Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Anchorage
agutierrez (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.209.1799 | About Alexandra
The Alaska State House has voted in favor of Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan to shore up the state’s pension system.
The new law puts a set of recently adopted regulations into statute, and takes them a step further It specifies that the state will not pay for elective abortions. It limits the term “medically necessary” to cases where a woman’s life or physical health is at risk.
At $245 million, the biggest item in the capital budget before the Legislature is a power plant for the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The plant is needed to replace an old one that’s at risk of breaking down. The project is now before the House Finance Committee for review, and lawmakers are less surprised by the price tag than by how the funding package works in the first place.
Earlier this month, lawmakers announced they were killing House Bill 77, saying that emotions had become so inflamed over the permitting bill that it was best left alone. But now, some of its less controversial provisions might be coming back in a different form.
As initiative supporters cried dirty tricks, the House narrowly passed a minimum wage bill that has the potential to knock their proposition off the ballot. The night only got more tense when the Speaker of the House fired back on the floor.
The bill defines the term “medically necessary,” so it only covers physical harm – not psychological harm. Critics believe it will make it harder for low-income women to have access to abortion.
The Legislature has made little progress on Gov. Sean Parnell’s goal of addressing the state’s looming retirement problem. Parnell hopes to change that by filing a bill that reintroduces his plan to deal with Alaska’s $12 billion unfunded liability.
The Alaska State House opened debate on a bill putting limits on state Medicaid payments for abortions on Thursday, only to shelve it and delay a final vote to Sunday.
After rejecting a request that oil industry experts be required to testify under oath, the Senate Resources Chair cut off microphones when the Minority Leader attempted to explain why he thought the request was appropriate.
While a minimum wage bill that could pre-empt a ballot initiative is on the fast track in the Alaska State House, Senate leadership says the idea unlikely to get traction in their body.
The State is looking into the legality of using money earmarked for building repairs to construct a new tennis complex in Anchorage. The multi-million-dollar grant was suspended after Mayor Dan Sullivan’s opponent in the lieutenant governor’s race called the decision into question.
The sponsor of a constitutional amendment to reconfigure the Judicial Council says he wants a vote on the bill, even if the outcome is not guaranteed to be favorable.
A constitutional amendment that would reconfigure a commission tasked with vetting judges was pulled from a vote in the Alaska Senate on Monday after struggling to pick up the necessary support.
The Alaska House of Representative passed a sweeping education bill Monday night, but only after removing some of its more contentious elements and adding another pot of education funding.
With the Alaska House of Representatives set to vote on an omnibus education bill Monday night, rural legislators are prepared to fight a change to the funding formula included in the legislation.
The Alaska State House has delayed its vote on an omnibus education bill to Monday, giving lawmakers more time to wrestle with questions over teacher retirement policy and treatment of rural schools. But even though debate on the bill was delayed, that did not stop a crowd of parents from gathering on the Capitol steps to rally for more education funding.
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.