Andrew Kitchenman, APRN & KTOO - Juneau


The Legislature didn’t finish its work in time for the scheduled end of the session Sunday, but it became clear that the largest stumbling block is how much and how quickly to scale back tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

Public television would lose its state funding in a budget proposal adopted by the Legislature’s budget conference committee Friday.

The Legislature Friday narrowly approved former Fairbanks North Star Borough Mayor Luke Hopkins to serve on the board responsible for developing the Alaska gas pipeline. Download Audio

The University of Alaska faces a $50 million budget cut, due to a legislative committee vote on Thursday. Download Audio

The Legislature is trying to close the four billion dollar budget deficit this week. But a new report says the burden of closing the gap will fall too heavily on the poorest Alaskans. Download Audio

The House spent six hours debating oil and gas tax credits Tuesday night. And they’re not done yet – lawmakers will pick up the bill again Wednesday. Download Audio

The outlines of changes to the Permanent Fund became clearer today. Senate Finance Committee introduced a bill that would pay for much of the state government’s budget using the Fund’s earnings. It also would reduce residents’ Permanent Fund dividends, but make them more stable for the future. Download Audio

The Senate Finance Committee is looking to re-route money from a fund to offset the high cost of electricity in rural areas. Some Power Cost Equalization money would replace the Community Revenue Sharing program that the state government started when oil prices were higher. Download Audio
Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, at a Senate Majority press availability, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

The state Senate voted 16-2 on Saturday to pass a bill overhauling Alaska’s criminal justice system. Download Audio

Proposals to spend Permanent Fund earnings on the state budget will be a major focus of the legislative session’s final nine days. Download Audio

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to allow people to carry concealed firearms on University of Alaska campuses. Download Audio

The state corrections officers union wants Governor Bill Walker to retract key sections of a report released last year that criticized Department of Corrections policies and some officers’ actions. Download Audio
House Finance Co-Chairs Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake) and Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) confer during Saturday's hearing. The House and Senate Finance committees have most of the work this session, as lawmakers consider buying out TransCanada's stake in the Alaska LNG project. (Rachel Waldholz/APRN)

State budget talks are entering their final phase. The House and Senate have appointed members to a budget conference committee. Download Audio

Representative Kurt Olson, a Soldotna Republican developed a plan to tax Permanent Fund dividends back in February. But he didn’t introduce it at the time, because he wanted to see how the debate over plans from Governor Bill Walker and others unfolded. Download Audio

Congressman Don Young called on Juneau Republicans to support legislative funding for John Sturgeon’s legal fight over operating a hovercraft in a national preserve. Young also says that while he’s running for re-election, when the time comes for a successor, Alaskans should choose someone who’s young. Download Audio

Senators have amended a bill that would overhaul Alaska’s criminal justice system, taking steps that makes it more difficult for those convicted of sex crimes from benefiting from the bill’s provisions. Download Audio

The state government would buy the Legislative Information Office in downtown Anchorage for $32.5 million, under a recommendation made Thursday night by the Legislative Council. Download Audio

The Legislative Council meets Thursday to decide what to do about the Anchorage Legislative Information Office. A judge recently ruled the state lease for the building is illegal, because the state didn’t open it up to competitive bidding. Download Audio

What the Legislature does in response to the state government’s $4 billion deficit could have big effects on Alaska’s economy, according to a leading economist. Download Audio

Senators introduced four new bills Monday that would require local governments and schools to pay more for pensions, end two college scholarship programs, and cut the amount that municipalities receive in state funding. Download Audio