Alaska Legislature

Lawmakers will return to the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Sept. 24, for a fourth special session. Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office confirmed the start date of the next session will be changed from a Friday to a Monday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers will return to the Alaska State Capitol, seen here on Sept. 24, for a fourth special session. Gov. Mike Dunleavy's office confirmed the start date of the next session will be changed from a Friday to a Monday. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The doors of the Alaska State Capitol were open Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, though the Alaska State Legislature was not in session. They will be soon, however, as Gov. Mike Dunleavy has called a fourth special session of the year. Lawmakers receive a per diem for days in session, and with so many special sessions those costs can add up. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
The doors of the Alaska State Capitol were open Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, though the Alaska State Legislature was not in session. They will be soon, however, as Gov. Mike Dunleavy has called a fourth special session of the year. Lawmakers receive a per diem for days in session, and with so many special sessions those costs can add up. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, holds a news conference in front of the doors to the Senate chambers on Thursday, March 4, 2021.

State senator suspended by airline seeks Senate excusal

She requested the excusal from Saturday through Jan. 15.

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Sen. Lora Reinbold, R-Eagle River, holds a news conference in front of the doors to the Senate chambers on Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Senators converse during an At Ease in a floor session of the Alaska State Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Senators passed a budget bill with a Permanent Fund Dividend of $1,100, but there's disagreement over the fund sources that may lead to legal action. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senators converse during an At Ease in a floor session of the Alaska State Senate on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021. Senators passed a budget bill with a Permanent Fund Dividend of $1,100, but there's disagreement over the fund sources that may lead to legal action. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
This photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaking at a July 2021 news conference.In a statement on Tuesday, Dunleavy said he would not veto the $1,100 Permanent Fund dividend passed by the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
This photo shows Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaking at a July 2021 news conference.In a statement on Tuesday, Dunleavy said he would not veto the $1,100 Permanent Fund dividend passed by the Legislature. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, right, speaks with Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, during a floor debate in the Alaska Senate over vaccine mandates on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Senate Majority Leader Shelley Hughes, R-Palmer, right, speaks with Senate President Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, and Sen. Bert Stedman, R-Sitka, during a floor debate in the Alaska Senate over vaccine mandates on Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Jun. 7, file photo, heard a bill that would make it easier for hospitals to hire workers from other states on Tuesday, with only a week left in the Legislature's third special session of the year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmakers at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Jun. 7, file photo, heard a bill that would make it easier for hospitals to hire workers from other states on Tuesday, with only a week left in the Legislature's third special session of the year. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state's budget and find resolution on the state's long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state's budget and find resolution on the state's long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Alaska State Capitol.

Dividend size is a sticking point for special session

Debate over the check size in recent years has become politically charged and overshadowed issues.

Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File
The Alaska State Capitol.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a graph showing the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund during a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Lawmakers have asked the governor to amend the call of the special session, allowing them to address the budget which remains only partially funded. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy holds up a graph showing the earnings of the Alaska Permanent Fund during a new conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. Lawmakers have asked the governor to amend the call of the special session, allowing them to address the budget which remains only partially funded. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers will be back at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this file photo, on Aug. 16, and after spending several weeks on background hearings and public testimony, members of the work group say they’re ready to get into solutions. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmakers will be back at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this file photo, on Aug. 16, and after spending several weeks on background hearings and public testimony, members of the work group say they’re ready to get into solutions. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gavel (Courtesy photo)

Judge hears arguments in budget effective date suit

Superior Court Judge Herman Walker Jr. heard arguments in Anchorage

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
A letter from the Alaska Broadcasters Association was sent to Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna, on July 1, 2021, condemning a post he shared on Facebook that compared journalists and medical professionals who disseminate information about COVID-19 to Nazis executed for war crimes. (Letter provided by the Alaska Broadcasters Association)
Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)

Broadcasters group decries lawmaker’s Facebook post

House Rep. Ron Gillham, who represents the Kenai-Soldotna area, posted a meme comparing journalists, medics to Nazis.

A letter from the Alaska Broadcasters Association was sent to Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna, on July 1, 2021, condemning a post he shared on Facebook that compared journalists and medical professionals who disseminate information about COVID-19 to Nazis executed for war crimes. (Letter provided by the Alaska Broadcasters Association)
Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham. (Courtesy Ron Gillham)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
A warning by Facebook content moderators denoting sensitive content is superimposed on a post shared by Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna. Gillham shared a post comparing media and medical professionals to Nazi-era war criminals on his Facebook page on June 21, 2021. (Screenshot)

Kenai lawmaker shares photo comparing media and medical officials to Nazi war criminals

Republican Ron Gillham represents the Kenai-Soldotna area in the Alaska State House of Representatives.

A warning by Facebook content moderators denoting sensitive content is superimposed on a post shared by Alaska House Rep. Ron Gillham, R-Kenai-Soldotna. Gillham shared a post comparing media and medical professionals to Nazi-era war criminals on his Facebook page on June 21, 2021. (Screenshot)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
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