Alaska Legislature

Juneauites testify, ask Alaska Senate to boost school funding

Sitting in front of the Alaska Senate Finance Committee, Juneau schools superintendent Mark Miller held up a Magic 8-Ball. For the past several years, Miller… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker, right, speaks to KTVA-TV reporter Steve Quinn, left, on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2018 at the governor’s mansion. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Walker abandons push for $10M ANWR survey, instead asks for statewide 911 call center

Gov. Bill Walker is abandoning a push to spend up to $10 million on oil and gas survey work in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.… Continue reading

Gov. Bill Walker, right, speaks to KTVA-TV reporter Steve Quinn, left, on Tuesday morning, April 3, 2018 at the governor’s mansion. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska House approves $11.5 billion budget, sends it to Senate

With a 21-19 vote on Monday afternoon, the Alaska House of Representatives approved a $11.5 billion state operating budget and forwarded it to the Alaska… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

How much will the PFD be this year, and other answers to your questions

Here’s a simple guide to what’s happening in the Legislature, where things stand, and why. Q: What will the Permanent Fund Dividend be this year?… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, center, talks to Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, left, and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla during a break in the floor session Friday, March 30, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Legislators move to reverse proposed PFD boost

With a rapid series of procedural moves Friday morning, the Alaska House of Representatives cut a proposed $2,700 Permanent Fund Dividend to $1,600 in an… Continue reading

Rep. Lance Pruitt, R-Anchorage, center, talks to Rep. Chuck Kopp, R-Anchorage, left, and Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla during a break in the floor session Friday, March 30, 2018. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)
House Majority Leader Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, left, and former Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, react to reporters questions about the state’s budget during a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska state budget remains stalemated in House of Representatives

Four days after narrowly approving a budget amendment that boosts the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, the Alaska House of Representatives remains without the votes to… Continue reading

House Majority Leader Charisse Millett, R-Anchorage, left, and former Speaker of the House Rep. Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski, react to reporters questions about the state’s budget during a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday, March 29, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
In this March 1, 2017 photo, a river otter sneaks a peek from under the dock at Twin Lakes. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Otter work together: Alaska Senate urges feds to control Southeast sea otter population

The Alaska Senate is urging the federal government to work with the State of Alaska to control the population of sea otters in Southeast Alaska.… Continue reading

In this March 1, 2017 photo, a river otter sneaks a peek from under the dock at Twin Lakes. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Bill advancing in Alaska Senate could nix ‘good governance’ ballot measure

A bill is advancing in the Alaska Senate that has the potential to overwrite a ballot initiative planned for this fall’s election. On Tuesday evening,… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
From left to right, Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome; Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer; David Teal of the Legislative Finance Division; Gov. Bill Walker; Neil Steininger of the Office of Management and Budget; Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River; and Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel are seen at the signing ceremony for House Bill 321 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in the governor’s cabinet room of the Alaska State Capitol. (Drew Cason | Alaska House Majority)

Gov. Bill Walker signs ‘fast-track’ budget bill to avert shutdown of ferries, Medicaid

Gov. Bill Walker averted an impending shutdown of the Alaska Marine Highway System and the state’s Medicaid health insurance program on Tuesday by signing a… Continue reading

From left to right, Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome; Rep. Paul Seaton, R-Homer; David Teal of the Legislative Finance Division; Gov. Bill Walker; Neil Steininger of the Office of Management and Budget; Sen. Anna MacKinnon, R-Eagle River; and Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel are seen at the signing ceremony for House Bill 321 on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 in the governor’s cabinet room of the Alaska State Capitol. (Drew Cason | Alaska House Majority)
The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Reps. Parish, Kito divided by vote to boost PFDs

Correction: The first version of this article incorrectly stated that one of the four pillars of the coalition Alaska House Majority’s plan to balance the… Continue reading

The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, smiles after shooting in the rifle competition of the 21st annual Legislative Shoot on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Juneau Gun Club. Micciche’s team, Majority Arms, took first place overall. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Team named for gun-control bill takes top honors at legislative shoot

Team HB 75, with Rep. Geran Tarr among its members, earned honors as the top-scoring team from the Alaska House of Representatives in last weekend’s… Continue reading

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, smiles after shooting in the rifle competition of the 21st annual Legislative Shoot on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Juneau Gun Club. Micciche’s team, Majority Arms, took first place overall. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Juneau Rep. Sam Kito III will not run for re-election in 2018

Rep. Sam Kito III ended months of speculation in a Monday interview with the Juneau Empire by declaring he will not run for re-election this… Continue reading

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives meet for a floor session Monday, March 19, 2018 in the Alaska State Capitol. (Brian Hild | Alaska House Majority)

Alaska House of Representatives starts budget debate today

The Alaska House of Representatives begins debate today on amendments to Alaska’s proposed $11.3 billion state spending plan, but lawmakers still don’t have an agreement… Continue reading

Members of the Alaska House of Representatives meet for a floor session Monday, March 19, 2018 in the Alaska State Capitol. (Brian Hild | Alaska House Majority)
In this Feb. 9 photo, University of Alaska Southeast assistant professor of Alaska Native Languages Lance Twitchell teaches a basic Northwest Coast Formline Art workshop at UAS. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

House asks Walker to declare emergency for Alaska Native languages

The Alaska House of Representatives is urging Gov. Bill Walker to declare a “linguistic emergency” in order to protect Alaska Native languages. The House voted… Continue reading

In this Feb. 9 photo, University of Alaska Southeast assistant professor of Alaska Native Languages Lance Twitchell teaches a basic Northwest Coast Formline Art workshop at UAS. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Range officer Bruce Bowler dons his hearing protection before two teams participate in the pistol-shooting competition at the 21st annual Legislative Shoot on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Juneau Gun Club. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska lawmakers, staff and more muster for 21st annual Legislative Shoot

For the 21st consecutive year, lawmakers, staff and their families gathered at the Juneau Gun Club for the annual Legislative Shoot. The shoot invites teams… Continue reading

Range officer Bruce Bowler dons his hearing protection before two teams participate in the pistol-shooting competition at the 21st annual Legislative Shoot on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Juneau Gun Club. (James Brooks | Juneau Empire)

Alaska House prepares to take up operating budget

The Alaska House of Representatives is taking the budget to the floor. Late Friday, the House Finance Committee, along caucus lines, approved its version of… Continue reading

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Alaska finances better, not good, new report suggests

The State of Alaska will earn more money from oil than previously expected, but it still faces a multibillion-dollar deficit, according to new predictions released… Continue reading

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Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, presents House Bill 321, the “fast-track” supplemental budget bill, Friday, March 16, 2018 on the floor of the Alaska Senate. (Daniel McDonald | Alaska Senate Majority)

Alaska Legislature passes bill to avert shutdown of Medicaid, ferries

The Alaska Legislature on Friday morning approved a stopgap spending plan that keeps the Alaska Marine Highway System operating and the state’s Medicaid program working.… Continue reading

Sen. Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, presents House Bill 321, the “fast-track” supplemental budget bill, Friday, March 16, 2018 on the floor of the Alaska Senate. (Daniel McDonald | Alaska Senate Majority)

33rd annual Sham Jam fundraiser is Saturday

The Alaska Young Democrats and the Canvas will host their 33rd annual charity fundraiser, the Sham Jam at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Canvas art… Continue reading

Parish’s education trust fund bill passes House

Juneau Democratic Rep. Justin Parish guided his second bill across a finish line in the Alaska House of Representatives on Thursday as the House voted… Continue reading