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Liz Raines

Stories by Liz Raines

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House approves measure limiting opioid prescriptions

    by Liz Raines on May 22, 20:14

    On Monday, the Alaska House passed a bill to limit initial opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply. House Bill 159 is part of a push from Governor Bill Walker’s administration to address the state’s growing opioid epidemic, which Walker declared a disaster in February. While members of the House spent nearly four hours debating the […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Special session off to sluggish start in Juneau

    by Liz Raines on May 18, 17:49

    Thursday marked Day 122 for lawmakers in Juneau – the first day of a special session after the Alaska Legislature failed to pass a budget before its constitutional deadline Wednesday. By midday Thursday, the halls of the Capitol were sparsely populated. Many lawmakers had already left town for the weekend, acknowledging that work wouldn’t ramp-up […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Legislature passes bill to allow ride-sharing companies like Uber, Lyft in Alaska

    by Liz Raines on May 17, 13:52

    On the last day of the constitutionally-mandated legislative session, the Senate gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would open the door for ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft to do business in Alaska. Throughout the legislative session, lawmakers have debated the balance of power between municipal and state regulation over drivers and the […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House bundles manicurist, vet regulations into fast-track bill

    by Liz Raines on May 16, 20:53

    As the clock winds down on the constitutionally mandated 121-day session in Juneau, lawmakers in the Alaska House are shifting attention to non-budget, priority bills. One of them aims to reduce coursework and testing requirements for manicurists working in nail salons across the state. On Tuesday, the House tied the measure’s fate to a bill […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House, Senate agree to comply with Real ID Act, but pass different bills

    by Liz Raines on May 15, 15:17

    The Alaska House and Senate have both agreed to comply with the federal Real ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, but the two legislative bodies passed different bills to do so. On Monday, the Senate approved provisions from Gov. Walker’s Real ID legislation with a vote of 14 to 5. But its fate was […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska Senate votes down income tax proposal

    by Liz Raines on May 12, 14:30

    The Alaska Senate has voted down an income tax proposal approved by the House and designed to fund education. The Senate last Wednesday unanimously approved waiving House Bill 115 from two committees after the measure received four hearings in the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee. It failed Friday primarily along party lines on a vote […]

  • News

    Tillerson straddles fence on U.S. climate change policy at Arctic Council

    by Liz Raines on May 11, 17:47

    Climate change was the elephant in the room Thursday as the U.S. handed over chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Finland. Heads of state of all eight Arctic member nations articulated their visions for the Council moving forward. Most of those visions aligned, but there were big differences between the messages coming from the U.S. […]

  • Arctic

    Researchers, Alaskans urge Tillerson to support Paris Agreement, climate change research

    by Liz Raines on May 11, 7:40

    As Secretary of State Rex Tillerson landed in Fairbanks for the handover of the United State’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council to Finland, locals gathered in the Golden Heart Plaza with a message. “Rex: Ignoring climate change research = a huge gamble on our grandchildrens’ future,” the sign of one of dozens of protesters read. […]

  • Arctic

    Fairbanks prepares to host Arctic Council, State Secretary Rex Tillerson

    by Liz Raines on May 09, 18:53

    More than a thousand people are headed to Fairbanks this week for the Arctic Council ministerial meeting and other Arctic events, as the U.S. hands over chairmanship to Finland. Heads of states from eight Arctic nations will attend the event, including U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov. According to […]

  • Anchorage/Mat-Su

    Walker puts final kibosh on KABATA project

    by Liz Raines on May 08, 18:04

    Governor Bill Walker is closing out the Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority (KABATA) project, after more than a decade of work and millions of dollars in state money. The Department of Transportation is wrapping up one last piece at the federal level, dealing with right-of-way matters, according to an email from the department’s legislative […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House calls for reprimand of two Wasilla lawmakers

    by Liz Raines on May 05, 19:48

    The Alaska House majority is calling for disciplinary action against two Wasilla lawmakers. Representative David Eastman and Senator David Wilson have both been under fire from the public and legislative colleagues for actions this week. Now, House leadership says it’s seeking legal council on legislative reprimand. On Tuesday, Eastman made national headlines for saying: “We […]

  • Alaska Politics

    ‘He should apologize’: Lawmakers respond to Rep. Eastman’s abortion comment

    by Liz Raines on May 04, 17:43

    Updated at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5 Alaska House leadership issued a letter Friday demanding a public apology from Rep. David Eastman for his recent comments. “We write to demand from you a public apology for recent comments of yours that insult the dignity and integrity of not just our rural constituents but all Alaskan […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Local reporter claims lawmaker slapped him

    by Liz Raines on May 03, 16:53

    Concerns have been raised in the Alaska Senate over the conduct of freshman legislator David Wilson (R-Wasilla) after a reporter with the Alaska Dispatch News filed a police report claiming Wilson slapped him across the face. The Alaska Dispatch News reports it happened Tuesday afternoon in the main stairwell of the capitol building after political […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska lawmakers mull measure calling abortion ‘child abuse’

    by Liz Raines on May 02, 15:00

    A measure to raise awareness about sexual assault in Alaska has turned into an anti-abortion statement by House Republicans in Juneau. Senate Concurrent Resolution 2 (SCR2) designates April 2017 as sexual assault awareness month. Now, in May, lawmakers are still debating the issue. With the addition of a controversial, pro-life provision, its chances of passing […]

  • Money

    Juneau welcomes first cruise ships, readies for expected record-breaking tourist season

    by Liz Raines on May 01, 21:45

    The first two cruise ships of the season arrived in Juneau Monday, marking the start of what’s expected to be a record-breaking season. About 1,055,000 passengers are expected to reach the capital city’s shores over the next 150 days, according to the Juneau Economic Development Council. “We haven’t seen this many cruise ship passengers since 2008,” […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Wasilla representative casts lone no vote on bill honoring Alaska’s Hmong veterans

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:07

    A state lawmaker known for going against the grain on votes with racial undercurrents sparked controversy Thursday. Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) was the lone vote against a bill in the Alaska House to honor Hmong veterans who supported the United States in the Vietnam War. Eastman also voted against a bill honoring black soldiers earlier […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Eastman calls for reprimand after LeDoux blocks committee debate

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 19:38

    There are more signs of friction in Juneau this week. The latest example came between two fellow Republicans in the House, when a seemingly non-controversial committee meeting became anything but. It ended with one lawmaker calling for a reprimand of the House Rules Committee chair, Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux (R-Anchorage). Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) is calling […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor, education advocates ramp up pressure on Senate over cuts, broad-based tax

    by Liz Raines on Apr 26, 19:34

    Governor Bill Walker and some citizen-led groups are turning up the heat in Juneau on the Senate’s calls for big budget cuts, on day 100 of the 90-day session. Walker pointed to a new report by the state Office of Management and Budget Wednesday to show Alaska’s budget may be bigger than most other states, […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate Leadership defends education cut, amid threat of layoffs

    by Liz Raines on Apr 25, 19:52

    In Juneau, the Senate Majority is defending itself against accusations that its budget cuts will severely harm education in Alaska. This after the Anchorage and Mat-Su School Districts announced publicly they’re standing in solidarity against the 5 percent cut. The districts say more than $90 million in cuts to school districts and the university system […]

  • Alaska News

    Alaskans might need passport for flights, military base access

    by Liz Raines on Apr 24, 19:38

    If state lawmakers don’t pass new legislation soon, Alaskans may not be able to use their  State of Alaska driver’s license to fly or access military bases.  That’s because of the Real ID Act passed by Congress in 2005, designed to create minimum security standards for all state ID cards nationwide. Now, 12 years later, the […]