Alaska Legislature

Students in a second grade classroom at Ptarmigan Elementary School in Anchorage receive instruction from student teacher Erisa Koci.

Alaska’s education spending lags behind national average when costs are factored in, economists say

Adjusted for the cost of living in rural and urban areas, Alaska spends about 7% less per student than the nationwide average, according to a recent study.
two men

Committee dismisses ethics complaints against 2 Alaska lawmakers

Current and former Reps. David Eastman and Christopher Kurka were accused of allowing a visitor to improperly use state resources.
the Alaska State Capitol

Funding gap looms for Alaska’s domestic violence programs, but need for services is as high as ever

Domestic violence advocates are scrambling to adequately fund the groups that keep one of the state’s most vulnerable populations safe.
a building

Lawmakers hash out pet peeves over new Juneau legislative housing

Pets will be allowed in housing being prepared for legislators and staff, with apartments set to rent for $1,100 to $1,600 a month.

Alaska governor names Thomas Baker to fill vacated seat in Legislature

The seat came open when Rep. Josiah Patkotak was elected to serve as mayor of the North Slope Borough.
white-haired man with blue shirt smiles

A co-creator of Alaska’s PFD program calls for reinstating a personal income tax

Rep. Cliff Groh wants Alaskans earning over $200,000 a year to pay a 2% income tax, with other residents asked to "chip in" $20 to fund state services.
the front of a building

Alaska retirement board recommends closure of widely used plan after analysis finds flaws

The "managed accounts" program covers more than 10,000 of the 122,000-plus retirement accounts managed by the state.
a man in a black hat

Vic Fischer, the last surviving signer of Alaska’s constitution, dies at 99

Fischer came to Alaska after serving in World War II. He served two terms in the state Senate and remained active in politics until his final months.
Josiah Patkotak

State Rep. Josiah Patkotak resigns after winning North Slope mayor’s race

Patkotak’s resignation opens a vacancy in the Alaska House of Representatives, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy has 30 days to nominate someone to fill the seat.
shoppers in line

Alaska lawmakers pitch ways to close gaping budget gap from state sales tax to cutting oil tax credits

A revenue forecast released last week estimated the state has a shortfall of more than $450 million heading into the next fiscal year that starts July 1.
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.
the Willow project

New revenue estimate for Willow project presents rosier picture for Alaska treasury

Changed assumptions about tax credits, oil prices and other factors resulted in an estimate of early cash losses over a shorter period.
an oil facility in a remote, snowy area

Alaska regulators examine ConocoPhillips’ 2022 Alpine gas leak near Nuiqsut

ConocoPhillips says it now monitors well pressure more closely and would use more cement to reinforce its wells if needed.
Gary Stevens

Alaska legislators fail to block pay hike, but additional action is planned to stop it

A lengthy debate Wednesday resulted in no action by the Alaska Legislature to prevent a 67% salary increase approved by a state commission.
the Anchorage PFD office

House special committee takes up PFD question

Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, co-chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, which helps set Permanent Fund Dividend checks' amounts.
two Alaska students

Student leaders speak out against Dunleavy’s parental rights bill

Student advisors to the state Board of Education spoke out against what Gov. Mike Dunleavy calls his “parental rights” bill Wednesday.
acid mine drainage

State lawmakers join call to feds to intervene in Canadian mining upriver of Alaska

Southeast Alaska lawmakers are joining requests seeking to stop British Columbia’s mining activities in transboundary watersheds.
Jesse Kiehl and clean water advocates

Alaska senator’s fight to regulate ‘forever chemicals’ gets a boost from new federal standards

PFAS compounds, known as “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down in the environment, have been linked to cancer.
the Alaska State Capitol

Alaska legislators are again on track to ignore the 90-day session law imposed by voters

Court rulings have upheld the Legislature's ability to work until a 121-day constitutional limit, saying that guideline takes precedence.
the Alaska House Finance Committee

After years of contentious fights, Alaska’s state budget is advancing smoothly in the House

House subcommittees made few changes to a proposal authored by Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
lumber at a Home Depot

Local lumber bill would put grading in hands of producers

State Sen. Jesse Bjorkman's bill would allow certified sawmill operators to grade their own lumber rather than send it to third-party agencies.
the Alaska Senate

Proposal that would restrict transgender students’ rights lacks support in Alaska Senate

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s proposal was formally introduced in the House and Senate on Wednesday.
the Alaska State Capitol

Alaska legislators say state AG overstepped with Walgreens letter over abortion pill

Nearly two dozen members of the Alaska House and Senate signed on to a letter to Walgreens CEO Rosalind Taylor.
Mike Dunleavy

Gov. Dunleavy introduces bill requiring parent permission for sex ed, pronoun changes

Dunleavy's bill would require more parental permission to teach sex education and change students’ names or pronouns in school.
Gary Stevens and Cathy Tilton

Alaska Legislature votes down raises for governor and other top officials

The Alaska Legislature has voted unanimously to block raises for the state’s governor, lieutenant governor and commissioners.

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