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Liz Raines

Stories by Liz Raines

  • Alaska News

    Reliving gold’s glory at the Treadwell Mine, 100 years later

    by Liz Raines on Apr 20, 21:05

    People in Juneau are getting ready to celebrate a big anniversary. Friday marks 100 years since the collapse of the Treadwell Gold Mine complex on Douglas Island, connected today to downtown Juneau by a bridge. Treadwell launched Alaska into the national spotlight in 1882, but its prosperity was cut short suddenly on April 21, 1917. […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate passes bill to extend medical coverage to families of fallen officers

    by Liz Raines on Apr 19, 20:14

    The Alaska Senate unanimously passed a bill Wednesday aimed at extending health insurance coverage to families of peace officers killed in the line of duty. The measure was first introduced in 2015 after state troopers Scott Johnson and Gabriel Rich were killed while responding to a call in Tanana in 2014. Johnson’s widow, Brandy, has spent the following […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House, governor wait for Senate to approve broad-based tax

    by Liz Raines on Apr 18, 20:24

    Tuesday was day 92 of the 90-day legislative session, but work in most of the capitol building continued as usual. The House vetted bills that normally see hearings mid-session– smaller measures like ones commemorating people who’ve contributed to the state. House leadership indicated it’s now focusing on these bills because its work on fixing the […]

  • Energy

    State reaches milestone for gas project, but more work remains

    by Liz Raines on Apr 17, 19:03

    The Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC) calls it a major milestone towards a natural gas project in Alaska. On Monday, it filed paperwork for a permit to build with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). But even if Alaska secures that permit, there’s still a long way to go before the gas line project, AKLNG, would […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House passes first income tax since 1980

    by Liz Raines on Apr 15, 16:51

    The Alaska House of Representatives passed a statewide personal income tax Saturday. It’s the first of its kind since legislators abolished the broad-based tax in 1980, after state coffers filled with billions of new dollars from the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. House Bill 115 creates an income tax based on federal adjusted gross income that includes a […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senator says poll shows Alaskans support an income tax

    by Liz Raines on Apr 14, 19:09

    The Alaska House of Representatives is preparing to vote on an income tax, but the Senate majority says it won’t stand. Now, one senator says a new poll shows Alaskans actually prefer a tax. Senate minority member Bill Wielechowski (D-Anchorage) presented the poll results at a press conference Friday. He called it one of the most […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate apologizes to seniors after threat of pioneer home closures

    by Liz Raines on Apr 13, 20:28

    Senate Majority Leader Peter Micciche is apologizing to Alaska seniors, after Gov. Bill Walker said a cut made in the Senate’s budget would force the closure of Pioneer Homes in Palmer and Juneau. Micciche, who chaired the subcommittee in charge of the Dept. of Health and Social Services’ budget, said that was not the Senate’s […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate asks House to narrow focus on Day 87 of session

    by Liz Raines on Apr 13, 18:37

    Lawmakers in Juneau will not make their 90-day deadline on Sunday, April 16. Work on a budget plan will stretch on, and the state will spend tens of thousands of dollars each day it does. There was little movement toward that end on Thursday, day 87 of the legislative session. The last big-ticket budget bill […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House approves use of Permanent Fund earnings for state budget, with stipulations

    by Liz Raines on Apr 12, 13:39

    The Alaska House passed a bill Wednesday to turn the Permanent Fund into an endowment for state services by mandating an annual draw from fund earnings. Senate Bill 26 passed the Senate last month and sets aside 5.25 percent of the market value of the Permanent Fund next year for state government and Permanent Fund […]

  • Alaska Politics

    ‘They die waiting’: After budget cuts distress seniors, Alaska politicians reject shuttering pioneer homes

    by Liz Raines on Apr 11, 20:21

    Dozens of Alaska seniors are caught in the crosshairs of politics in Juneau after Gov. Bill Walker announced he’s preparing to shut down pioneer homes in Palmer and Juneau if the Alaska Senate has its way with budget cuts this year. Seniors in both locations are living with the stress of uncertainty. Residents at the […]

  • Alaska Politics

    New House plan aims to force Senate support on broad-based tax, oil tax changes

    by Liz Raines on Apr 10, 14:40

    Leadership in the Alaska House is taking a new approach on a fiscal plan, one that is designed to force the Senate to approve a broad-based tax and oil tax changes. The Democrat-led majority has been calling for a comprehensive proposal that includes use of permanent fund earnings, a broad-based tax and an overhaul of […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House majority ponders alternatives for a broad-based tax

    by Liz Raines on Apr 07, 19:47

    With just nine days to go until the end of the 90-day session, the Alaska House majority is considering alternatives for a statewide income tax – one of its four pillars for solving the state’s $3 billion budget gap. Until now, most of the caucus’s focus has been on an income tax that is part […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate passes bill to kill Gabby’s Tuesday PAC

    by Liz Raines on Apr 07, 14:46

    Last updated at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 7 The Alaska Senate unanimously approved a measure Friday that prohibits lobbyists from making campaign contributions to groups headed by a lawmaker who lives outside their election district. The legislation — Senate Bill 5, introduced by Sen. Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage — would also apply to legislative candidates who run political action […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Wasilla lawmaker goes against the grain on votes with racial undercurrents

    by Liz Raines on Apr 07, 8:41

    A seemingly non-controversial bill has sparked racial tensions in the Alaska Legislature after Rep. David Eastman (R-Wasilla) voted against legislation to honor black soldiers who contributed to the construction of the Alaska Highway during World War II. Senate Bill 46 dedicates Oct. 25 to the thousands of African-American soldiers who helped build the road in […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Dunleavy leaves Senate majority caucus

    by Liz Raines on Apr 07, 7:31

    Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla) withdrew from the Republican majority caucus Wednesday after hours of debate on the Senate’s budget bill. “When it gets to a point where you’re thinking we can reduce more, you’re thinking we can cut more, and you have just a different view of the Permanent Fund, for example, you have two […]

  • Alaska News

    Reformers seek alternatives to putting mentally ill behind bars in Alaska

    by Liz Raines on Apr 05, 20:54

    There’s a will, but no clear way to solve a problem the Deptartment of Corrections (DOC) calls ‘unacceptable.’ Every year, Alaska prisons see thousands of cases of intoxicated, often mentally ill people who spend the night in prison cells instead of hospitals beds. Greg Fitch is one of them. “I have schizoaffective disorder. I have […]

  • Alaska Politics

    As fiscal fight heats up, House speaker wants governor to step up

    by Liz Raines on Apr 04, 19:10

    A legislative leader wants Gov. Bill Walker to increase his presence in the fiscal fight in Juneau as a comprehensive budget plan causes a bottleneck in the House and gridlock in the Legislature.  After spending hours Monday taking up amendments to House Bill 115, a measure that combines an income tax with a plan to use […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senate proposal eliminates Alaska Performance Scholarship, puts money toward K-12

    by Liz Raines on Apr 03, 23:07

    Leadership in the Alaska Senate introduced a series of bills on education Monday, one of which would eliminate the Alaska Performance Scholarship. Instead of paying for college for top performers in the state, the money would go to K-12 education. Senate bill 103 rewards districts for finding innovative ways to lower the cost of education. […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Education funding in crosshairs as House, Senate tussle over fiscal plan

    by Liz Raines on Apr 03, 21:12

    There are just 13 days to go in Juneau, and the Legislature hasn’t passed any pieces of a budget plan. Lawmakers have said filling the state fiscal gap is their top priority this year, but chances of getting that done on time just got slimmer — especially with education funding emerging as one of the flash […]

  • Alaska News

    ‘Thankful to be alive’: Avalanche nearly destroys Juneau home

    by Liz Raines on Mar 31, 20:37

    It was a close call Friday morning for some people in Juneau, after an avalanche came barreling down 2,500 feet towards their homes. What used to be an access road in the Highlands neighborhood is now covered in a wall of snow that slid from the side of the mountain just after 6:30 a.m. Snow broke […]