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Legislative News Headlines

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Legislators Enter Session’s Home Stretch

Education isn’t the only thing left on the Legislature’s plate. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez is our Capitol correspondent, and she’s joining us today to walk us through what lawmakers need to do in the 60 hours before they gavel out.

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KTOO News

Alaska Lawmakers Vote To Allow Medevac Membership Programs

Alaska Lawmakers Vote To Allow Medevac Membership Programs

Legislation allowing medevac membership programs to continue is on its way to Gov. Sean Parnell for his signature. The Alaska House unanimously approved Senate Bill 159 on Tuesday. It sailed through the Senate in late February.

Liz Ruskin, APRN - Washington DC

State House Approves 2016 Sunset Date For Alaska Film Tax Credit

State House Approves 2016 Sunset Date For Alaska Film Tax Credit

The state House voted Thursday to sunset the Alaska Film Tax Credit in 2016. The provision was part of a bill requiring state agencies to report to the Legislature on so-called “lost revenue.” That’s the millions of dollars in revenues the state doesn’t collect each year due to various fee exemptions and tax credits. The bill adds sunset dates to some of them, meaning those programs would expire if lawmakers don’t intervene before then.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

House Approves $3 Billion Transfer To Pension System

The Alaska State House has voted in favor of Gov. Sean Parnell’s plan to shore up the state’s pension system.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Parnell Signs Abortion Bill

(Photo distributed by Alaska Senate Majority)

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.

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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

State House OKs Refinery Subsidy Plan

The Alaska State House has a OKed a deal to give the state’s refineries – and one fertilizer plant — up to $200 million in subsidies spread out over five years.

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Ellen Lockyer, KSKA - Anchorage

Mat Su Borough FY 15 Budget Outlook

This week, the Matanuska Susitna Borough Assembly got a preview of the Borough’s preliminary FY 15 fiscal plan. This year’s budget outlook indicates that some cost cutting may have to be done before the Borough Assembly makes a decision on the final spending package.

Liz Ruskin, APRN - Washington DC

House Speaker Adds Agrium to Refinery Assistance Bill

Gov. Sean Parnell’s $150 million-dollar bill to subsidize Alaska’s oil refineries grew to $200 million today, when House Speaker Mike Chenault expanded it to include the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski.

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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Lawmakers Grapple With UAF Power Plant Funding

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.

Zachariah Hughes, KNOM - Nome

Bill Arming VPSOs Goes To Governor’s Desk

Village Public Safety Officers will soon be able to carry fire arms if Governor Sean Parnell signs a measure approved this morning in the Senate.

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Legislative Programs

Education Funding Activism

Gov. Sean Parnell has declared this year the education session the legislature, but if you are involved in schools in Anchorage you already know that education funding and policy are hot topics. On the next Hometown Alaska, host Charles Wohlforth will be joined by education activists to lead a community discussion on school funding and school choice. Should state funding increase, and should it be available to private and religious schools?

KSKA: Wednesday, 3/12, 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
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Alaska’s Natural Gas Pipeline Plan

Nobody ever said it would be easy to attract investment for one of the biggest construction projects on earth in the difficult conditions of Arctic Alaska, but we all know it happened once for the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Can it happen again for a gas-line?

APRN: Tuesday, 3/4 at 10:00am

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Choosing Capital Projects

Tradition is an important part of politics. The Alaska Legislature has long followed the tradition of keeping the state’s capital budget process confidential until the last minute, and then releasing and voting on it in the final days of the session. Some people think that leads to bad decisions. We’ll talk about Anchorage’s recent tennis court controversies, and other impacts of how the legislature does its job. Is there a better way?

KSKA: Wednesday, 2/19, at 2:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
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Permitting, the Public Process, and House Bill 77

The Legislature is going to go back into session next week, and one of the big issues they’re expecting to grapple with is permitting. A controversial bill that would put restrictions on water rights and limit who can appeal state decisions has been criticized by Native groups and fishing interests, but the Department of Natural Resources says it’s needed to streamline the agency’s work.

APRN: Tuesday, 1/14 at 10:00am

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Governor Sean Parnell

There are always surprises when the guest on Talk of Alaska is the Governor. You just never know what kind of questions are going to come in when the audience is spread all over the state. Way beyond politics as usual, it’s the resumption of the long tradition of Alaska’s Governor appearing on the next Talk of Alaska.

APRN: Tuesday, 9/24 at 10:00am

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