News and Press
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature unanimously approved a resolution calling for the federal government to help develop critical infrastructure and emergency response capabilities in the Arctic region, including the development of a deep-water port on the northern coast of Alaska. House Joint Resolution 33 passed the Alaska State Senate today after being passed earlier this month by the Alaska House of Representatives.
Juneau – Earlier today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to early fund Alaska’s K-12 public education system. House Bill 287 prioritizes public education by advancing it from the normal budget process.
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed legislation to increase the maximum relocation benefits available to those displaced by federally funded construction projects. House Bill 131 brings Alaska statutes in line with federal laws that were changed in 2012 with the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act. Prior to passage of the act, federal relocation benefit rates had not been changed in 30-years. HB 131 was sponsored by the House Transportation Committee under the leadership of Co-Chairs Rep. Louise Stutes (R-Kodiak) and Rep. Adam Wool (D-Fairbanks).
Juneau – Today, the Alaska State Senate joined the Alaska House of Representatives in passing a resolution calling on the federal government to respect states’ rights and the will of the Alaskan people regarding marijuana policy. House Joint Resolution 21, sponsored by Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), also urges the federal government to reconsider its listing of marijuana as a schedule one controlled substance.
On Wednesday this week the House voted to concur with changes made in the Senate to the Education early funding bill we sent over to them in Febru-ary. This means school districts across the state can better plan for the com-ing year and also avoid the frustration and turmoil of teacher lay-off notic-es that would have had to go out if funding were still pending.
It's Day 95 of session, and it's probably no surprise that legislators are still in Juneau. This has been a long, busy, and productive session, with many important pieces of legislation passing that will improve government efficiency and prioritize essential services.
As the legislature worked past the voter-approved Day 90 session deadline for the fourth year in a row, legislative leaders continue to negotiate. I will continue to work hard and get the job done, but it has been frustrating for me because deadlines are important. Here are the main pieces still remaining:
The Senate recently passed an operating budget with changes from the operating budget approved by the House. A conference committee is now appointed and working on resolving the differences between the two budget proposals.