James Brooks, Alaska Beacon

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the Senate Finance Committee

With public testimony phone lines clogged, Alaska legislators consider different options

Careful scheduling and greater use of Alaska’s 22 auxiliary legislative offices could fix the problem.
Heidi Hedberg

Alaska health department pledges to halve 10,000-person food-stamp backlog within six months

The pledge is the result of a class-action lawsuit against the department; the lawsuit is on hold until at least Oct. 31.
people in a meeting room

Alaska Senate approves new PFD payout formula, but final action remains distant

The Senate’s bill is equivalent to about $1,300 this year, and the amount could grow in the future if lawmakers find additional revenue.
Alaska House representatives

Revised bill would require Alaska parents to approve students’ classes, textbooks and lessons

Parents would also have to OK students’ nicknames and pronouns at the start of the school year.
Alaska state senators

To avoid spending from savings, Alaska Senate ponders smaller dividend, shrunken school increase

The full Senate is expected to vote on a draft state budget next week as the legislative session nears its end.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy weighs a statewide sales tax amid broader push for fiscal plan

With four weeks left in the legislative session, the governor advocated quick action during closed-door meetings with legislators.
three people behind a podium

Alaska House approves $6.4 billion state spending plan, sends it to Senate for further work

The proposal would cover state services for 12 months starting July 1 and includes a $2,700 PFD but is subject to further negotiation.
Eric Osuch

Fisheries protester removed from Alaska Capitol in handcuffs, arrested after fight

Eric Osuch has been outside the Capitol for more than a week, urging legislators and staff to take action against trawling.
a salmon rack

Judge throws out lawsuit accusing Alaska of mismanaging Yukon, Kuskokwim salmon fisheries

A state judge in Bethel has dismissed a lawsuit accusing state officials of mismanaging Yukon River and Kuskokwim River salmon fisheries.
the Alaska State Capitol

Alaska Senate bill proposes more legal aid for domestic violence victims, others seeking help

Alaska doesn’t guarantee legal help for Alaskans facing civil suits, so nonprofits bear an increasing burden.
Stanley Wright

New bill proposes to eliminate ‘predatory’ payday loan lenders in Alaska

House Bill 145 would restrict payday loan companies to the interest rates and fees charged by normal banks.
Alyse Galvin

To help state budget, legislator proposes income tax: $20 for most Alaskans, more for those with upper incomes

House Bill 156 would tax Alaskans 2% of any annual income above $200,000. If someone makes less than that amount, they’d pay $20.
a Donlin Mine worker

3 Southwest Alaska Native tribes sue feds, seeking to block Donlin Mine

Three Alaska Native tribes and an environmental law firm have sued the federal government, seeking to block a large Southwest Alaska gold mine.
Alaska House members

Looming state deficit encourages Alaska House lawmakers to quash budget additions

House legislators made few additions to their spending plan as they worked through a second day of amendments.
the Alaska Senate Finance Committee

Inadequate training and a fatal U-turn cost Alaska government $3M, settlement docs say

The state of Alaska will pay to settle claims brought by the family of a man killed in a 2018 crash caused by a state trooper.
a group of men in suits talk to each other

Alaska House votes for temporary boost to public school funding

This week, the House is considering amendments to a state budget proposal that contains a deficit of about $600 million.
the Alaska State Capitol

Bill would add second-degree murder charges for drug dealers in Alaska overdose deaths

Family members of some who died from overdoses support stronger penalties, but civil liberty advocates say it could deter calls for help.
Bert Stedman

Alaska House prepares to block legislators’ pay increase, but top senators say they’re uninterested

In the Alaska Capitol, committee chairs can exert an enormous amount of power, as demonstrated by the "Bert Locker."
Alaska House Finance Committee members

Alaska House committee removes funding for state attorney assigned to sue local school districts

A proposal from Gov. Mike Dunleavy was a "flashpoint amendment," one committee member said.
Bert Stedman

Fast-track budget bill, intended to help food-stamp program, speeds through Alaska Legislature

The Alaska Legislature has passed a fast-track budget bill intended to immediately address problems with the state’s food-aid program.