Alaska Legislature

Brandon Howard, a cofounder of Amalga Distillery, left, serves mixed drinks to Nick Thein and Terra Veler at the distillery’s tasting room at Franklin and Second Streets on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, has proposed a bill that would allow the distillery to keep serving cocktails. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Legislator seeks ceasefire in bar wars

Alaska’s House Majority Leader has proposed a way to end the trouble afflicting distilleries in Alaska. On Friday, Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, proposed a bill… Continue reading

Brandon Howard, a cofounder of Amalga Distillery, left, serves mixed drinks to Nick Thein and Terra Veler at the distillery’s tasting room at Franklin and Second Streets on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017. Rep. Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage, has proposed a bill that would allow the distillery to keep serving cocktails. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

30th Legislature reconvenes this week for second session

The Olympics don’t start until February, but Juneau will host some opening ceremonies of its own as the second session of the 30th Alaska Legislature… Continue reading

Rep. Sam Kito, D-Juneau, Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau and Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, answer questions from Juneau area residents about legislative priorities during a townhall meeting at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Juneau legislators ‘worried’ about upcoming session

Juneau’s three-person delegation to the Alaska Legislature told a well-attended town hall meeting Thursday night that they are worried about what will and will not… Continue reading

Rep. Sam Kito, D-Juneau, Sen. Dennis Egan, D-Juneau and Rep. Justin Parish, D-Juneau, answer questions from Juneau area residents about legislative priorities during a townhall meeting at the Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Three finalists named to replace Westlake in Legislature

The Alaska Democratic Party has announced three finalists to fill the vacant seat in the Alaska House of Representatives left by the resignation of Rep.… Continue reading

In this April 2014 photo, Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, left, speaks with Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, and Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, in the House Chambers. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Rep. Tammie Wilson alleges bullying by former state senator

Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, is sharing her own story of being bullied in the state Legislature as she calls for harassment investigations within the… Continue reading

In this April 2014 photo, Rep. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, left, speaks with Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, R-Anchorage, Rep. Lynn Gattis, R-Wasilla, and Rep. Tammie Wilson, R-North Pole, in the House Chambers. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this Feb. 15, 2017 photo, Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue, speaks in support of his resolution to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during a House floor session. Westlake resigned from the Legislature last month amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Democrats announce list of applicants to replace disgraced legislator

Democrats in the far north House District 40 have named a list of candidates to replace Rep. Dean Westlake in the Alaska House of Representatives.… Continue reading

In this Feb. 15, 2017 photo, Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kotzebue, speaks in support of his resolution to allow oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge during a House floor session. Westlake resigned from the Legislature last month amid sexual misconduct allegations. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

State commission balks at cutting legislators’ pay

A state commission charged with setting the salaries of legislators will not recommend a 10 percent pay cut for lawmakers. In a split 2-2 vote,… Continue reading

The Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Juneau legislators will hold pre-session informational meeting

Juneau’s three members in the Alaska Legislature will hold a joint informational meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday night in the Mendenhall Valley Public Library meeting… Continue reading

The Mendenhall Valley Public Library on Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Mayor Ken Koelsch bags groceries for customers during an event at Super Bear in October 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska Legislature opens preseason with 24 bills, four proposed constitutional amendments

Each year, before the start of its session, the Alaska Legislature has what amounts to a one-week preseason. Legislators can file bills before the session,… Continue reading

Mayor Ken Koelsch bags groceries for customers during an event at Super Bear in October 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

State senator Mike Dunleavy resigns from Legislature to boost gubernatorial run

Dunleavy done left. In a surprise announcement, Sen. Mike Dunleavy, R-Wasilla, has announced he will resign his seat in the Alaska Legislature to focus on… Continue reading

Alaska Legislature’s preseason starts today

With eight days to go before the start of the 2018 Legislative session, the Alaska Legislature’s unofficial preseason starts today with the release of the… Continue reading

Sen. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, speaks in her Capitol office in Feb. 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

State senator seeks to overturn law allowing children to marry in Alaska

In Alaska, a 14-year-old can legally get married. Sen. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, has a problem with that and thinks other Alaskans do, too. On Thursday,… Continue reading

Sen. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, speaks in her Capitol office in Feb. 2016. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Alaska 2017: A year of almosts and maybes

Things almost happened in 2017. The Alaska Legislature almost shut down state government. Lawmakers almost revived the state’s income tax. They almost diverted a portion… Continue reading

Want to join the Alaska Legislature? Applications are open

Democrats have begun taking applications from Alaskans interested in representing the North Slope and Northwest Arctic Borough in the Alaska Legislature. On Friday, Alaska’s Democratic… Continue reading

Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kiana, speaks in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in February 2017. After being accused of sexual harassment by many women, Westlake resigned Friday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Westlake will resign from Legislature

Days after vowing to stay in office amid accusations of sexually harassing Capitol staffers, Rep. Dean Westlake says he will resign. In a statement sent… Continue reading

Rep. Dean Westlake, D-Kiana, speaks in favor of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in February 2017. After being accused of sexual harassment by many women, Westlake resigned Friday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

Accused of sexual harassment, Rep. Dean Westlake refuses to resign

Rep. Dean Westlake will not resign. In a statement issued late Tuesday, the Democrat from the Northwest Arctic Borough said that despite seven accusations of… Continue reading

Alaska state Sen. David Wilson, a Republican from Wasilla, addresses reporters Dec. 7 in Anchorage. (Mark Thiessen | The Associated Press File)

Alaska will not prosecute state senator who slapped a reporter

The state of Alaska will not prosecute Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, for slapping an Anchorage Daily News reporter in May. In a Tuesday letter to… Continue reading

Alaska state Sen. David Wilson, a Republican from Wasilla, addresses reporters Dec. 7 in Anchorage. (Mark Thiessen | The Associated Press File)

Investigator says state senator did not ‘upskirt’ staffer

An internal legislative investigation has concluded that Sen. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, did not sexually harass a legislative staffer in a June incident but did put… Continue reading

Assembly member and legislative candidate Jerry Nankervis chairs a public safety committee meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Deputy Mayor Nankervis seeks to leap from city hall to Capitol

Deputy Mayor Jerry Nankervis doesn’t let much get in the way of his fall deer hunt. That includes a run for the Alaska Legislature. Last… Continue reading

Assembly member and legislative candidate Jerry Nankervis chairs a public safety committee meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Keith Meyer, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, speaks to a meeting of the joint House-Senate resources committees in 2016. (Juneau Empire file)

Alaska gas pipeline may face 2018 funding crunch

The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation came back from China with a roadmap to build a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline. The corporation now faces a critical… Continue reading

Keith Meyer, president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation, speaks to a meeting of the joint House-Senate resources committees in 2016. (Juneau Empire file)