Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Public Media & KTOO - Juneau

1088 POSTS 0 COMMENTS
Andrew Kitchenman is the state government and politics reporter for Alaska Public Media and KTOO in Juneau. Reach him at akitchenman@alaskapublic.org.
Alaska News Nightly by Alaska Public Media

Savings on tax credits for oil and gas not as high as proposed

A bill to revise oil and gas tax credits from the House Resources Committee includes only a fraction of the savings Governor Bill Walker proposed. Download Audio

Senator’s bill to draw from Permanent Fund earnings advances

A proposal to allow state government to dip into Permanent Fund earnings is advancing in the Legislature. The Senate Finance Committee heard details Tuesday from Anchorage Republican Senator Lesil McGuire. Download Audio

Tax credits reduced for oil and gas companies

The House Resources Committee unveiled its version of an overhaul of the state’s oil and gas tax credits. Download Audio

Low oil prices not ideal for state budget

The Department of Revenue released a forecast today showing the state will bring in 800 million dollars less in oil revenue this year and next than the department projected in the fall. Download Audio

Google driver-less cars not coming to Alaska anytime soon

It may be a while before ice road truckers become ice road computers. But one of Google’s top lobbyists was in Juneau Thursday to talk about driver-less cars. Google state legislative affairs representative Ron Barnes wouldn’t commit to bringing autonomous vehicles to the Alaska anytime soon, saying that Google’s engineers determine where the company tests its cars. Download Audio
160216_Kwigillingok_powerhouse_01_waldholz-600x400

Lawmakers examine Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund

Rural Alaskans can pay three to five times as much for electricity than those in urban areas. That’s why the state launched the Power Cost Equalization Endowment Fund in 2000. It’s paid roughly $40 million annually to subsidize rural energy bills. Download Audio

State contemplates how it will pay for the budget

As the state legislature begins the final month of the session- one big question is looming: How are lawmakers going to pay for the budget? Download Audio

$63 million more in cuts voted by Alaska Senate

The Alaska Senate voted today on a state budget with 63 million dollars more in cuts than the House budget passed last week. Download Audio

Senate passes bill linking insurance premiums to credit rating

Alaska could join the other states in linking insurance premiums to personal credit ratings.

Walker seeks to streamline three agencies

Governor Bill Walker is seeking to streamline three state agencies responsible for financing economic development, housing, and renewable energy. He signed an administrative order Thursday requiring the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Energy Authority, and Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to find opportunities to become more efficient or consolidate.

Both chambers of Alaska Congress prepare to vote on budget

The path to setting Alaska’s state government budget enters a new phase this week, as both legislative chambers prepare to vote on different versions of the spending plan. As the House heads into a debate on the budget Thursday, it’s eyeing a proposal that includes a 280 million-dollar reduction from last year. Download Audio

Walker requires state agencies to improve efficiency

Governor Bill Walker is seeking to streamline state agencies responsible for financing economic development, housing, and renewable energy. He signed an administrative order Thursday requiring the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation, Alaska Energy Authority, and Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority to find opportunities to become more efficient or consolidate. Download Audio

Proposed criminal justice reform bill under scrutiny

Senators are working on a bill that would overhaul Alaska’s criminal justice system. The measure would reduce arrests and prison time for nonviolent offenses. It also would help prisoners re-enter society. But victim’s rights advocates and some legislators have raised concerns about the legislation. Download Audio

Budget proposal sent to House floor

The House Finance Committee sent its budget proposal to the House floor Wednesday. Including some late changes, the budget would cut spending by 280 million dollars. It also spends 225 million in funds left from the current budget. Download Audio

Ivy Spohnholz named to fill vacant Gruenberg seat

Governor Bill Walker named Ivy Spohnholz Tuesday as his choice to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Representative Max Gruenberg in February. Download Audio

House bill would protect use of opioid overdose antidote

The House passed a bill Monday that provides civil immunity to those who give an antidote to reverse overdoses from heroin and other opioid drugs. Anchorage Democratic Senator Johnny Ellis sponsored the bill. This made it unusual, since few bills sponsored by members of the minority party ever come up for votes.
Sen. Peter Micciche speaks on the floor of the Alaska Senate, Feb. 10, 2014. (Photo by Skip Gray/Gavel Alaska)

Alaska Senate weighing a bill to overhaul Medicaid

The Senate Finance Committee has been weighing a wide-ranging bill to overhaul Medicaid in Alaska. One provision is aimed at curbing the abuse of opioid drugs. Download Audio

Legislators moving funds from all over to cover budget issues

As legislators make cuts to the state’s budget, they’re looking to draw money from various state funds to cover costs. But some of these changes are raising concerns. The House Finance Committee is considering a budget bill that would cut state government spending 418 million dollars more than the 100 million in cuts Governor Bill Walker proposed. Download Audio

Rep. Gruenberg’s widow seeks control of husband’s records, is blocked

It’s been more than two weeks since Representative Max Gruenberg died, and his legacy lives on in the Capital: The House Judiciary Committee room was named after him. One area where his legacy is contested is what will happen to the legislative records he left behind. Kayla Epstein, his widow, wants control of his records, but she’s been blocked. She hopes the documents help the bills Gruenberg was working on become law.Download Audio

More cuts proposed to budget, everything from libraries to senior benefits

Alaskans giving public testimony this week on the House’s budget proposal oppose cuts to many areas. The Republican-led majority released a budget this week that included 145 million dollars more in cuts than Governor Bill Walker’s budget. It would reduce spending on everything from public libraries to senior benefits. Download Audio