News and Press
Juneau – By the overwhelming margin of 33 in favor to 3 opposed, the Alaska House of Representatives Friday passed bipartisan legislation adding an additional mechanism for funding the Alaska Legal Services Corporation (ALSC), safeguarding low-income Alaskans’ access to the civil justice system.
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation sponsored by Representative Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) to ensure that the expertise of members of the Alaska Boards of Fisheries and Game is not excluded from the deliberative process. Currently, members of the boards with conflicts of interest are not allowed to vote and not allowed to offer input to the process. House Bill 87 changes the Ethics Act to allow those members to participate in the process while still being excluded from voting.
Juneau – The Alaska House Majority Coalition will hold a press availability Tuesday morning to answer questions from reporters covering the 30th Alaska State Legislature. Participants will include Majority Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), Finance Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), Health and Social Services Committee Chair Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage), and Community and Regional Affairs Committee Co-Chair Rep. Zach Fansler (D-Bethel).
Juneau – The Alaska House of Representatives today formally passed House Bill 2 to give private businesses in Alaska the ability to offer a hiring preferences for veterans of the armed services and members of the National Guard. The Department of Defense has prioritized the passage of this legislation in all 50 states.
Things are starting to ramp up down here in Juneau as we are in the home stretch on day 71 of the session. I am hoping that we can finish in the designated session length of 90 days, however the last two years don’t give me a lot of confidence. The important thing is that we don’t leave until we pass some meaningful legislation towards solving our fiscal crises.
Alaska is on the brink of economic failure as the budget deficit adds to thousands of job losses already resulting from loss of revenues caused by low oil prices and large cash subsidies to the oil industry. The Alaska House Majority Coalition was formed to save the economy and protect jobs.
It’s that time again. We are taking a second round of public testimony on a bill aimed at solving much our $2.8 billion deficit. Unlike other plans proposed by some legislators, which require major cuts to schools, the university, help for abused and neglected children and those with disabilities, House Bill 115 recognizes reality.
The first week of Budget Basics, we talked about the context of the budget discussion. Due to a significant drop in oil revenue, we have a $2.7 billion dollar deficit. Next, we discussed the importance of generating sustainable revenue to support essential services, like public safety and education. I shared with you last week that the house passed a fully funded, responsible operating budget.