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.
The village of Kivalina is one of several Alaska locales threatened by eroding coastlines and rising sea levels. It’s planning to build a new school, and Northwest Arctic Borough officials are concerned about a proposal to extend a state moratorium on reimbursing municipalities’ bond debt to pay for new schools. (Photo by Joaqlin Estus/KNBA)

Legislators turn down request for $7M for rural school

The Senate Finance Committee voted on Thursday against adding $7 million in funding to replace the school in Kivalina. The additional funds were requested by Governor Bill Walker’s administration. Download Audio

Floor debate set to begin on oil and gas tax bill

The House could begin debate on the bill scaling back tax credits for oil and gas companies as soon as Friday. Download Audio

Representative, lobbyist argue whether ending tax credits is a money grab

Lawmakers say cutting tax credits to oil and gas companies may be a necessary step to close the state government’s budget deficit. Download Audio

House Rules Committee holds hearing on oil and gas taxes, first in over three weeks

After weeks of delays, a bill to overhaul the state’s oil and gas taxes could advance quickly. The House Rules Committee held the first public hearing in more than three weeks on the legislation Tuesday. Download Audio
Juneau Police closed Kennedy Street between 5th and 4th Streets as they investigated the death of Juneau Mayor Greg Fisk on the evening of Monday November 30th. (Photo by: Mikko Wilson / KTOO)

Bill seeks to insure families of deceased law enforcement and firefighters

When law enforcement officers and firefighters die in the line of duty, their survivors may be left without health insurance. Three families of state troopers who died in the past three years have been covered under orders issued by Governors Sean Parnell and Bill Walker. But a future administration could change this. The families are looking for a permanent solution that will cover themselves and other survivors in the future. But there's a debate over how that should happen. Download Audio
Gov. Bill Walker, pictured at a press availability on January 28, 2016. (File photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)

Alaska House to continue legal challenge to Medicaid expansion

The Alaska House plans to continue pursuing a legal challenge to Gov. Bill Walker's authority to expand Medicaid on his own.
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Alaska House votes to overhaul state’s criminal justice system

The House voted 28-11 on Thursday to adopt one of the largest overhauls ever to Alaska's criminal justice system. It would allow some low-risk nonviolent offenders to avoid jail time. It also would establish a new pretrial services program with a goal of reducing recidivism. And it would allow those in treatment programs to receive credit for time served instead of imprisonment.

Legislature making little public progress

It’s been more than two weeks since the Legislature was scheduled to finish its session. But not only have lawmakers not finished their work, there’s been little progress recently – at least in public. There have been no public meetings on the contentious oil and gas tax bill. And no recent meetings on the state budget or making changes to the Permanent Fund.

Legislature makes slow progress on criminal sentencing overhaul

Lawmakers found they had less room and not enough desks or phones to go around on Monday. That’s because they’re sharing space in Juneau’s Bill Ray Center while the Capitol is being renovated.
A white man with a bald head and glasses in a black suit and red tie speaks into a microphone

Impending crime bill looms as Legislature moves to temporary building

The Legislature didn’t do much work Friday, as lawmakers moved into their temporary digs in the Bob Ray Center while the Capitol is under construction. When House members return on Monday, they’ll debate whether to overhaul the state’s criminal sentencing laws. Supporters say the legislation will lower the risk of offenders returning to crime, but others are concerned that the bill goes too far in reducing penalties. Download Audio
Governor Bill Walker pictured in April 2016. (Photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)

Walker, industry leader have separate concerns on oil, gas bill

The types of oil and gas companies that would benefit from state tax credits would change, under a bill the House Rules Committee unveiled Tuesday. Governor Bill Walker says he’s concerned about these changes. The bill also received a cool reception from industry. But it may be the best chance to resolve one of the thorniest issues facing the state. Download Audio

Latest oil and gas tax credit aimed at gaining majority

Lawmakers are continuing work in Juneau. The House Rules Committee on Tuesday unveiled the latest attempt to rewrite tax credits for the oil and gas industry. The bill would save the state more money over the next three years than a previous version. But the savings are much less than what Governor Bill Walker proposed. Download Audio

Senate president aims to finish session in Juneau

The Legislature didn’t take any actions Monday as it began the second week after the scheduled end of the session. But Senate President Kevin Meyer said he’d like to see the Legislature complete its work soon. Download Audio

Lawmakers invite Walker to discuss budget, primarily Permanent Fund drawings

Lawmakers are considering some of the most wide-ranging changes in the history of Alaska finances this year. That’s why the leaders of the House Finance Committee invited Governor Bill Walker and top state officials to talk about their budget plan – especially, the latest proposal to draw from Permanent Fund earnings. Download Audio

Legislature looks to draw funds from Power Cost Equalization fund

The state House and Senate are trying to work out their differences over a bill that would draw money from the Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund. Download Audio
Gov. Bill Walker, pictured at a press availability on January 28, 2016. (File photo by Skip Gray, 360 North)

Budget talks are quiet as Walker projects optimism

Progress on the state government budget has slowed to a crawl this week. But Governor Bill Walker remains hopeful the Legislature can reach an agreement on an oil and gas tax bill that’s at the center of budget talks. Download Audio

Bill seeks to rein in state employees’ wages until oil prices rise

State workers wouldn’t see pay hikes based on experience until oil prices rise sharply, under a bill introduced Monday in the House. Download Audio
Rep. Mike Chenault. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

Legislators go past the 90 day session to bring budget together

Lawmakers blew through their 90 day session end last night and are back at work today, trying to bring a budget together that all sides can agree to. APRN's Juneau correspondent Andrew Kitchenman joins me now to talk about about the big stumbling blocks are. Download Audio

With session past scheduled end, focus is on oil and gas tax credits

The Legislature didn’t finish its work in time for the scheduled end of the session Sunday, but it became clear that the largest stumbling block is how much and how quickly to scale back tax credits for the oil and gas industry.

New proposal cuts all state funding to public television

Public television would lose its state funding in a budget proposal adopted by the Legislature’s budget conference committee Friday.