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ALASKA POLITICS

Alaska Politics

Marijuana meeting, scholarship bill things to know about

Alaska Politics

Legislature casts doubt on new proposal from Anchorage LIO owner

Alaska Politics

'Idea Line' lets Alaskans weigh in on government spending

Alaska Politics

'Don't touch my PFD' Public weighs in on Governor's PFD proposal

Alaska Politics

Gov. Walker announces 'change in leadership' at Dept. of Education

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  • Alaska Politics

    Marijuana meeting, scholarship bill things to know about

    by Associated Press on Feb 06, 10:02

    The director of the board tasked with regulating Alaska’s legal pot industry is hopeful that state lawmakers will address concerns regarding criminal background checks for marijuana business applicants. The board meets Thursday with the date to begin accepting applications drawing closer. Heath Hilyard, an aide to Rep. Cathy Tilton, says a marijuana bill that failed […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Legislature casts doubt on new proposal from Anchorage LIO owner

    by Liz Raines on Feb 05, 22:58

      JUNEAU — Last month, members of the Alaska Legislative Council said they would end their controversial lease on the Anchorage Legislative Information Office if it’s owner — 716 West Fourth Avenue, LLC — didn’t make offer a more “competitive” price. A new proposal from company owner Mark Pfeffer was made public Friday, but the […]

  • Alaska Politics

    ‘Idea Line’ lets Alaskans weigh in on government spending

    by Liz Raines on Feb 05, 22:24

      JUNEAU — Alaska lawmakers say they’re turning to the public for ideas on how to solve the state’s nearly $4 billion budget deficit. At a press conference Friday, members of the house majority presented the “idea line” – a 24-hour hotline where Alaskans can leave messages for lawmakers. The number to call is: 1-844-414-5949 […]

  • Alaska Politics

    ‘Don’t touch my PFD’ Public weighs in on Governor’s PFD proposal

    by Liz Raines on Feb 04, 23:02

    More than a hundred people from around the state called into Juneau Thursday evening to weigh in on Governor Walker’s SB128 – a bill that would use the Permanent Fund’s Earnings Reserve to fund government, instead of the PFD program. The bill is up for debate in the Senate State Affairs committee, chaired by Sen. […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Gov. Walker announces ‘change in leadership’ at Dept. of Education

    by Liz Raines on Feb 04, 22:19

      JUNEAU — Governor Walker announced a “change in leadership” for the Department of Education Thursday, just a few days after commissioner Michael Hanley announced the state would be scrapping the Alaska Measures of Progress (AMP), a standardized test Alaska students took just once. Commissioner Hanley says the governor asked him to resign Wednesday night. […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Walker administration submits $65.5 million supplemental budget request

    by Associated Press on Feb 04, 6:00

    Gov. Bill Walker’s administration is requesting an additional $65.5 million in spending for the current fiscal year. The supplemental request released Wednesday includes $47.5 million for costs related to the wildland firefighting season. Alaska had its second largest fire season in terms of acreage burned in 2015. The budget request includes funding to address increased […]

  • Alaska Politics

    State lawmaker says oil companies should pay for road to North Slope

    by Liz Raines on Feb 03, 20:20

    With the state facing a nearly $4 billion budget deficit, Rep. Les Gara says it’s time for oil companies to start chipping in, starting with maintenance of the Dalton Highway. Gara’s House Bill 144 proposes a fee for commercial traffic by oil and gas explorers. The bill was introduced during the 2015 legislative session but […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska military code update unanimously passes House

    by Liz Raines on Feb 03, 12:18

    A new version of the Code of Military Justice (HB 126) passed the Alaska House unanimously Wednesday morning, with a vote of 39-0. HB 126 applies to the Alaska National Guard and was prompted by a scandal during Sean Parnell’s administration that showed widespread abuse and cover-up by authorities within the organization. The bill, sponsored […]

  • Alaska Politics

    House to vote on bill updating Alaska’s military justice code

    by Associated Press on Feb 03, 9:35

    Lawmakers in the House are expected to vote Wednesday on a bill to update Alaska’s Uniform Code of Military Justice. Proponents of the bill say the changes will strengthen the code. Alaska’s code was established in 1955 and has remained largely unchanged since then. An issue with the state’s current code has been a lack […]

  • Alaska Politics

    45-day Anchorage LIO deadline came and went with no action

    by Liz Raines on Feb 02, 21:41

    The deadline members of the Legislative Council set for themselves to make a decision on the controversial Anchorage Legislative Information Office (LIO) building came and went Tuesday, with no action taken. On Dec. 19, legislators passed a motion to allow the building owner 45 days to offer a “competitive price” for buying the building, or […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Fairbanks Four-inspired PFD bill passes first legislative hurdle

    by Liz Raines on Feb 02, 21:09

    A bill inspired by the Fairbanks Four passed its first legislative hurdle Tuesday. House Bill 243, sponsored by Rep. Bob Lynn, moved out of the House State Affairs Committee Tuesday morning. It would repay lost Permanent Fund dividend money to people with overturned criminal convictions. Lynn said he’s never met the four men personally, but […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Attorney who defended state’s ban on gay marriage misidentified as gay rights activist

    by Associated Press on Feb 02, 13:17

    An Alaska state senator suffered from a case of misidentification during a committee hearing Tuesday, confusing the name of assistant attorney general with an assassinated gay rights leader. Sen. Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, introduced the assistant attorney general at the Senate State Affairs meeting as “Attorney General Harvey Milk.” The man didn’t correct Stoltze other than […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Report: Legislator who fired staff for overspending spent most in travel

    by Liz Raines on Feb 01, 21:24

    A state senator who fired a staff member for overspending on a trip to Seattle in September spent more on travel than any other legislator last year. Sen. Lesil McGuire spent $39,908.24 in travel expenses, according to a report released Sunday evening by the Legislative Affairs Agency. When asked for an interview on the spending Monday […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Senator wants constitutional amendment on Governor’s Permanent Fund proposal

    by Liz Raines on Feb 01, 20:45

    Sen. Bill Stoltze says any changes to the Permanent Fund should be set in the constitution. As chair of the State Affairs Committee, his committee is the first stop for Gov. Bill Walker’s Senate Bill 128 on “replumbing” the Permanent Fund to bridge the state’s nearly $4 billion budget shortfall. Stoltze said he doesn’t want […]

  • Alaska Politics

    State lawmakers call for tougher law to protect pets, domestic violence victims

    by Liz Raines on Feb 01, 19:01

    Rep. Liz Vazquez and Rep. Max Gruenberg are calling for a law requiring the consideration of an animal’s well being in court cases. Vazquez said, historically, pets have been viewed as property and their well being was an afterthought.  House Bill 147 would give pets a status similar to children, rather than belongings, in cases […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Medicaid lawsuit, tax credit hearings ahead for lawmakers

    by Associated Press on Jan 31, 16:19

    The focus on Medicaid will shift this week from the Capitol to a courtroom as part of an ongoing fight over expanded coverage in Alaska. Legislators will hold hearings during the coming week on bills aimed at curbing and containing costs within Medicaid. Meanwhile, a judge in Anchorage plans to hear arguments Thursday in a […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Alaska lawmaker introduces bill to reduce gender pay gap

    by Liz Raines on Jan 30, 10:47

    Friday marks the seventh anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, calling for men and women in equal positions to receive equal pay. Now Alaska still has one of the biggest gender pay gaps in the nation. According to the YWCA, for every $1 a man makes, women in Alaska make 67 cents for […]

  • Alaska Politics

    City council passes Nome’s first commercial marijuana regulation

    by Emily Russell / KNOM on Jan 30, 10:36

    Earlier this week, Nome’s city council passed its first set of commercial marijuana regulations. When the topic has been brought up at past meetings, the Council focused far more on understanding the basics of the state’s regulations, rather than working out the fine details of their own. That’s because, even with the recent legalization of commercial […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Anchorage lawmaker introduces bill to make access to birth control easier

    by Liz Raines on Jan 29, 0:12

    Senate Minority Leader Berta Gardner, an Anchorage Democrat, introduced a bill (SB 156) to allow women to receive a supply of birth control one year a time, which would include pills, patches and possible “new technology.” “For many people in Alaska, it’s hard to get to a doctor and then you have to get to a […]

  • Alaska Politics

    Governor Walker gives gasline partners ultimatum

    by Liz Raines on Jan 29, 0:11

    Governor Walker wants work on the state’s project for a natural gas pipeline, AKLNG, to move faster. In a letter to oil partners BP, ConocoPhillips and Exxon Mobil last week, the governor said he wants eight agreements on the project to be reached before the end of the 2016 legislative session or he’ll, “have no […]