Alaska Legislature

The Alaska State Capitol in Juneau is seen on Friday, Feb. 23. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Legislature plans March 12 vote on Gov. Dunleavy’s executive orders

Order giving governor full control of Alaska Marine Highway Operations board among six scheduled.

 

Brenda Josephson, a Haines resident, testifies in favor of a bill setting statewide standards for municipal property assessors during a state Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee hearing Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Statewide standards for municipal property assessments sought in bill by Juneau lawmaker

Some residents say legislation doesn’t go far enough, want limits on annual valuation increases.

 

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, speaks Thursday, April 27, 2023, at a news conference in Juneau. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska House considers constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

The Alaska House of Representatives will vote as soon as Friday morning on a constitutional amendment that would guarantee the annual Permanent Fund dividend. The… Continue reading

 

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Analysis: Balanced state budget next year can include a $1,535 PFD and $680 BSA increase

However, a “statutory” $3,688 PFD would result in a deficit of more than $1.2 billion, report says.

Alexei Painter, director of Alaska’s Legislative Finance Division, presents an update of the state’s budget situation for the coming year to the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development at its meeting Wednesday in Juneau. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska’s education board sends a $500M wish list for construction and maintenance to lawmakers

The state’s Board of Education and Early Development approved a priority list for half a billion dollars in construction and upkeep for schools at its… Continue reading

The Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development at its meeting Wednesday in Juneau. (Claire Stremple/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson (left) answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

State officials working to meet Friday deadline for revised transportation plan

The federal government rejected the plan on Feb. 9, citing numerous deficiencies.

Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Commissioner Ryan Anderson (left) answers questions from state senators during a Senate Finance Committee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024 in Juneau, Alaska. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Rep. Kevin McCabe, R-Big Lake, speaks March 20, 2023, on the floor of the Alaska House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Proposal to define a fetus as a person in Alaska’s criminal code faces pushback

Opponents testified that the bill would threaten Alaskans’ abortion rights

Rep. Kevin McCabe, R-Big Lake, speaks March 20, 2023, on the floor of the Alaska House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks Monday, May 8, 2023, on the floor of the Alaska House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska House approves bigger merit scholarship for in-state high school students

The Alaska House of Representatives voted on Monday without opposition to raise the amount of the state’s merit-based scholarship program for high schoolers who attend… Continue reading

Rep. Justin Ruffridge, R-Soldotna, speaks Monday, May 8, 2023, on the floor of the Alaska House. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
State senators meet with members of the media at the Alaska State Capitol to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

Dunleavy threatens veto of education bill if more of his priorities aren’t added

It is not certain there would be the 40 votes necessary to override a veto by the governor

State senators meet with members of the media at the Alaska State Capitol to discuss education legislation after a press conference by Gov. Mike Dunleavy on the topic on Tuesday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (center) walks with Alaska Rep. Will Stapp, R-Fairbanks, and Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, into the Alaska House of Representatives chambers ahead of her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)

Peltola celebrates federal intervention in Albertsons, Kroger merger in legislative address

Congresswoman says wins for Alaska’s fisheries and state’s economy occurring through collaboration.

U.S. Rep. Mary Peltola (center) walks with Alaska Rep. Will Stapp, R-Fairbanks, and Alaska Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, into the Alaska House of Representatives chambers ahead of her annual address to the Alaska Legislature on Monday. (Mark Sabbatini/Juneau Empire)
Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks in support of Senate concurrence on a version of an education bill passed by the Alaska House last week during a Senate floor discussion on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Senate concurs on House education bill, Dunleavy is skeptical

Dunleavy schedules press conference Tuesday afternoon in Anchorage to discuss the legislation.

Sen. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, speaks in support of Senate concurrence on a version of an education bill passed by the Alaska House last week during a Senate floor discussion on Monday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska House approves relaxed environmental rules for ‘advanced recycling’

Applies to facilities using high heat or chemicals to turn plastic garbage into raw materials.

Rep. Tom McKay, R-Anchorage, speaks in favor of House Bill 143 on Friday. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

House passes $680 BSA increase, with other education provisions

Bill now returns to Senate, which must pass it unchanged before it can head to the governor’s desk.

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives celebrate the passage of a sweeping education bill on Thursday. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)

House approves $680 BSA increase, extra support for charter schools in education bill

Bill passes by 38-2 vote, Senate expected to concur with changes after days of negotiations.

House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, speaks during Thursday night’s floor debate on an education bill. (Screenshot from akl.tv livestream)
Andy Mills (left), legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Commissioner Ryan Anderson testify before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday about an executive order that would give the governor full control of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s operations board. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Andy Mills (left), legislative liaison for the state Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, and Commissioner Ryan Anderson testify before the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday about an executive order that would give the governor full control of the Alaska Marine Highway System’s operations board. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Governor seeks tougher criminal, civil penalties for unauthorized protesters

Bill also targets people who encourage or assist participants in illegal demonstrations.

Eric Bookless holds up a protest sign regarding the situation in Gaza while standing in a traffic median next to the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday. Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced a bill during the day that would increase the penalties and definitions of illegal protests, although Bookless’ actions do not appear to fall under its provisions. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Reps. Sara Hannan (right), D-Juneau, Andy Josephson (middle), D-Anchorage, and Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, discuss proposed amendments to an education bill during a break in Wednesday’s House floor session. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

House rejects sweeping changes in education bill, scheduled to resume debate Thursday

Lawmakers considered six different increases in per-student funding over several hours Wednesday.

Reps. Sara Hannan (right), D-Juneau, Andy Josephson (middle), D-Anchorage, and Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, discuss proposed amendments to an education bill during a break in Wednesday’s House floor session. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
The Senate chambers are seen at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Senate approves permanent extension of senior benefits program and three other bills

The Alaska Senate voted without dissent on Wednesday to permanently extend a state program that pays up to $250 per month to poor Alaskans over… Continue reading

The Senate chambers are seen at the Alaska State Capitol on Friday, May 13, 2022. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, addresses a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Sullivan touts new ocean cleanup headquarters in Juneau, attacks Biden in annual speech to legislators

Senator calls Trump “the best president ever” for Alaska, has harsh words for Iran and migrants

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, addresses a joint session of the Alaska Legislature on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)