News and Press
Juneau – Tonight, a bill to respond to the ongoing opioid epidemic in Alaska passed its final legislative hurdle and will be sent to Governor Walker’s desk for his signature. The Governor included House Bill 159 on the call for the Second Special Session and with tonight’s action the Alaska House of Representatives, which initially passed the bill in May, concurred with the minor changes to the bill made by the Alaska State Senate.
Juneau – Tonight, to avert the looming government shutdown, the Alaska State Legislature passed the Fiscal Year 2018 Operating Budget. The compromise budget totals $4.1 billion in Unrestricted General Fund (UGF) spending and sets this year’s Permanent Fund Dividend at $1,100. The K-12 Base Student Allocation (BSA) will be fully funded at $1.2 billion, the same level of funding as the current year. This reverses the $69 million cut to education advanced by the Alaska Senate.
Juneau – Speaker of the House Rep. Bryce Edgmon (D-Dillingham) has released the following statement in response to news that S&P Global Ratings has placed the State of Alaska on its CreditWatch and has indicated that Alaska’s credit rating would likely be lowered without the passage of significant fiscal reforms this year.
Video of the June 16th, 2017 End of the 1st Special Session Press Availability from 360North.org
Dear Friends and Neighbors, I have several pieces of news to report. Let’s begin with the topic at the forefront of everyone’s mind these past few weeks: Budget or Bust
I hope you enjoyed Summer Solstice! We are in the second special session now, having not passed an operating budget during the first special session. Without a budget, state government shuts down on July 1. To me, this is an unacceptable outcome and I am pushing for a compromise.
Taking a break from the budget negotiations in Juneau, I wanted to remind you that this Saturday, June 24th, the Muldoon Farmers Market opens for the season. Located at Begich Middle School (7440 Creekside Center Drive, in Anchorage), this “market by the mountains” runs every Saturday from June 24th until September 23rd, and is open from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.
It’s been rainy here in Juneau as we've entered into a second special session – perfect weather for reflecting on the past 155 days. This is a longer note than usual, but please allow me to share my honest thoughts: