Alaska Legislature

Gov. Bill Walker signs SB 91 in front of Sen. Donald Olson, D-Golovin, left, Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, and Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, in his Capitol conference room on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. The bill authorizes the chief medical officer of the Department of Health and Social Services to issue a standing order for the prescription of an opioid overdose drug. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov. Walker signs bill extending drug-abuse emergency through 2021

Lawmakers called Senate Bill 91 a tourniquet, a fire extinguisher and a defibrillator. The state’s top doctor said the metaphor isn’t important. What is important… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker signs SB 91 in front of Sen. Donald Olson, D-Golovin, left, Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, Rep. Ivy Spohnholz, D-Anchorage, and Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, in his Capitol conference room on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. The bill authorizes the chief medical officer of the Department of Health and Social Services to issue a standing order for the prescription of an opioid overdose drug. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

House sends bigger state budget to Senate

The music on the TV broadcast was Wu-Tang’s C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me), but Pink Floyd might have been just as appropriate. In a… Continue reading

House’s dubious amendments record foreshadows more money struggles to come

The Alaska House of Representatives has never heard this many budget amendments. On Friday afternoon, the House advanced to a final vote on its budget… Continue reading

Wasilla lawmaker would move Legislature to Anchorage, permanently

If a Wasilla lawmaker gets her way, the Alaska Legislature will pack up and move to Anchorage ─ permanently. On Friday, Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla,… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol, pictured Jan. 21, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Lawmakers slash own pay

Lawmakers in the Alaska House on Thursday voted to slash their own pay. Members of the House voted 34-5 to cut legislators’ pay by almost… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol, pictured Jan. 21, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Senate President Pete Kelly watches the vote on SB 26 in the Senate chambers on Wednesday. The Senate voted to use a portion of earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund to fund government and cap dividends at $1,000 per person. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

PFD on the chopping block

Lawmaker after lawmaker said the Senate does not relish the idea of touching what has long been a political third rail — the Permanent Fund… Continue reading

Senate President Pete Kelly watches the vote on SB 26 in the Senate chambers on Wednesday. The Senate voted to use a portion of earnings from the Alaska Permanent Fund to fund government and cap dividends at $1,000 per person. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Families of slain firefighters, police will benefit from a new bill passed by the House

The families of police and firefighters killed in the line of duty will be able to keep their health insurance under a bill approved 40-0… Continue reading

Alaska Senate considers cutting the PFD in half

The full Alaska Senate will on Monday consider a proposal to erase much of Alaska’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit. In the process, the proposal would effectively… Continue reading

Legislative parents name their ‘babies’ Tazlina and Hubbard

Their official christening is months away, but the parents have given their blessing on a name. On Friday, the Alaska House of Representatives voted 38-0… Continue reading

From left to right, three Republican minority members of the House Finance Committee: Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla; Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole; and Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage; discuss the results of Thursday’s committee meeting. (James Brooks photo | Juneau Empire)

State budget fight moves to House floor

Rep. Dan Saddler, R-Eagle River, called it a “reconnaissance by fire.” If so, it ran into some thick armor plating. This week, Republican minority members… Continue reading

From left to right, three Republican minority members of the House Finance Committee: Rep. Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla; Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole; and Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage; discuss the results of Thursday’s committee meeting. (James Brooks photo | Juneau Empire)

Panel begins review of Alaska legislative allowance

JUNEAU — The daily allowance that Alaska lawmakers can claim has become part of the discussion of how the state can reduce its multibillion-dollar budget… Continue reading

Parish offers free pizza, answers

Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, will host a “Pizza with Parish” event from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library’s front… Continue reading

Midway through session, Alaska lawmakers looking for fiscal fix

JUNEAU — Alaska legislative leaders say they are committed to taking major steps to address the state’s multibillion-dollar budget deficit this year, even if that… Continue reading

Legislature continues digging in to oil tax changes

ANCHORAGE ­— The House Resources Committee is in its second consecutive year of scrutinizing the state’s oil tax system as the Democrats now leading the committee… Continue reading

Alaska Senate leader: Passing a Permanent Fund bill critical

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — The majority leader of the Alaska Senate says he will consider this session a success if lawmakers pass the state operating… Continue reading

Senate’s budget fix highlights list of Legislature’s new bills

Lawmakers last week put what are likely the last big pieces of this year’s budget fix on their agenda. On Friday, the members of the… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, talks with Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 in the Alaska Capitol before Sullivan was presented with a legislative resolution in support of oil and gas drilling within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Legislature officially asks to drill Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Alaska House’s representative for the North Slope welcomed U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan to the Capitol with a gift Friday: A fresh resolution proclaiming the… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, talks with Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 in the Alaska Capitol before Sullivan was presented with a legislative resolution in support of oil and gas drilling within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is applauded after giving his annual speech to a Joint Session of the Alaska Legislature on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

In speech, Sullivan focuses on jobs but neglects Trump, immigration, health care

In 31 minutes, Sen. Dan Sullivan’s annual address to the Alaska Legislature contained no mentions of the Affordable Care Act, no references to immigration and… Continue reading

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, is applauded after giving his annual speech to a Joint Session of the Alaska Legislature on Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Senate Majority unveils plan including spending cap, big cuts and Permanent Fund spending to fix the budget

The leaders of the Alaska Senate have unveiled a proposal to fill Alaska’s $2.7 billion budget gap with the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund… Continue reading

Senate passes ANWR drilling resolution, which faces final concurrence vote in the House

The Alaska Senate agrees with the House: Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is good for the state. On Wednesday, the Senate voted 18-2… Continue reading