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)

Dunleavy’s candidate screening process under scrutiny

Some nominees have been “found wanting.”

US Senator questions Facebook over policies surrounding ivory sales

He worked with Alaska Native artists to resolve an issue with Etsy last year.

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)

State sues opioid manufacturer, alleging willful deception

It’s the country’s leading opioid producer.

Dan Robinson, chief of research and analysis for the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, gives a 2019 Alaska Job Forecast and Outlook presentation at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Alaska’s job market projected to rebound in 2019

Tourism is the main bright spot for Southeast.

Dan Robinson, chief of research and analysis for the Department of Labor & Workforce Development, gives a 2019 Alaska Job Forecast and Outlook presentation at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
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)

Update: Commissioner designee resigns after accusations of false resume entry

He also admitted to making inaccurate statements in a confirmation hearing.

House Republicans Cathy Tilton, left, David Talerico, center, and Lance Pruitt speak to the press outside the House chambers after Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State speech on Tuesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Gov’s crime message resonates, but Juneau lawmakers hesitant about constitutional amendments

Most everyone agreed on Dunleavy’s take on public safety.

House Republicans Cathy Tilton, left, David Talerico, center, and Lance Pruitt speak to the press outside the House chambers after Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s State of the State speech on Tuesday. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Jerry Arizpe and his wife, Jordan, hold a 33-pound bag of food they picked up at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank on Monday, Jan 21, 2019. Arizpe is a U.S. Coast Guardsman at Station Juneau and is not currently receiving a paycheck because of the partial federal shutdown. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Jerry Arizpe and his wife, Jordan, hold a 33-pound bag of food they picked up at the Southeast Alaska Food Bank on Monday, Jan 21, 2019. Arizpe is a U.S. Coast Guardsman at Station Juneau and is not currently receiving a paycheck because of the partial federal shutdown. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, left, congratulates Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, after being sworn in on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tensions rise in discombobulated Alaska House

Until a majority is formed, the House will be at a standstill.

Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, left, congratulates Rep. Sarah Vance, R-Homer, Rep. Gary Knopp, R-Kenai, and Rep. Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski, right, after being sworn in on the opening day of the 31st Session of the Alaska Legislature on Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Government workers and their supporters hold signs during a protest in Boston, Friday, Jan.11, 2019. The workers rallied with Democratic U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and other supporters to urge that the Republican president put an end to the shutdown so they can get back to work. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Alaska receives almost 10 times more unemployment filings since shutdown began

There have been almost 10 times more unemployment filings from federal workers in Alaska than normal since the federal shutdown began. The Alaska Department of… Continue reading

Government workers and their supporters hold signs during a protest in Boston, Friday, Jan.11, 2019. The workers rallied with Democratic U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and other supporters to urge that the Republican president put an end to the shutdown so they can get back to work. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
The sunrise reflects off of downtown Juneau windows on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Fleeing the 49th state: Alaska’s population declines again

The exodus continues.

The sunrise reflects off of downtown Juneau windows on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (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

State resumes online applications for PFD checks

Security concerns prompted closure last week.

Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks during a legislative session at the Capitol in January 2017. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire file photo)

Anchorage rep pre-files bill on contraceptive access

On Monday, Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, filed House Bill 21, which aims to provide greater access to reproductive health care and prescription contraceptives for women… Continue reading

Rep. Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, speaks during a legislative session at the Capitol in January 2017. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire file photo)

Alaska begins issuing licenses compliant with REAL ID

Residents will need to get a new one by October 2020.

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, prepares to open a floor session of the Alaska Senate on April 27, 2018. (Daniel McDonald/Alaska Senate Majority)

Micciche files bill addressing ‘Schneider Loopholes’

Monday, Sen. Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) filed SB 12 in an effort to eliminate “Schneider Loopholes” in state criminal code, a press release said. The early… Continue reading

Sen. Peter Micciche, R-Soldotna, prepares to open a floor session of the Alaska Senate on April 27, 2018. (Daniel McDonald/Alaska Senate Majority)

Alaska court upholds Republican recount win in House race

The result of the House District 1 race in Fairbanks was challenged.