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ALASKA POLITICS

State

Panel takes Medicaid expansion items from department budget

State

Juneau: Showdown over Medicaid expansion

State

Minority lawmakers push back on education budget proposal

State

UPDATE: Barrow lawmaker Rep. Ben Nageak remains hospitalized

State

In Juneau, marijuana legislation still a work in progress

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  • State

    Panel takes Medicaid expansion items from department budget

    by Associated Press on Feb 27, 14:00

    A House subcommittee has removed items related to Medicaid expansion from the Alaska health department’s budget, despite objections of minority Democrats. Republicans on the subcommittee, comprised of House Finance Committee members, repeated their desire for Gov. Bill Walker to introduce a bill on expansion rather than have expansion-related items sprinkled throughout the operating budget. They […]

  • State

    Juneau: Showdown over Medicaid expansion

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 26, 22:53

    It’s no secret. Republicans in the House majority are not champions of Medicaid expansion. They say the system is broken and the costs threaten to gobble up bigger slices of the state budget every year. But expanding the federal program in Alaska is one of Gov. Bill Walker’s top priorities. His administration says it would […]

  • State

    Minority lawmakers push back on education budget proposal

    by Associated Press on Feb 26, 9:17

    A House subcommittee has proposed deeper cuts to the state education department budget than Gov. Bill Walker, prompting objections from the Democratic-led minority. The subcommittee’s recommendations include eliminating state support for the early-childhood Best Beginnings program, cutting funding for broadband and a cut equal to the 2.5-percent raises due to department employees. The recommendations will […]

  • State

    UPDATE: Barrow lawmaker Rep. Ben Nageak remains hospitalized

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 25, 11:57

    Last Updated: Feb. 26, 2015 at 7 a.m. Normally when Rep. Ben Nageak speaks on the House floor, his colleagues expect to hear his booming voice — especially on the subject of developing oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But on Tuesday, when the Barrow lawmaker’s voice suddenly faltered while talking about […]

  • State

    In Juneau, marijuana legislation still a work in progress

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 24, 22:08

    “Marijuana for personal use is legal, as of today,” said Sen. Anna MacKinnon as she opened a Senate Finance committee hearing on Tuesday morning, acknowledging that the marijuana initiative voters approved last fall is now officially state law. MacKinnon is co-chair of the committee, which just received Senate Bill 30 from the Senate Judiciary committee, […]

  • State

    Rep writes out-of-town expenses check to education program

    by Associated Press on Feb 24, 13:33

    An Anchorage lawmaker says she’s writing a check for three days of her daily allowance for expenses and giving it to an early childhood learning program. Rep. Harriet Drummond says the check for Best Beginnings is for three days she plans to be in Anchorage. She began writing the check for more than $700 during […]

  • State

    Sex trafficking bill gets mixed reviews at first hearing

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 24, 7:57

    If the number of the bill sounds familiar, lawmakers say it’s an accident. Senate Bill 21 — the number of a highly controversial oil tax reform bill that cleared the Legislature two years ago — is the same number for a sex trafficking bill this session. Other than a number, both have another thing in […]

  • State

    Walker introduces bill to create marijuana board in Alaska

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 23, 15:05

    Lawmakers are being asked to create a new board to draft marijuana industry regulations. Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Monday introduced a bill that would create a five-member marijuana board that shares staff and resources with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Voters in November legalized recreational marijuana for those 21 and older. The initiative […]

  • State

    Governor’s actions on natural gas raise concerns for Republican majority

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 20, 16:12

    There’s speculation Gov. Bill Walker’s latest move on natural gas development was part of a political strategy to divert anticipated criticism from the Republican majority over his three appointments to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation (AGDC). The night before he made his announcement, his opinion piece, published on the Alaska Dispatch News website, generated buzz […]

  • State

    Walker appoints 3 to gas line board

    by Hope Miller on Feb 19, 14:22

    Gov. Bill Walker named three new members to the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation’s Board of Directors and announced his plans for gas line development in a Thursday press conference. Former Senate president Rick Halford of Dillingham, attorney Joe Paskvan of Fairbanks — a former state senator — and former Bethel mayor and businessman Hugh Short of […]

  • State

    Bill: No per diem for lawmakers not in Juneau during session

    by Associated Press on Feb 19, 10:51

    An Anchorage lawmaker has proposed eliminating per diem payments to lawmakers who aren’t in Juneau during session. Democratic Rep. Harriet Drummond said legislators must tighten their belts given the state’s budget situation. Under HB 111, lawmakers wouldn’t receive per diem for time they’re away from Juneau during regular or special sessions. That would apply to […]

  • State

    Murkowski: President plans to visit Alaska this summer

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 18, 14:39

    In a question and answer period following her annual speech to the state Legislature Wednesday, Sen. Lisa Murkowski said Secretary of State John Kerry and the president have plans to travel to Alaska this summer. “I think it would be good and it would be important for him to visit,” said Murkowski, cautioning that the […]

  • State

    Alaska’s marijuana initiative likely to take effect without a new law

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 16, 14:35

    Though there have been dozens of committee hearings on regulating marijuana since the start of the legislative session, it doesn’t look like the Legislature will make its Feb. 24 deadline. The hope was to have a law on the books decriminalizing marijuana before the date set by the initiative that voters passed in November. “No we’re not […]

  • State

    Chenault introduces ammonia production tax credit bill

    by Associated Press on Feb 16, 10:51

    The speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives has introduced a bill creating a tax credit for producers of ammonia that could assist a plant shuttered in his district. The Peninsula Clarion (http://bit.ly/1zFWusF) reports the bill by Nikiski Republican Mike Chenault would give a tax credit to an ammonia manufacturer equal to the royalty paid […]

  • State

    AK Legislature: Erin’s Law is back again

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 13, 22:40

    “Erin’s Law” is back again. The bill was expected to pass with broad bipartisan support last session, but it died in the final days of the Legislature. Rep. Geran Tarr, an Anchorage Democrat, reintroduced the measure this session. House Bill 29 would mandate all school districts in Alaska to offer education and prevention programs on child […]

  • State

    Wilson proposes change to process for fisheries, game boards

    by Associated Press on Feb 12, 11:14

    An Alaska lawmaker has proposed changing how the state boards of fisheries and game make regulations. Rep. Tammie Wilson introduced a bill Wednesday that would eliminate board-generated proposals. The bill says the boards can adopt, amend and repeal regulations only if they are brought forward by an advisory committee, state agency or individual petitioning the […]

  • State

    Gov. Walker says he will drop Point Thomson lawsuit

    by KTVA CBS 11 News on Feb 11, 15:41

      During a House Resources committee hearing Wednesday, Gov. Bill Walker said he plans to drop his lawsuit over a state settlement on the Point Thomson oil and gas field. Walker told the House committee he will only file a motion to dismiss the case after he submits legislation Friday. This legislation, he says, will […]

  • State

    Committee hears report on indirect expenditures

    by Associated Press on Feb 11, 10:25

    The House Finance Committee has been told that the state is spending nearly $450,000 a year on 17 tax credits, discounts and exemptions that a legislative report says should be terminated. Brodie Anderson is an aide to Rep. Steve Thompson, a co-chair of the committee. Thompson’s office has taken a lead on delving into the […]

  • State

    Governor pulls nominee for Commission on Judicial Conduct

    by Associated Press on Feb 11, 8:19

    A spokeswoman says Gov. Bill Walker has pulled a nominee for the Commission on Judicial Conduct after learning of “disrespectful images” posted to the nominee’s Facebook page. Grace Jang says the decision to pull Jeff Landfield’s nomination was made last week. Landfield says the governor’s office didn’t specify what images it deemed problematic. He said […]

  • State

    Juneau Access Road gets a reprieve

    by Rhonda McBride on Feb 11, 8:10

    In Juneau, it’s simply called “The Road.” But everyone from Juneau to Haines to Skagway knows what it refers to: the Juneau Access Improvements Project, which has divided the region for more than two decades. After Gov. Bill Walker, in an attempt to get control of a runaway budget, put the brakes on six megaprojects – including […]