Alaska Legislature

Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, introduces Senate Bill 22 to the Senate Resources Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The bill would allow organizations to obtain permits and enhance the habitat of shellfish in hopes of improving the seafood industry. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Stevens hopes gov can negotiate with Legislature on budget

With the Alaska Legislature now in session more than 45 days, the big issue remains the Procrustean budget proposed by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. On a… Continue reading

 

District 31 Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, waits for results to come in at an election night party at Land’s End Resort on Nov. 6, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Vance apologizes for video bashing high school students

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to correct a direct quote from a Facebook video posted by Rep. Sarah Vance and to correct the… Continue reading

 

Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, introduces Senate Bill 22 to the Senate Resources Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019. The bill would allow organizations to obtain permits and enhance the habitat of shellfish in hopes of improving the seafood industry. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Sen. Stevens visits Friday

Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, visits the lower Kenai Peninsula for two Town Hall meetings at these times and locations: • Noon to 2 p.m., Friday,… Continue reading

 

Kevin Clarkson, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s choice for Attorney General, answers questions in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

AG designee says only 10 percent of his work related to controversial social issues

Clarkson says it’s not his job to support the law, it’s to enforce it.

Kevin Clarkson, Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s choice for Attorney General, answers questions in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Monday, Feb. 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, former Speaker nominee Rep. Bryce Edgmon, Dillingham, right, shares a laugh with Speaker nominee Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, as Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Neal Foster, Nome, presides over the House. Edgmon was elected Speaker of the House on Thursday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A whirlwhind week at the state capitol

Looking back on the week in the Alaska Legislature.

In this Feb. 4, 2019 file photo, former Speaker nominee Rep. Bryce Edgmon, Dillingham, right, shares a laugh with Speaker nominee Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, as Speaker Pro Tempore Rep. Neal Foster, Nome, presides over the House. Edgmon was elected Speaker of the House on Thursday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov’s budget draws both concern and praise from local legislators

Update: The spelling and name of Sen. Natasha von Imhof, R-Anchorage, has been corrected. A proposed state budget from Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought both concern… Continue reading

Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla, at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

No-bid contract for psychiatric institute raises questions

A previous report advised against privatizing the institute.

The Alaska State Capitol. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Andy Jones, Director of the Department of Health and Social Services’ Office of Substance Misuse, right, speak about the fiscal impacts of the opioids on the state along with Michael Duxbury, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, and Laura Brooks, Director of Health and Rehabilitation for the Department of Corrections, in front of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Andy Jones, Director of the Department of Health and Social Services’ Office of Substance Misuse, right, speak about the fiscal impacts of the opioids on the state along with Michael Duxbury, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, center, and Laura Brooks, Director of Health and Rehabilitation for the Department of Corrections, in front of the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin presents the governor’s supplemental budget to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Budget director’s history of cutting with ‘hatchet, not a scalpel’ sparks concern

How much power should the position have?

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s Office of Management and Budget Director Donna Arduin presents the governor’s supplemental budget to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla,at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Reps talking, but House still unsettled

The House is a week away from a dubious record.

Rep. David Talerico, R-Healy, speaks during a press conference with Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, left, and Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard, R-Wasilla,at the Capitol on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference in Juneau, Alaska, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference in Juneau, Alaska, Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer)
School buses drop students off at Thunder Mountain High School on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov’s bills includes $20M slash to education

The money was already approved.

School buses drop students off at Thunder Mountain High School on Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Hello? Cellphones banned on Senate floor

Sen. John Coghill said Tuesday evening he is considering a revision of a ban of cellphone usage on the Senate floor. Coghill is the Senate… Continue reading

Republican Party candidate for District 31 representative Sarah Vance waits for results to come in at an election night party at Land’s End Resort on Nov. 6, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

Vance holds constituent meetings this week

Rep.-elect Sarah Vance, R-Homer, will visit with District 31 residents at these times and places: • Thursday, Jan. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Homer… Continue reading

Republican Party candidate for District 31 representative Sarah Vance waits for results to come in at an election night party at Land’s End Resort on Nov. 6, 2018, in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
From left, Alaska state Sens. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, and Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, sit in the House chamber to hear Gov. Bill Walker deliver his annual State of the State address on Jan. 18, 2017. After several years of budgets passing late and forcing education pink slip notices, Stevens, the Senate Education Committee chair, is introducing a bill to mandate an education budget by April 1. (Photo/Mark Thiessen/AP)

Big issues in Legislature will be PFD, budget cuts, Stevens says

Heading into his 19th year as a state senator, Sen. Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, has some advice for Homer’s newest legislator, Rep.-elect Sarah Vance. She’s the… Continue reading

From left, Alaska state Sens. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, and Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, sit in the House chamber to hear Gov. Bill Walker deliver his annual State of the State address on Jan. 18, 2017. After several years of budgets passing late and forcing education pink slip notices, Stevens, the Senate Education Committee chair, is introducing a bill to mandate an education budget by April 1. (Photo/Mark Thiessen/AP)
In this file photo, Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, reads one of the two versions of HB 111 dealing with oil tax credits during a Conference Committee hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
                                 In this file photo, Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, reads one of the two versions of HB 111 dealing with oil tax credits during a Conference Committee hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)

Republicans pick Giessel as new Alaska Senate president

Republicans have maintained control of the Alaska Senate and chose Sen. Cathy Giessel of Anchorage to be the new president of the chamber. Giessel would… Continue reading

In this file photo, Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, reads one of the two versions of HB 111 dealing with oil tax credits during a Conference Committee hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
                                 In this file photo, Sen. Cathy Giessel, R-Anchorage, reads one of the two versions of HB 111 dealing with oil tax credits during a Conference Committee hearing at the Capitol on Wednesday, July 12, 2017. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Elections workers hand count ballots after the 2016 statewide primary election. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Dead Alaskans attempt to vote in Anchorage

The Alaska Division of Elections is investigating why seven dead people requested absentee ballots for the close-fought primary election in Anchorage’s House District 15. The… Continue reading

Elections workers hand count ballots after the 2016 statewide primary election. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)