Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO - Juneau

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Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.

Legislative Council approves plan to spend up to $5.5M to convert Juneau building into apartments for lawmakers

The council voted 9 to 5 to approve the plan to spend up to $5.5 million to turn the Assembly Building into 33 apartments for the session.
People in suits seated around tables in a meeting room

Alaska Senate considers different proposals to change PFD formula

The Senate Finance Committee considered two bills on Monday that would set PFDs at a lower level than the roughly $2,500 Gov. Mike Dunleavy proposed. 
Gov. Dunleavy stands behind a lectern next to a sign that says "relief for Alaskans"

As oil prices and inflation rise, Dunleavy pushes for higher PFDs and bonds

Dunleavy wants the state to issue $325 million in bonds to pay for construction of ports, airports, fire stations and other projects.
A man in a blue vest

Gov. Dunleavy defends state paying for settlement arising from his actions

Federal District Court Judge John Sedwick ruled in October that Dunleavy and his former chief of staff violated the First Amendment rights of two state doctors by requiring them to sign what they deemed a loyalty pledge.
A college campus on a snowy day.

Judge rules against students who sued the State of Alaska over scholarship fund

The students now must decide whether to appeal the judge’s decision.
People look at maps hanging on a wall.

Judge rules that redrawn Senate districts for East Anchorage and Eagle River violate the Alaska Constitution

The judge also found that the Alaska Redistricting Board violated the state constitution for how it drew the Southeast Alaska House district that includes Skagway.
Alaska Supreme Court Justice Craig Stowers asks a question about language on an election ballot during oral argument in an election recount case in Anchorage on Jan. 4, 2019.

Colleagues remember former Alaska Chief Justice Stowers for his dedication to law, courts

Stowers was chief justice from 2015 to 2018. He was a Superior Court judge for five years before becoming a justice.
People look at maps hanging on a wall.

Fate of Alaska’s new legislative map hangs in the balance as parties close arguments

Much of Friday was taken up by whether the board treated residents of Valdez and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough fairly when it put them in the same district.
a woman in a face mask

State Sen. Gray-Jackson becomes first Democrat in US Senate race

The Anchorage legislator says she would work to support access to abortion rights, voting and health care.
A man stands at a lectern at the front of a courtroom as people around him applaud

Alaska Chief Justice Winfree speaks to Legislature about the importance of protecting democracy

It was the 50th anniversary of the first time a chief justice addressed a joint session of the Alaska Legislature.
A college campus on a snowy day.

Anchorage judge to decide fate of $400 million scholarship fund

Lawyers for four Alaska university students and the state government presented their arguments to Superior Court Judge Adolf Zeman on Tuesday to determine the future of the Alaska Higher Education Investment Fund.
A conference room with a some people

Alaska congressional delegation details benefits of federal infrastructure law to state lawmakers

Alaska’s congressional delegation told state lawmakers that the state has a unique opportunity to take advantage of the recently passed federal infrastructure law. 
Lawmakers seated around a table

Alaska Senate passes bill to maintain website aimed at spending transparency

The website was launched by former Gov. Sarah Palin in 2008 but was down for nearly a year, beginning in April 2020.
A meeting room where many people are in masks.

Alaska House cancels regular floor session after ‘large portion’ of members exposed to COVID

House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, said contact tracing was ongoing and the decision was made “in an abundance of caution.”
Two men stand behind a podium in front of a Kurka campaign sign

Alaska governor candidate Christopher Kurka chooses Paul Hueper as running mate

Hueper made news in April when his house in Homer was raided by the FBI after investigators mistakenly identified his wife as a participant in the Capitol riot.
A man speaks on the floor of a chamber around other men at wooden desks

Alaska House takes no action against Eastman for Oath Keepers membership

The Alaska House did not take action on a proposal to punish Eastman for his membership in the Oath Keepers, a far-right paramilitary organization whose leader was recently charged with seditious conspiracy for his role in the Jan. 6 riots.

There’s more money coming in, but some Alaska legislators urge caution on PFD size

As lawmakers begin their work on the budget, some are raising concerns about how sustainable the governor’s plan is, and that could have big implications on the size of permanent fund dividends. 
lawmakers sit around a table

Legislative committee hires law firm to investigate the firing of Rodell as permanent fund head

The investigation will examine the circumstances of Rodell’s firing and whether there were improper actions or undue political influence by board members or by Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration. 
A man in a suit and tie behind a podium.

Dunleavy calls on Legislature to take action on PFD, state land sale and food security in State of State address

And he urged lawmakers to prove people wrong who say nothing will get done in an election year.