Alaska Legislature

A letter from the Alaska Broadcasters Association was sent to Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna, on July 1, 2021, condemning a post he shared on Facebook that compared journalists and medical professionals who disseminate information about COVID-19 to Nazis executed for war crimes. (Letter provided by the Alaska Broadcasters Association)
Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)

Broadcasters group decries lawmaker’s Facebook post

House Rep. Ron Gillham, who represents the Kenai-Soldotna area, posted a meme comparing journalists, medics to Nazis.

A letter from the Alaska Broadcasters Association was sent to Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna, on July 1, 2021, condemning a post he shared on Facebook that compared journalists and medical professionals who disseminate information about COVID-19 to Nazis executed for war crimes. (Letter provided by the Alaska Broadcasters Association)
Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ron Gillham is seen here in this undated photo. (Clarion file/courtesy)

Kenai lawmaker shares photo comparing media and medical officials to Nazi war criminals

Republican Ron Gillham represents the Kenai-Soldotna area in the Alaska State House of Representatives.

Rep. Ron Gillham is seen here in this undated photo. (Clarion file/courtesy)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, told reporters on Friday, June 25, 2021, she was optimistic a deal with the House Minority caucus would be reached by Monday. Both Stutes and Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, declined to give details on the deal. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, told reporters on Friday, June 25, 2021, she was optimistic a deal with the House Minority caucus would be reached by Monday. Both Stutes and Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, declined to give details on the deal. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year's second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, but said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year's second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021, but said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes (center), along with leaders of the House majority coalition, Rep. Bryce Edgmon (left) and Rep. Kelly Merrick (right) speak to reporters on the final day of a special legislative session on Friday. The special legislative session limped toward a bitter end Friday, with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreeing over the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this week. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Alaska House Speaker Louise Stutes (center), along with leaders of the House majority coalition, Rep. Bryce Edgmon (left) and Rep. Kelly Merrick (right) speak to reporters on the final day of a special legislative session on Friday. The special legislative session limped toward a bitter end Friday, with Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy and House majority leaders sharply disagreeing over the adequacy of the budget passed by lawmakers earlier this week. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn't rectify issues with the budget passed earlier this week by Friday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday, June 17, 2021, to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn't rectify issues with the budget passed earlier this week by Friday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This June 10 photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor is holding a news conference on Thursday to address the spending plan recently passed by the Legislature. (Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)

Watch: Dunleavy holds budget news conference

It’s slated for 2:45 p.m. Thursday.

This June 10 photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The governor is holding a news conference on Thursday to address the spending plan recently passed by the Legislature. (Courtesy Photo / Office of Gov. Mike Dunleavy)
Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

State avoids shutdown, but PFD questions remain

Capitol reopened, and lawmakers prepare for take off.

Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

House passes budget, fails key vote affecting PFD

House leaders left open the potential for continued talks or even possibly another vote.

(Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, spoke to the Empire on Monday, June 14, 2021, about the final budget proposal for the state which he helped craft. Some lawmakers said they felt bullied by the budget's contents. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, spoke to the Empire on Monday, June 14, 2021, about the final budget proposal for the state which he helped craft. Some lawmakers said they felt bullied by the budget's contents. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Without a budget to vote on, many lawmakers were absent from the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, as negotiations continue in committee. But even the conference committee isn’t scheduled until later in the week as deep divisions among lawmakers remain. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Without a budget to vote on, many lawmakers were absent from the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, June 7, 2021, as negotiations continue in committee. But even the conference committee isn’t scheduled until later in the week as deep divisions among lawmakers remain. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol was quiet on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, with several lawmakers excused even as negotiations over the state's budget continue. Lawmakers said they couldn't say when the budget might be put to a vote, but talks were moving to the more contentious items in the budget.
The Alaska State Capitol was quiet on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, with several lawmakers excused even as negotiations over the state's budget continue. Lawmakers said they couldn't say when the budget might be put to a vote, but talks were moving to the more contentious items in the budget.
Members of a bicameral conference committee of lawmakers, seen here at their first meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, will meet again Wednesday, June 2. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of a bicameral conference committee of lawmakers, seen here at their first meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, will meet again Wednesday, June 2. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol was quiet on Friday, May 28, 2021, as several lawmakers returned to their home districts for the Memorial Day weekend. Negotiations on the state's budget won't begin again until Tuesday, June 1. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol was quiet on Friday, May 28, 2021, as several lawmakers returned to their home districts for the Memorial Day weekend. Negotiations on the state's budget won't begin again until Tuesday, June 1. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of a bicameral conference committee of lawmakers, seen here at their first meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, met again Thursday to negotiate the final version of the state's budget. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of a bicameral conference committee of lawmakers, seen here at their first meeting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, met again Thursday to negotiate the final version of the state's budget. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome, at center, chairs the first meeting of a bicameral conference committee tasked with negotiating the state's final budget bill in the Senate Finance Committee chambers on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Lawmakers had said they wanted to finish before Memorial Day, but Foster said that didn't seem like a possibility. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Neal Foster, D-Nome, at center, chairs the first meeting of a bicameral conference committee tasked with negotiating the state's final budget bill in the Senate Finance Committee chambers on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Lawmakers had said they wanted to finish before Memorial Day, but Foster said that didn't seem like a possibility. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)