what the end game for the legislative session looks like.
With the president of the Alaska Federation of Natives by his side, Walker announced at a press conference that the state would make it easier for Alaska Native children to remain with extended family or with tribal members in adoption cases.
With the legislature scheduled to gavel out by midnight on Sunday, Governor Bill Walker has seen very few pieces of legislation make it to his desk. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez sat down with Walker yesterday afternoon to get his take on how the session is progressing. Walker said he thinks it’s still possible for lawmakers to get their work done on time.
The executive proclamation comes days after legislative leadership cancelled their confirmation session — and days after the governor sent a six-page letter reiterating that he would veto a contentious gasline bill and urging lawmakers not to override him.
The Alaska House has narrowly passed a bill that would claw back raises for many state workers.
A bill that applies a uniform code of military justice to the Alaska National Guard will not pass the Legislature this year.
In a 13-to-1 vote, the Legislative Council has decided to punt on the question of what to do with the Anchorage legislative information office.
With Alaska facing a multi-billion-dollar revenue shortfall, lawmakers are reexamining certain subsidies to see if they should remain on the books. The film tax credit program, which was vulnerable even in times of plenty, has gotten special attention.
As the Legislature enters its final days, the budget is the main concern. Alaska faces a multi-billion-dollar revenue shortfall, and even expenditures that have been considered sacrosanct are now seeing reductions. The cuts to education are among the most controversial. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez joins us to discuss them.
On Wednesday, the Senate Finance committee slashed more than $40 million in state dollars from the capital budget. A rural school project the state is legally obligated to complete was among the reductions.
Last week, Alaska Attorney General designee Craigs Richards joined 15 other states in asking the Supreme Court to uphold their bans on same-sex marriage. This comes just as legislators are deciding whether to support his confirmation in a vote later this month. The action has left some Democratic lawmakers in an uncomfortable spot.
Since the Murkowski administration, the Alaska House of Representatives has not passed a taxation bill where the levy goes beyond the oil industry. That changed on Wednesday, when the House narrowly passed a surcharge on refined fuel.
Of the nearly 200 bills that have been introduced in the Alaska House of Representatives, fewer than 20 have been put to a vote. On Monday, a controversial bill that would seize millions of acres of land from the federal government joined that group.
The Alaska Senate is moving an operating budget that reduces state spending by $220 million over the previous year. Debate was ongoing at press time, but APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez joins us for this update.
A pair of lawmakers in the Alaska House have filed legislation to reinstate an income tax.