Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN - Juneau
As Legislature Passes Gasline Bill, Feud With Governor Continues
The Alaska Legislature has passed a bill meant to keep Gov. Bill Walker from spending money on an alternate gasline proposal. The action is part of an ongoing power struggle between Republican leadership and the governor over the state’s most high-profile megaproject. Download Audio
Anchorage Democrats Offer ‘Emergency Fix’ For Alaska’s Oil Tax System
With just three weeks left in the legislative session, a pair of Anchorage Democrats are offering what they describe as an “emergency fix” to Alaska’s oil tax system. Download Audio
Bill Would End Program Requiring Money For Art In Public Buildings
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would end a program that dedicates money for art in public buildings. Download Audio
Senate Passes Pot Bill, Without Concentrate Ban
When Alaskans voted to regulate marijuana, a discrepancy was created where possession of small amounts of the drug was legal and where possession of larger amounts meant higher level felonies. The Alaska Senate has passed a bill to bridge the gap. And in the process, they rejected a controversial effort to preemptively ban marijuana concentrates.
Alaska Senate Delays Vote On Pot Legislation
The Alaska Senate has delayed a vote on its signature marijuana bill after saying they need more time to consider an amendment that would largely ban concentrates. Download Audio
Legislative Analyst Offers Gloomy Budget Outlook
Manipulating an Excel spreadsheet with dozens of inputs, Legislative Finance Director David Teal showed what would happen if the state cut formula programs, added a variety of taxes, and shrunk its agencies. None of the actions taken on their own made any difference. At projected oil prices, the state still does not close its multi-billion-dollar deficit. Download Audio
Lawmakers Seek Answers On Rape Kit Backlog
Alaska has the highest rate of sexual assault in the country, but it has no mechanism for tracking untested rape kits. Now, legislators are considering an audit to find out just how big the backlog is.
In Continuing Fight, Public Broadcasting Funding Axed
Earlier this month, public broadcasting survived an effort in the House to slash its state funding by half. Now, a subcommittee in the Senate has axed the appropriation entirely.
Alaska Senate Votes To Sunset School Bond Payment Program
The Alaska Senate has passed a bill that would stop state reimbursement of new school bonds, including ones that are currently being considered in Anchorage. Download Audio
Senate Bill Keeps Marijuana As A Controlled Substance
When the Alaska Senate votes on its primary marijuana bill later this week, the version they will consider treats marijuana as a controlled substance. Download Audio
Bill to seize federal land in Alaska nears vote on state house floor
A bill with the goal of seizing federal land is now one step away from a vote on the House floor. Download Audio
House passes bill to constrain Walker’s gasline plan
The Alaska House has fired its latest salvo at Gov. Bill Walker in an ongoing dispute over a gasline. The body passed a bill to keep him from pursuing an alternative to the Alaska Liquefied Natural Gas project on Monday, ignoring a veto threat from the governor. Download Audio
Bill Filed To Promote Language Immersion
At least 20 distinct Native languages are spoken in Alaska, and every year, the population of speakers gets a little smaller. A Golovin senator now wants to reverse that trend by encouraging immersion language charter schools in the state.
Support For Daylight Saving Bill Falls Back
After sailing through the Senate, a bill to exempt Alaska from daylight saving time has lost momentum in the House.
Walker Introduces Medicaid Expansion Bill
After failing to expand Medicaid through a budget item, Gov. Bill Walker is trying again. He has introduced a standalone bill that would allow the state to accept federal funding for Medicaid expansion, while also offering some reform measures.
After Breaking Caucus Rule, Reinbold Stripped Of Committee Assignments
Last week, Rep. Lora Reinbold voted against the operating budget, breaking one of the House.e Majority caucus’ rules for membership. Now, the Eagle River Republican has lost her committee chairmanship, and her seat on all but one committee.
Medicaid Reform Bill Introduced In Alaska Senate
A Medicaid reform bill has been filed in the Alaska Senate. Many Republican legislators have said reform of the state’s low-income health care program must happen before they accept federal dollars to expand it.
House Passes Leaner Operating Budget
Every state agency saw its non-formula funding reduced compared to the previous budget. The Departments of Commerce, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs took the greatest hits, with funding cut by roughly a third each.
Budget Consideration Sparks Medicaid Debate
The amendment, which failed on caucus lines, would have allowed the state to accept $145 million in federal funds so that Alaskans near the poverty line can get health care through Medicaid.
House Speaker Reattempts Agrium Tax Credit
The Alaska Department of Revenue expects a proposed tax credit for the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski to cost the state between $3 million and $4 million in foregone revenue annually.