Andrew Kitchenman, APRN & KTOO - Juneau


As of late afternoon Thursday, the Alaska Senate and House hadn’t made any public progress on oil and gas tax legislation. They met Wednesday, but they still can’t agree on how to replace the state system allowing companies to receive tax credits. Lawmakers only have two more days in the special session. Listen now

The first substantial day of legislative meetings in 20 days occurred Wednesday, but the two majorities in the Legislature were far apart — and not just politically. Listen now

Two state commissioners are making big money even though they don't have much work left to do. That's the story recently reported by the Alaska Dispatch News. Listen now

The Legislature’s special session hasn’t ended, two weeks since most state lawmakers left Juneau after passing the operating budget. Listen now

When the Alaska Legislature passed the state budget June 22, it also voted for the first time to cut money for Permanent Fund dividends. By doing this, it followed in the steps of Gov. Bill Walker, who cut PFDs in half last year to maintain state savings. The PFD cut will affect those in some Alaska communities more than others. Listen now

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker signed the state operating budget Friday without vetoing any of it. Listen now

The Senate plans to reconvene in Juneau on July 10 to try to overhaul oil and gas credits. But it’s not clear if there’s room for compromise with the House, which has different goals. Listen now

For the second time this year, a Republican from Matanuska-Susitna Borough left the state Senate majority caucus. Palmer Sen. Shelley Hughes left the caucus last Thursday to oppose the state budget. Listen now

The Legislature avoided a state government shutdown by passing an operating budget on Thursday, eight days before the deadline. But they haven’t addressed the capital budget, or other important issues facing the state’s future. Listen now

The Legislature passed a budget that avoids a state government shutdown Thursday night.

Lawmakers have proposed drawing money from the Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to pay for state government for the first time. But as the Legislature focuses on preventing a government shutdown, it’s increasingly likely the draw won’t be based on any one plan. And that’s raising concerns with lawmakers, the fund’s leader and a bond-rating firm. Listen now

House majority’s handling of budget debate was compared to Pearl Harbor attack, tyranny and Jim Crow laws. Listen now

A breakdown in negotiations between House and Senate legislators Thursday resulted in lawmakers not passing a state operating budget in the first special session that ended Friday. So Gov. Bill Walker immediately called for a second special session, but is limiting the agenda to only the operating budget. Listen now

The Alaska House passed a new budget Thursday night. It combined the operating and capital budgets.

Senate President Pete Kelly said leaders should focus on the budget. Listen now

The Alaska House voted to restore Permanent Fund dividends to the full projected amount of roughly $2,200 dollars this fall.

Clem Tillion has a message to lawmakers who want to reduce the PFD: Don’t think any changes you make are going to last.

Today, House Finance aides referred to it as a payroll tax. That’s because it would only tax the money people are paid for their employment, either on their employer’s payroll or through self-employment. But other forms of income – like the money people make on investments – wouldn’t be taxed.

Despite a looming deadline, lawmakers made no public progress this week on reaching agreement on a state budget and a plan to balance the budget in future years.

There’s a long list of state government services that would grind to a halt on July 1st if lawmakers can’t agree to a budget.