News and Press
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives unanimously passed 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. Other schedule one controlled substances include heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.
Juneau – Today, the Alaska Legislature passed House Concurrent Resolution 19, sponsored by Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan), urging Alaska Governor Bill Walker to declare a “linguistic emergency” to help ensure the survival of Native language in Alaska. House Concurrent Resolution 19 calls on state agencies, the Alaska State Legislature, Alaska Native organizations, and others to work to strengthen policies to prioritize the continued use of Alaska Native languages.
Juneau – The Alaska House Majority Coalition will hold a press availability Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m. to answer questions from reporters covering the 30th Alaska State Legislature. Participants will include House Finance Committee Vice-Chair Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), Finance Committee Member Rep. David Guttenberg (D-Fairbanks), House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Matt Claman (D-Anchorage), and House Health and Social Services Committee Chair Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage).
Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed legislation to help struggling workers and their families weather job losses resulting from the Alaska recession, which has been ongoing since 2015. House Bill 142, sponsored by Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage), increases the maximum weekly unemployment insurance benefit from $370 to $510 over two years to match 50 percent of the average weekly wage, which is the national norm for unemployment benefits.
Greetings from Juneau on this 63rd day of the session. I hope everyone enjoyed St. Patrick’s Day. The House Finance committee finished with the 97 operating budget amendments in Round 2 and passed the budget from committee last Friday. The budget should be on the House Floor today with amendments starting tomorrow. I anticipate we will pass the budget from the House by the end of this week, depending on....
This year in the April Anchorage City election (but NOT the August and November State & Federal elections), you must send in your ballot so that it is postmarked by April 3. You should be receiving your ballots this week. There are a few physical locations where you can vote, and a few drop boxes where you can drop off your ballots by April 3.
Today puts us two-thirds of the way through the statutory 90-day session. Appropriately enough, we are poised to tackle some big ticket items in the immediate future, while other major components of what may be called an adjournment package are making questionable progress.
We are two-thirds into session and continue to be on track for a 90-day session! The House has already sent two appropriations bills to the Senate for review. We continue to meet to pass more bills to support a strong economy. The state budget is the topic of the week as the House Finance Committee prepares to move it onto the House Floor for a vote.