Alaska Legislature

James Hart and Tom Morphet are seen in courtesy photos. Hart is seen in a 2017 image provided by KHNS-FM radio in Haines. Morphet is seen in a headshot he provided on Tuesday. (Juneau Empire composite)

Two more jump into Alaska House Democratic primary

Two late entries in the race for Alaska House District 33 have made the contest one of the biggest in the state. Just before Friday’s… Continue reading

James Hart and Tom Morphet are seen in courtesy photos. Hart is seen in a 2017 image provided by KHNS-FM radio in Haines. Morphet is seen in a headshot he provided on Tuesday. (Juneau Empire composite)

Former Alaska legislator Zach Fansler to plead guilty

A former Alaska lawmaker who was accused of hitting a woman earlier this year will plead guilty to a misdemeanor harassment charge as part of… Continue reading

Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
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Juneau school board member Andi Story will run for Valley House seat

Update: This story has been updated to include comments from Story’s announcement event Thursday afternoon. Juneau School Board member Andi Story is seeking higher office.… Continue reading

Andi Story, with her husband, Mike, and son, Ryan, announces her run for the Mendenhall Valley house seat at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, May 31, 2018. ( Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
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Former fishing company CEO Larry Cotter has announced he will withdraw his candidacy for Senate District Q. (Courtesy photo)

Candidate drops out of race to replace Sen. Dennis Egan

One of the three candidates running for the Alaska Senate seat covering northern Southeast has dropped out of the race. In an emailed statement Wednesday… Continue reading

Former fishing company CEO Larry Cotter has announced he will withdraw his candidacy for Senate District Q. (Courtesy photo)
Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, is seen in a 2016 file photo. (Juneau Empire file)

Reinbold, Saddler to clash in Alaska Senate race

Two incumbent Republicans in the Alaska House of Representatives will clash in a fall election for the Alaska Senate. On Thursday, Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle… Continue reading

Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, is seen in a 2016 file photo. (Juneau Empire file)
Eric Forrer, left, and Joe Geldhof, right, have sued the state of Alaska in an attempt to stop a plan that calls for borrowing up to $1 billion from global bond markets to pay oil and gas tax credits owed by the state. They are pictured May 22, 2018 in an interview at the Juneau Empire. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
Eric Forrer, left, and Joe Geldhof, right, have sued the state of Alaska in an attempt to stop a plan that calls for borrowing up to $1 billion from global bond markets to pay oil and gas tax credits owed by the state. They are pictured May 22, 2018 in an interview at the Juneau Empire. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
Jesse Kiehl, left, meets with supporters before his announcement to run for the Senate District Q seat in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 17, 2018. The seat is currently held by Sen. Dennis Egan who is not running for reelection. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Assembly member Jesse Kiehl announces run for state senate

A crowd of about 60 people gathered in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday morning for the most expected news of the political… Continue reading

Jesse Kiehl, left, meets with supporters before his announcement to run for the Senate District Q seat in front of the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, May 17, 2018. The seat is currently held by Sen. Dennis Egan who is not running for reelection. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers approve legislation, funding to test backlog of rape kits

Lawmakers approve legislation, funding to test backlog of rape kits

An effort to solve a backlog of untested evidence from rape cases across Alaska received a major boost from the Alaska Legislature this week, but… Continue reading

Lawmakers approve legislation, funding to test backlog of rape kits
Alaska Legislature’s last call is for more cocktails

Alaska Legislature’s last call is for more cocktails

At last call, the Alaska Legislature saved a cocktail for you. In the final hours of the 30th Alaska Legislature, Rep. Adam Wool, D-Fairbanks, offered… Continue reading

Alaska Legislature’s last call is for more cocktails
Don Etheridge is running for the senate seat currently held by Sen. Dennis Egan. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Lobbyist seeks to run for Juneau’s state senate seat

Longtime Juneau resident and AFL-CIO lobbyist Don Etheridge is running for the Alaska Senate seat representing northern Southeast Alaska. On Sunday, Etheridge filed a letter… Continue reading

Don Etheridge is running for the senate seat currently held by Sen. Dennis Egan. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
A road north of Juneau would have to negotiate the steep terrain of the east side of Lynn Canal, pictured here in a February 2014 Juneau Empire file photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Access money stays in Alaska’s capital budget

A proposal to transfer $21.3 million into the accounts of the Juneau Access project stayed within the state’s $1.5 billion capital construction and renovation budget,… Continue reading

A road north of Juneau would have to negotiate the steep terrain of the east side of Lynn Canal, pictured here in a February 2014 Juneau Empire file photo. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol is seen on May 10, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska hospitals, nursing homes face budget gap in Legislature’s bill

Alaska’s Medicaid program may run out of money as soon as the second week of June, leaving doctors, hospitals and nursing homes with unpaid bills… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on May 10, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage (left) speaks to Rep. Dan Saddler, R-Eagle River (standing center), Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton (standing right) and Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River (seated) before the final vote Friday, May 11, 2018 on House Bill 44. (Brian Hild | Alaska House Majority)

Legislature will boot ballot measure if governor signs ‘government accountability’ bill

The Alaska Legislature has likely removed a ballot measure from this fall’s statewide election. In a 39-1 vote Friday night, the Alaska House of Representatives… Continue reading

Rep. Jason Grenn, I-Anchorage (left) speaks to Rep. Dan Saddler, R-Eagle River (standing center), Rep. George Rauscher, R-Sutton (standing right) and Rep. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River (seated) before the final vote Friday, May 11, 2018 on House Bill 44. (Brian Hild | Alaska House Majority)
Conference Committee members Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, left, shakes hands with Sen. Donald Olson, R-Golovin, after the committee finished its work on the budgets at the Capitol on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska Legislature’s session will dodge record for fewest bills

In the final days of the two-year legislative session, lawmakers were making up for lost time. At the end of their first year, the 30th… Continue reading

Conference Committee members Rep. Steve Thompson, R-Fairbanks, left, shakes hands with Sen. Donald Olson, R-Golovin, after the committee finished its work on the budgets at the Capitol on Thursday, May 10, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Alaska Legislature adjourns after passing $10.4 billion operating budget

Alaska Legislature adjourns after passing $10.4 billion operating budget

The Alaska Legislature adjourned its 2018 session just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning after passing a $10.4 billion state operating budget that funds ferries, health… Continue reading

Alaska Legislature adjourns after passing $10.4 billion operating budget
Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna (left), receives a hug from Emily Nenon, Alaska government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The action network was a major supporter of Senate Bill 63, and the pair were celebrating the passage of SB 63 on Saturday, May 12, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska Legislature bans smoking in bars, restaurants and other public places

After six years of work, the Alaska Legislature on Saturday afternoon approved a statewide ban on smoking in most public places across Alaska. Senate Bill… Continue reading

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna (left), receives a hug from Emily Nenon, Alaska government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. The action network was a major supporter of Senate Bill 63, and the pair were celebrating the passage of SB 63 on Saturday, May 12, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
Alaska election officials respond to revealed hack attempt

Alaska election officials respond to revealed hack attempt

As the Alaska Legislature held a Thursday hearing examining the security state’s election system, the Alaska Division of Elections responded to claims that a hacker… Continue reading

Alaska election officials respond to revealed hack attempt
The Alaska State Capitol is seen on May 10, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska lawmakers near deal to finish budget, may adjourn session soon

House and Senate negotiators reached a breakthrough compromise on the state’s operating budget Thursday, approving a $10.5 billion spending plan for the coming fiscal year.… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on May 10, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alcohol bill on the rocks

A bill cutting serving sizes at the state’s breweries and distilleries appears likely to die in the Legislature this year, lawmakers said Wednesday. Rep. Adam… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker watches from the House gallery as legislators discuss Senate Bill 26 on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Walker still opposes The Road

Gov. Bill Walker has not changed his opposition to the Juneau Access road project. Reading a prepared statement, Walker press secretary Austin Baird said Tuesday… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker watches from the House gallery as legislators discuss Senate Bill 26 on Tuesday, May 8, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)