Alaska Legislature

Republicans reject Gov. Bill Walker’s pick for vacant Alaska Senate seat

Randall Kowalke was in his church’s parking lot at 8:30 a.m. when he got a call from Gov. Bill Walker. It wasn’t the call he… Continue reading

Walker to GOP on Senate pick: Vote now

Walker to GOP on Senate pick: Vote now

Gov. Bill Walker isn’t backing down. In a letter to Senate President Pete Kelly, R-Fairbanks, and Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, the governor said… Continue reading

Walker to GOP on Senate pick: Vote now

DEC chiefs warn of health risks amid budget cuts

Leaders of the state agency charged with protecting Alaskans’ food and water are warning lawmakers that budget costs are increasing the dangers to Alaskans. Their… Continue reading

Senate advances bill to help team doctors

Team doctors visiting Alaska from the Lower 48 may still be able to legally treat their teams under a new bill approved 19-0 by the… Continue reading

Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke is seen in this undated portrait provided by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. (Courtesy photo)

Walker picks former businessman for vacant Alaska Senate seat, but Republicans will have a say

Gov. Bill Walker has chosen Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke to replace Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, who resigned to focus on his run for governor.… Continue reading

Mat-Su Borough Assemblyman Randall Kowalke is seen in this undated portrait provided by the Matanuska-Susitna Borough. (Courtesy photo)

Medicaid turns into budget battleground

A disagreement over state funding for Medicaid has exposed deep problems with the way the Alaska Legislature budgets for the unexpected. With Alaska facing a… Continue reading

Legislature tackles department budgets

The Alaska Legislature will continue its march toward a state budget this week as budget subcommittees in the House of Representatives enter the final phases… Continue reading

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers calls out his staff sitting in the gallery during his State of the Judiciary address before a joint session of the Alaska Legislature at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Chief justice asks for new Juneau judge

In a 27-minute speech that included allusions to the Bible and “Star Wars,” Alaska Chief Justice Craig Stowers delivered Alaska’s annual State of the Judiciary… Continue reading

Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers calls out his staff sitting in the gallery during his State of the Judiciary address before a joint session of the Alaska Legislature at the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Michael Penn | Juneau Empire  Members of the House Majority Caucus speak to each other during a break in debate on the House education bill at the Capitol on Wednesday.

Alaska House approves schools budget — but not a way to pay for it

The Alaska House of Representatives has passed a bill to fund the state’s public schools in the next fiscal year but has failed to allocate… Continue reading

Michael Penn | Juneau Empire  Members of the House Majority Caucus speak to each other during a break in debate on the House education bill at the Capitol on Wednesday.
Juneau School District Superintendent Mark Miller is pictured during a school board meeting in August 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska House to vote on school funding bill today

The Alaska House of Representatives is expected today to vote on a proposal that would fund the state’s elementary and high schools with $1.2 billion… Continue reading

Juneau School District Superintendent Mark Miller is pictured during a school board meeting in August 2017. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire File)
Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

Egan will not run for re-election

Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau, will not run for re-election. Egan made the announcement, which had been expected, in a Tuesday morning interview on KINY-AM, one… Continue reading

Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau

Elections division has plan to save $220,000 per year

A new piece of legislation being considered by the Alaska Division of Elections could save the state $220,000 per year. The bill, which has not… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)The Alaska State Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Bethel Democrats begin search for Fansler’s replacement

The Democrats of House District 38 in Southwest Alaska have been charged with picking a replacement for Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, but first, they have… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)The Alaska State Capitol, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
This Nov. 9, 2016 photo shows state Rep. Zach Fansler during a House news conference in Anchorage after the 2016 general election. House Speaker Bryce Edgmon on Jan. 27, 2018, requested Fansler’s resignation after a report in the Juneau Empire in which a woman alleged that Fansler hit her during a night of drinking. Fansler’s attorney has said there was no crime. (Mark Thiessen | The Associated Press File)

Rep. Fansler resigns after assault allegations

Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, has resigned six days after the Juneau Empire published details of an alleged assault by the first-term Alaska lawmaker against a… Continue reading

This Nov. 9, 2016 photo shows state Rep. Zach Fansler during a House news conference in Anchorage after the 2016 general election. House Speaker Bryce Edgmon on Jan. 27, 2018, requested Fansler’s resignation after a report in the Juneau Empire in which a woman alleged that Fansler hit her during a night of drinking. Fansler’s attorney has said there was no crime. (Mark Thiessen | The Associated Press File)
Senator Egan

Juneau man files to run for state senate

A Juneau man is seeking to run for the Alaska Senate seat held by Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau. Larry Cotter of Thane Road filed a… Continue reading

Senator Egan
Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, right, walks out of the Senate chambers on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, with Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Report says Alaska senator retaliated against staffer

Sen. David Wilson committed a “very serious case of retaliation,” according to a report compiled by the Alaska Legislature’s HR director and released Wednesday by… Continue reading

Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, right, walks out of the Senate chambers on Monday, Jan. 29, 2018, with Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, is questioned by reporters about Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Rep. Fansler has been accused of striking a woman in his hotel room last week. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)  Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, is questioned by reporters about Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Rep. Fansler has been accused of striking a woman in his hotel room last week. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Troubled Rep. Zach Fansler has not told House Majority if he will resign or not

A battery of cameras surrounded Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon on Tuesday morning, but they and the reporters behind them failed to reveal any… Continue reading

Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, is questioned by reporters about Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Rep. Fansler has been accused of striking a woman in his hotel room last week. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)  Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon, D-Dillingham, is questioned by reporters about Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018. Rep. Fansler has been accused of striking a woman in his hotel room last week. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
In this April 3, 2017 photo, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, right, listens to David Teal, fiscal analyst for the Alaska Legislature, during a Senate Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Dunleavy wins Juneau Republicans’ straw poll

Former state Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, has won a straw poll of Republican candidates for governor. The straw poll was conducted across two gubernatorial forums… Continue reading

In this April 3, 2017 photo, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, right, listens to David Teal, fiscal analyst for the Alaska Legislature, during a Senate Finance Committee meeting at the Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Senators take a moment of silence at the Capitol on Monday, Jan, 29, 2018, in memory of three Alaskan servicemen killed in action. The senate voted in favor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 to award the Alaska Decoration of Honor to David T. Brabander, Hansen B. Kirkpatrick and Jacob M. Sims. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Senate votes to award medals to three slain Alaska soldiers

The families of two men from Wasilla and one man from Skagway will receive medals awarded by the State of Alaska for military service. In… Continue reading

Senators take a moment of silence at the Capitol on Monday, Jan, 29, 2018, in memory of three Alaskan servicemen killed in action. The senate voted in favor of Senate Concurrent Resolution 14 to award the Alaska Decoration of Honor to David T. Brabander, Hansen B. Kirkpatrick and Jacob M. Sims. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, attends a House Judiciary Committee meeting at the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

After assault allegation, Fansler says he won’t resign. Will the legislators expel him anyway?

On Monday, the Capitol office of Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, was firmly locked. The legislator was absent from Monday morning’s House floor session, and his… Continue reading

Rep. Zach Fansler, D-Bethel, attends a House Judiciary Committee meeting at the Capitol on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)