House of Representatives votes to repeal and replace Senate Bill 91

House Bill 49, which passed 24-to-14, would enact changes that are tough on criminals and give police and prosecutors the tools they need to make Alaska safe. At the same time, the legislation helps victims receive justice and maintains a commitment to enacting policy changes based on objective information, data, and input from police officers, prosecutors, and public defenders.

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Senate Passes the Operating Budget

On Wednesday, the Senate passed its version of the operating budget. The House did not concur with the changes made, and a conference committee is being appointed to resolve the differences between the House and Senate budgets. The conference committee’s version will likely blend together ideas from both versions, and then it will go back to the House and Senate for a final vote before it goes to the Governor for final approval.

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Pioneer Homes and Confirmations

We’re working hard to get the budget finalized – it’s now in the Senate for hearings and deliberations. Thanks to all of you who have voiced your thoughts and concerns on the budget throughout this session. You can still send written comments by emailing the Senate Finance Committee at finance.committee@akleg.gov

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House Passes Operating Budget

After many hours of deliberation on the House Floor this week, the House passed its version of the operating budget. It now goes to the Senate for consideration. I am hoping that they maintain full funding of education like the House, and prioritize public safety, and maintain the House’s addition of prosecutors. While some cuts were made, I believe the House budget protects our economy from significant private and public job losses, and provides stability to our communities.

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The operating budget moves forward

To me, our state budget resources our mission and reflects our priorities. This week, the House Finance Committee worked through over 100 amendments to the operating budget, and today they moved the bill from committee. As with any piece of policy or legislation, there are parts of a bill you like and parts that you don’t. My priorities have been: build safer, healthier communities; create and preserve public and private sector jobs; balance the budget in a way that protects critical state services; strengthen educational opportunities for all Alaskans; and help to stabilize Alaska’s economy so businesses will invest in and grow Alaska.

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The Capitol’s March Madness

While the nation watches our elite university basketball teams tip off, here in Juneau we’re following the “brackets” of legislation. There’s wins and losses in the two bracket system as bills are heard in committees in the House and Senate and move closer to the finish line, which is the Governor’s desk.

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