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  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska Republican Party elects new chairman

    by Liz Raines on Apr 30, 12:53

    Tuckerman Babcock is taking over as chairman of the Alaska Republican Party after a vote by members at the state convention in Fairbanks Saturday morning. Babcock won by 52 percent in a three-way race against Ann Brown and Ric Davidge. The final count came after more than 40 minutes of debate on the party’s rules […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Could Alaska choose the republican presidential nominee? It’s possible.

    by Liz Raines on Apr 29, 21:53

    It’s an exciting weekend for hundreds of Alaska Republicans at the state GOP convention in Fairbanks. The delegates chosen there could play a key role in the national convention in Cleveland this summer. It all stems from the local party’s last-minute decision to let Marco Rubio keep the five delegates he won in Alaska during […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Citizen lobbyists frustrated by short-notice cancellation of session Thursday

    by Liz Raines on Apr 28, 21:04

    The Alaska House was supposed to take up an omnibus criminal justice reform bill, Senate Bill 91, in a floor session Thursday morning, but the meeting was cancelled with less than an hour’s notice. A House Majority Press Secretary said the latest version of the bill wasn’t finished being drafted after amendments were made in […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Negotiators reach deal on excess power program earnings

    by Associated Press on Apr 28, 17:21

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – House and Senate negotiators have reached agreement for use of any excess earnings from a fund set up to help rural areas faced with high electricity costs. A conference committee Thursday agreed to legislation that would allow for 70 percent of excess earnings from the Power Cost Equalization endowment fund to […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Proposal to provide healthcare for families of fallen officers fails in House committee

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 21:39

    The House Finance Committee Wednesday voted against an amendment to an omnibus criminal justice reform bill that would have continued healthcare benefits for families of fallen peace officers, including troopers. House Majority Leader Charisse Millett had been working on the proposal for the last four years. “Obviously I’m disappointed,” she said. “I’d like to see those folks […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Wells Fargo Building considered for Anchorage legislators’ new home

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:22

    The Alaska Legislature is looking for new office space in Anchorage, after Gov. Bill Walker announced earlier this month that he’d veto funding for a purchase of the current legislative facility. One option is the Wells Fargo building on the corner of Minnesota Drive and Benson Boulevard. After seeing it Tuesday, Sen. Gary Stevens said […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor softens stance on income tax, prepares for special session

    by Liz Raines on Apr 27, 20:07

    Wednesday was day 100 of the legislative session. Gov. Bill Walker told reporters at a press conference he’s already preparing for a special session in Juneau. Last month, the governor sent a letter to lawmakers with a list of expectations this year — including the passage of a broad-based tax. “Make no mistake,” he said, […]

  • Alaska Politics

    New oil-tax credit proposal would nearly eliminate program by 2020

    by Liz Raines on Apr 26, 15:26

    The Alaska House is inching toward a compromise on oil tax credits, the heart of a stalemate this session that’s kept lawmakers from moving forward on other parts of a fiscal plan to address the state’s $4 billion budget gap. Instead of paying cash subsidies to companies, under the a new draft version of House Bill 247, […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Lawmakers to move session overtime to new location

    by Liz Raines on Apr 25, 19:42

    Lawmakers were supposed to go home more than a week ago. But until they pass a fiscal plan, they’ll need to find a new home in Juneau. The capitol building must be evacuated by Friday because of construction. In an interview Monday, House Speaker Mike Chenault said relocating in Juneau is the Legislature’s best alternative. […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House panel advances bill affecting employee merit increases

    by Associated Press on Apr 25, 13:14

    JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) – A divided state House committee has advanced legislation that would tie state employee merit increases to increases in oil prices. The rewrite of the HB 379 that moved from the House Finance Committee Saturday calls for no merit increases until the average price per barrel for North Slope oil for the […]

  • U.S. Politics

    Murkowski is money leader in Senate race; Stock raises $270K

    by Associated Press on Apr 23, 13:07

    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski brought in more than $700,000 toward her re-election bid during the first quarter of the year, ending the period with nearly $3.4 million available. Margaret Stock, who plans to run as an unaffiliated candidate, reported raising $270,000 but her report only covered a portion of the quarter, between Feb. 12 and […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Lawmakers OK alcohol bill with provisions for pot businesses

    by Becky Bohrer / AP on Apr 22, 13:30

    The Alaska Senate has reversed course, accepting House changes to an alcohol bill that added provisions related to the Board of Barbers and Hairdressers. The bill, SB 165, also includes provisions requested by marijuana regulators allowing for national background checks for applicants for licenses for legal marijuana businesses. The bill’s passage by the Senate Friday […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House could vote on Gov. Walker’s fiscal plan, even if he doesn’t have votes to support it

    by Liz Raines on Apr 21, 20:43

    If Gov. Bill Walker doesn’t roundup enough votes to pass his permanent fund plan and tax proposals, they could die on the House floor. Each bill needs 21 votes to pass in the House. Senate President Kevin Meyer, R-Anchorage, has said it will be a heavy lift in the Senate as well. If lawmakers are […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor pitches fiscal plan again to lawmakers, hopes to win support

    by Liz Raines on Apr 20, 21:02

    Gov. Bill Walker and members of his administration hosted a meeting with legislators outside of the Capitol Wednesday evening to talk about his bill for utilizing the Permanent Fund’s earnings as an endowment for government. The bill is now in both the House and Senate Finance committees and has been modified since it was originally introduced, to […]

  • Anchorage/MatSu Politics

    In historic move, Elvi Gray-Jackson elected as Anchorage Assembly chair

    by Daniella Rivera on Apr 20, 6:30

    Tuesday evening was a big night for the new members of the Anchorage Assembly, but it was an even bigger night for Elvi Gray-Jackson. The Assembly chose her as their new chair. It was an emotional moment for Gray-Jackson, and a historic one for the Municipality of Anchorage. Gray-Jackson is the first person of an […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Controversial House plan to freeze state workers’ pay increases surprises legislators, unions

    by Liz Raines on Apr 19, 22:43

    Uproar hadn’t died down in the capitol Tuesday after House leadership stunned many by unveiling a plan to eliminate state worker pay increases. It was introduced Monday evening, day 91 of the 90-day session, after the legislative session was supposed to be done. House Speaker Mike Chenault said the state needs to reign in spending […]

  • Anchorage/MatSu Politics

    Girdwood requests recount as Prop 9 plans move forward

    by Shannon Ballard on Apr 19, 18:17

    The Girdwood Board of Supervisors is moving forward to develop a contract with Whittier police as the deadline for Alaska State Troopers to leave the area draws closer. Proposition nine, which would allow residents to raise taxes to pay for police protection, passed by only two votes in the last election, and already a for […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska House introduces bill to eliminate state employee pay increases

    by Liz Raines on Apr 18, 21:51

    The Alaska State House introduced a bill to eliminate the step-increase pay system for state employees. House Bill 379 was read on the floor for the first time Monday evening. The bill specifies that, starting July 1, 2016, pay-step increases and pay increments would be suspended until the average price per barrel of oil is $90 […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor, legislators ponder what’s next as session grinds on

    by Liz Raines on Apr 18, 21:25

    After working late into the night Sunday, lawmakers and their staff spent time Monday morning boxing up office supplies to be shipped out. But lawmakers aren’t going home yet — there’s still no budget deal in public sight, as they work into overtime this session. There’s a lot of wheeling and dealing happening to find […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Anchorage mayor arrives in Juneau as session runs into overtime

    by Liz Raines on Apr 18, 7:30

    As lawmakers brace themselves to work into next week, past the 90-day deadline, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is making the rounds in the Capitol. “Got a chance to talk to a lot of people, cement some old relationships,” Berkowitz said in an interview Sunday. “Get some new ones going and making sure that Anchorage is […]