Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO - Juneau
The Alaska Legislature has nine days to go before the scheduled start of a special session. And it’s not yet clear whether a working group of lawmakers will recommend proposals the rest can consider during the session.
Alaskans will soon have a chance to weigh in with what changes to state taxes, services or permanent fund dividends they would like to see in the long term.
The Guardian reports Alaska assistant attorney general behind racist, anti-semitic and homophobic posts
The Alaska Department of Law is looking into allegations that Assistant Attorney General Matthias Cicotte posted racist, anti-semitic and homophobic comments on social media.
While the approach of the Alaska House Republican minority caucus is new, it’s rooted in frustrations building among some Republican legislators and voters for years.
The Alaska Federation of Natives and other organizations, municipalities and rural power providers sued Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration on Monday to keep the funding that helps lower power costs in high-cost areas.
The Mat-Su Borough had the country’s lowest number of reported COVID-19 deaths compared to the number of people who died in the borough beyond what would normally be expected, according to recently published analysis.
Some lawmakers say Gov. Mike Dunleavy's veto of nearly $300 per day of living expenses for legislators over a PFD fight sets a dangerous precedent that could limit the number of Alaskans who could afford to be legislators.
Dunleavy appointed Henderson six days after asking the Alaska Judicial Council for a new slate of nominees.
The working group may consider changing the formula for setting permanent fund dividends, lowering the maximum amount that the state government can spend and raising new or higher taxes.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he was going to veto the transfer. But his office failed to cross out the lines in the actual budget bill delivered back to the Legislature.
Dunleavy announced the veto as part of a larger list of line-item vetoes he announced on Thursday, a day after he signed the budget.
In a letter to the council, Dunleavy wrote “the slate of candidates put forward could be expanded to reflect the balance and diversity in philosophy and Alaskan experience requisite to adequately make a fair choice for the people of Alaska.”
Gov. Mike Dunleavy signed the state budget late Wednesday afternoon. But programs to lower the cost of electricity in high-cost areas and to pay for university scholarships won’t be funded starting on Thursday.
And legislators have said successful communication will be important this summer. Gov. Mike Dunleavy has charged the Legislature with coming up with a long-term solution for the state budget. But the vote on the shutdown didn’t go smoothly. It almost didn’t happen.
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes expressed confidence on Friday that the House will vote on Monday to avert much of state government shutting down, which could happen on July 1.
The House Finance Committee heard on Thursday from industry leaders who expressed concern about the impact of a shutdown on the private sector.
A new version of the state budget from Gov. Mike Dunleavy would set the Permanent Fund dividend at roughly $2,350, but it would draw more than planned from Permanent Fund earnings.
State officials are assessing which state services will continue and which will cease if the government shuts down on July 1, according to a spokesperson for the governor.
The Alaska legislative special session ended on Friday without an agreement to avoid a state government shutdown on July 1. Gov. Mike Dunleavy called the Legislature back into a new special session to start on Wednesday, June 23, with the goal of reaching agreement.