Alaska Legislature

Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters about the state's budget at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 19, 2022. The governor said lawmakers had sent a complete budget, and that there was no need for a special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters about the state's budget at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 19, 2022. The governor said lawmakers had sent a complete budget, and that there was no need for a special session. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers from both bodies of the Alaska State Legislature mingle in the halls of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the last day of the legislative session, following the Senate's passing of the state's budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers from both bodies of the Alaska State Legislature mingle in the halls of the Alaska State Capitol on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, the last day of the legislative session, following the Senate's passing of the state's budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, chair of the bicameral conference committee tasked with hammering out differences in the state's budget bill, signs the committee report as members finished their work on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, chair of the bicameral conference committee tasked with hammering out differences in the state's budget bill, signs the committee report as members finished their work on Tuesday, May 17, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
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Senate effectively kills restrictive transgender sports bill

Bipartisan group of senators votes to table controversial bill.

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Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday, May 14, 2022, rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is May 18. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday, May 14, 2022, rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is May 18. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers and dispensers recently came to an agreement  on a bill that could bring live music and extended hours to breweries. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. Alcoholic beverage manufacturers and dispensers recently came to an agreement  on a bill that could bring live music and extended hours to breweries. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022 in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there's a possibility the budget could pass. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022 in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there's a possibility the budget could pass. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Pamela Miller, executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, speaks at a rally at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 12, 2022, calling on lawmakers to pass legislation regulating PFAS chemicals, so-called 'forever chemicals' that have been found to contaminate water and cause health issues. PFAS contamination has been found at several sites around the state, mainly around airports where the chemicals are used in fire-fighting foams.  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Pamela Miller, executive director of Alaska Community Action on Toxics, speaks at a rally at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 12, 2022, calling on lawmakers to pass legislation regulating PFAS chemicals, so-called 'forever chemicals' that have been found to contaminate water and cause health issues. PFAS contamination has been found at several sites around the state, mainly around airports where the chemicals are used in fire-fighting foams.  (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was delayed Thursday, May 12, 2022, as lawmakers discussed in private how to move forward with a packed budget bill passed by the Alaska Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A floor session of the Alaska House of Representatives was delayed Thursday, May 12, 2022, as lawmakers discussed in private how to move forward with a packed budget bill passed by the Alaska Senate. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
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Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Senate Finance Committee Co-chair Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, speak with Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during an all-day debate on the state’s budget on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Tuesday, May 9, 2022.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire 
Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, and Senate Finance Committee Co-chair Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, speak with Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, during an all-day debate on the state’s budget on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Tuesday, May 9, 2022.
Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left, and Robert Myers, R-North Pole, read through one of 41 amendments submitted to the state's omnibus budget bill being debate on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Monday, May 9, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sens. Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, left, and Robert Myers, R-North Pole, read through one of 41 amendments submitted to the state's omnibus budget bill being debate on the floor of the Alaska State Senate on Monday, May 9, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska state Senate President Peter Micciche, center, looks on as lawmakers gather in front of him on the Senate floor on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. A bill dealing with the annual dividend paid to residents was bumped from the Senate floor on Wednesday. Micciche said it did not have the votes to pass. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)

Alaska lawmakers struggle with dividend debate

Legislative leaders have said they see resolving the divisive debate as critical.

Alaska state Senate President Peter Micciche, center, looks on as lawmakers gather in front of him on the Senate floor on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. A bill dealing with the annual dividend paid to residents was bumped from the Senate floor on Wednesday. Micciche said it did not have the votes to pass. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Lawmakers held a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, to vote to confirm Gov. Mike Dunleavy's appointments to state boards and commissions. All nominees were confirmed. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers held a joint session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, to vote to confirm Gov. Mike Dunleavy's appointments to state boards and commissions. All nominees were confirmed. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
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Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska House Republicans have removed Rep. David Eastman from their caucus, Minority Leader Cathy Tilton said Friday, April 29, 2022, citing tensions with the Wasilla Republican that have built over time. (AP File Photo/Becky Bohrer)

House Republicans remove Eastman from caucus

The decision comes with less than three weeks left in the regular session.

Alaska Republican state Rep. David Eastman speaks on the floor of the Alaska House on Jan. 31, 2022, in Juneau, Alaska. Alaska House Republicans have removed Rep. David Eastman from their caucus, Minority Leader Cathy Tilton said Friday, April 29, 2022, citing tensions with the Wasilla Republican that have built over time. (AP File Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, April 27, 2022, to call on lawmakers to pass a "substantial" Permanent Fund Dividend. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, April 27, 2022, to call on lawmakers to pass a "substantial" Permanent Fund Dividend. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)