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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

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

Legislature Votes To End School Bond Reimbursements, But Uncertainty Lingers For Anchorage

The Legislature has passed a bill that would put its school bond reimbursement program on hiatus. But the big question is whether it will affect Anchorage’s $60 million bonding proposition.

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April 1, 2015
As Legislature Passes Gasline Bill, Feud With Governor Continues

As Legislature Passes Gasline Bill, Feud With Governor Continues

The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill meant to keep Gov. Bill Walker from spending money on an alternate gasline proposal. The action is part of an ongoing power struggle between Republican leadership and the governor over the state’s most high-profile megaproject.

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March 31, 2015
Anchorage Democrats Offer ‘Emergency Fix’ For Alaska’s Oil Tax System

Anchorage Democrats Offer ‘Emergency Fix’ For Alaska’s Oil Tax System

With just three weeks left in the legislative session, a pair of Anchorage Democrats are offering what they describe as an “emergency fix” to Alaska’s oil tax system.

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March 31, 2015
Bill Would End Program Requiring Money For Art In Public Buildings

Bill Would End Program Requiring Money For Art In Public Buildings

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would end a program that dedicates money for art in public buildings.

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March 31, 2015

Senate Passes Pot Bill, Without Concentrate Ban

When Alaskans voted to regulate marijuana, a discrepancy was created where possession of small amounts of the drug was legal and where possession of larger amounts meant higher level felonies. The Alaska Senate has passed a bill to bridge the gap. And in the process, they rejected a controversial effort to preemptively ban marijuana concentrates.

March 30, 2015

Alaska Senate Delays Vote On Pot Legislation

The Alaska Senate has delayed a vote on its signature marijuana bill after saying they need more time to consider an amendment that would largely ban concentrates.

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March 27, 2015

Legislative Analyst Offers Gloomy Budget Outlook

Manipulating an Excel spreadsheet with dozens of inputs, Legislative Finance Director David Teal showed what would happen if the state cut formula programs, added a variety of taxes, and shrunk its agencies. None of the actions taken on their own made any difference. At projected oil prices, the state still does not close its multi-billion-dollar deficit.

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March 26, 2015

Lawmakers Seek Answers On Rape Kit Backlog

Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country, but it has no mechanism for tracking untested rape kits. Now, legislators are considering an audit to find out just how big the backlog is.

March 26, 2015

In Continuing Fight, Public Broadcasting Funding Axed

Earlier this month, public broadcasting survived an effort in the House to slash its state funding by half. Now, a subcommittee in the Senate has axed the appropriation entirely.

March 26, 2015

Alaska Senate Votes To Sunset School Bond Payment Program

The Alaska Senate has passed a bill that would stop state reimbursement of new school bonds, including ones that are currently being considered in Anchorage.

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March 25, 2015

Senate Bill Keeps Marijuana As A Controlled Substance

When the Alaska Senate votes on its primary marijuana bill later this week, the version they will consider treats marijuana as a controlled substance.

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March 25, 2015
Bill to seize federal land in Alaska nears vote on state house floor

Bill to seize federal land in Alaska nears vote on state house floor

A bill with the goal of seizing federal land is now one step away from a vote on the House floor.

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March 24, 2015

House passes bill to constrain Walker’s gasline plan

The Alaska House has fired its latest salvo at Gov. Bill Walker in an ongoing dispute over a gasline. The body passed a bill to keep him from pursuing an alternative to the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project on Monday, ignoring a veto threat from the governor.

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March 23, 2015

Bill Filed To Promote Language Immersion

At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools in the state.

March 20, 2015

Support For Daylight Saving Bill Falls Back

After sailing through the Senate, a bill to exempt Alaska from daylight saving time has lost momentum in the House.

March 19, 2015

Walker Introduces Medicaid Expansion Bill

After failing to expand Medicaid through a budget item, Gov. Bill Walker is trying again. He has introduced a standalone bill that would allow the state to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion, while also offering
some reform measures.

March 17, 2015

After Breaking Caucus Rule, Reinbold Stripped Of Committee Assignments

Last week, Rep. Lora Reinbold voted against the operating budget, breaking one of the House.e Majority caucus’ rules for membership. Now, the Eagle River Republican has lost her committee chairmanship, and her seat on all but one committee.

March 16, 2015

Medicaid Reform Bill Introduced In Alaska Senate

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.

March 13, 2015

House Passes Leaner Operating Budget

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.

March 13, 2015

Budget Consideration Sparks Medicaid Debate

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.

March 12, 2015