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Legislative News Headlines

Dan Bross, KUAC - Fairbanks

Legislature Passes Bill With Aid For State Refineries

The package, which includes state income tax credits and other provisions, was forwarded by Governor Sean Parnell as a means to ensure Alaska retains its refining industry as cheaper Lower 48 oil makes shipping fuel into the state an option.

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Daysha Eaton, KYUK - Bethel

YK Delta VPSOs Prepare For Firearms

When Governor Sean Parnell signs House Bill 199, approved earlier this month by the Alaska Senate, Village Public Safety Officers can legally carry firearms. The Yukon Kuskokwim region has the largest number of VPSO’s in the state.

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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Legislature Still Working To Make Deal On Education Bill

Having missed it’s adjournment deadline, the Alaska State Legislature is still at an impasse over the Governor’s education bill.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Lawmakers Search For Education Bill Solution

Full House: The House of Representatives and the Senate met in a Joint Session in the House Chambers on April 17, 2014. They confirmed all of the governor's appointees to boards and commissions. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Last night, the Alaska State Legislature failed to meet their 90-day deadline after the House and Senate couldn’t reach an agreement on a major education bill. Lawmakers stayed on the floor until 4am trying to wrap up their work, but it was not enough. Now, they’re back at the Capitol for a 91st day of session trying to hammer out a deal.

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Casey Kelly, KTOO - Juneau

Alaska Becomes The Second State To Officially Recognize Indigenous Languages

In the Senate gallery, an emotional Rep. Charisse Millett holds hands with Liz Medicine Crow while Senators debate the fate of the bill. The legislation, which passed moments later, makes 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages alongside English. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Supporters of a bill to make 20 Alaska Native languages official state languages organized a 15 hour sit-in protest at the Capitol on Sunday. Their dedication paid off early this morning, when the measure passed the Alaska Senate on an 18-2 vote.

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Steve Heimel, APRN - Anchorage

Legislature Passes Gov. Parnell’s LNG Pipeline Plan

The House voted 36-4 on the measure Sunday. The Senate later voted 16-4 to agree to the House changes. Senate Bill 138 would set state participation at about 25 percent in a project also being pursued TransCanada, the Alaska Gas-line Development Corp., and the North Slope’s major players. It would allow the project to move to a stage of preliminary engineering and design and cost refinement.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Missed Deadline Pushes Initiatives To General Election

Because the Legislature did not meet its midnight deadline, three citizen’s initiatives are expected to be moved from the August primary to the November general election.

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Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

With Education Standoff, Legislature Misses Deadline

With Education Standoff, Legislature Misses Deadline

All session, legislative leadership has promised to gavel out early, to be home in time for the Easter holiday. That didn’t happen. In fact, the Legislature did not gavel out at all. With the House and Senate struggling to make a deal on education, lawmakers are forced into extra innings.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Senate Passes Bill Transferring $3 Billion To Retirement System

Senate Passes Bill Transferring $3 Billion To Retirement System

After wrestling with how to approach the state’s massive unfunded liability for months, the Alaska Senate unanimously agreed to put $3 billion toward the public employee pension system just hours after their plan was released.

Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau

Effort To Revive Parts Of Controversial Permitting Bill Scrapped

An effort to resurrect parts of House Bill 77 was abandoned on Friday night.

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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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