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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

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

Measure Would Increase Public Seats On Judicial Council

A group of Republican state senators want to change the make-up of a commission tasked with vetting judges for the governor. But some critics worry that could shift the balance of the judicial system itself.

February 17, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Former Alaska Territorial Governor Mike Stepovich Dies

Former territorial governor Mike Stepovich died early this morning, after being injured in a fall. Stepovich served as governor in the late 1950s and was a major advocate for Alaska statehood. He was 94 when he died. Stepovich was born into a Fairbanks mining family. Alaska Edition host and Anchorage Daily News columnist Michael Carey was a teenager when Stepovich was Governor. He says Stepovich was a strikingly handsome man who was Governor at at critical time in Alaska history.

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February 14, 2014 - 5:38 pm
(Alaska Airlines)

Legislators Rack Up Million-Dollar Travel Bill

In 2013, the state paid nearly a million dollars for lawmakers to fly across Alaska, across the country, and in some cases, around the world. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez reports that legislative travel costs went up nearly 50 percent last year.

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February 13, 2014 - 5:47 pm

Fabe Addresses Cost Of Delivering Justice

The State of the Judiciary address can sometimes be a lofty affair, where the head of the State Supreme Court sets out a vision for what justice in Alaska should look like. This year, Alaska Supreme Chief Justice Dana Fabe delved into more pragmatic concerns, like the effect of declining revenues on the state legal system.

February 12, 2014 - 5:37 pm

Measure To Elect Attorney General Moves Ahead

Alaska is just one of seven states in the country that does not elect its attorney general. A constitutional amendment that’s moving through the Legislature would change that.

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February 11, 2014 - 5:15 pm

State Senate Rejects Pay Raises For Governor, Commissioners

The compensation bill was approved unanimously and now needs a vote from the House.

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February 10, 2014 - 6:02 pm

Partnership To Combat Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

For nearly a year, a group made up of lawmakers, mental health advocates, and Native leaders have been working on a strategy to bring down the number of babies born with the disorder.

February 7, 2014 - 6:03 pm

Democrats Want PFD Guarantee Put In Constitution

A group of Democratic lawmakers is pushing an amendment to enshrine the Permanent Fund dividend in the Alaska Constitution.

February 6, 2014 - 6:10 pm

Should Local Funding Of Public Schools Be Optional?

Every year, politicians struggle with how much money to put toward public education. Now, they’re asking another question: Who should pay for it? One legislator is making the case that local governments shouldn’t be obligated to contribute to school budgets.

February 5, 2014 - 3:38 pm

Teachers, Parents Speak Against Using Public Funding At Private Schools

Many of the arguments against SJR9 focused on school vouchers. While the measure would not create a voucher system, it would enable lawmakers to set one up if they desired.

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February 4, 2014 - 5:11 pm

Marijuana Initiative Meets Signature Requirement

A measure that would regulate marijuana like alcohol has enough signatures to appear on the ballot. On Tuesday, the Alaska Division of Elections verified that over 31,000 of the signatures submitted come from registered voters.

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February 4, 2014 - 4:58 pm

Commission Wants Alaska To Have More Influence Over Arctic’s Future

After a year of meetings, the Legislature’s Arctic Policy Commission is rolling out its strategy for the region.
The draft report is over 100 pages, and it offers recommendations on how to manage maritime commerce and resource development in the Arctic, how to improve emergency response, and how to include the state’s indigenous population in policy decisions.

February 3, 2014 - 5:04 pm

Bill To Reject Pay Raises For Governor, Commissioners Moves Forward

A bill that would reject pay raises for the governor and his commissioners is on track to get a vote in the Senate. The Senate Finance Committee advanced the bill on Friday.

January 31, 2014 - 5:25 pm

With New Gasline Terms, TransCanada Role Evolves

Under AGIA, TransCanada was licensed to basically advance a project on Alaska’s behalf. The Parnell administration is now pursuing what they’re describing as a more traditional commercial agreement, where the state and the North Slope producers are partners in a project with roughly similar ownership shares.

January 31, 2014 - 2:44 pm

State Senators Push For Criminal Justice Reform

Criminal justice reform may be coming to Alaska. After spending the summer collecting more information on efforts happening in other parts of the country, the Senate Judiciary Committee has started holding hearings again on their omnibus crime bill.

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January 29, 2014 - 5:22 pm

Senate Panel Hears Bill On Elementary School Reading Programs

With education being a hot issue this legislative session, some politicians are looking at the basics of learning in their effort to improve student outcomes. Today, the Senate Education Committee held its first hearing on a bill that would establish a reading program targeted at kindergarteners through third graders.

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January 29, 2014 - 5:17 pm

Lawmakers Begin Review of Gasline Project

Gov. Parnell’s bill taxes natural gas at a rate of 10.5 percent starting in 2022. It allows for those taxes to be directly paid in gas instead of money. It expands the powers of the natural resources commissioner and the revenue commissioner to work out a deal with all the other parties involved.

January 27, 2014 - 6:37 pm

Parnell Proposes Slight Bump To Base Student Allocation

Gov. Sean Parnell introduced his education package Friday, and inside is a small increase to the school funding formula.
That increase would come through the “base student allocation,” which is the amount of money a school gets for each child enrolled.

January 24, 2014 - 5:49 pm

Educators, Lawmakers Rally Around Repeal of High School Exit Exam

With school districts working on their budgets and teacher layoffs looming, the potential change in the base student allocation is the most talked about portion of the governor’s education package. But part of the bill that has the most political momentum is a section that would repeal the high school exit exam that students need to graduate.

January 24, 2014 - 5:30 pm
Parnell Offers “Choice”-Friendly School Reform Package

Parnell Offers “Choice”-Friendly School Reform Package

During the State of the State address on Wednesday night, Parnell laid out an agenda that was friendly to the school choice movement, and he made a commitment to increase school funding if it passes.

January 23, 2014 - 12:00 pm