NEWS: Reps. Gruenberg and Claman Praise Today’s Bold and Inspirational State of the Judiciary Address

Rep. Matt Claman

Juneau – Today, Alaska Supreme Court Chief Justice Craig Stowers gave the annual State of the Judiciary Address to the members of the Alaska House and Senate. In his speech, Chief Justice Stowers outlined, in great detail, how the Alaska Court system is working to streamline services and save money as Alaska is facing huge fiscal challenges. He also called on the members of the House and Senate to work together and make the hard decisions that are needed to allow Alaska to weather the current fiscal storm. Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), a member of the House Finance Committee’s Courts Budget Subcommittee, praised Justice Stowers’ speech as an example for lawmakers to emulate as they consider how to address the nearly $4 billion budget deficit.

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NEWS: House and Senate Minorities Propose Creating a Caucus of the Whole in the Alaska Legislature

Juneau – Last Friday was the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Alaska Constitution.  The convention in Fairbanks featured 55 Alaskans, elected from all regions and walks of life.  These far-thinking delegates came together as one and crafted a document that has guided not only the state government, but also Alaska’s institutions and people.  The constitutional example is being followed today by the Alaska Senate Democrats and the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition as they propose a new structure for the 29th Alaska Legislature.

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NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition and Alaska Senate Democrats Press Availability Scheduled

Juneau – The Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) and Alaska Senate Democrats will hold a press availability before the start the Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature. The availability will allow lawmakers to discuss specific issues and take questions from the media. The press availability will be held Tuesday, January 19, at 9 am in the Fahrenkamp Room of the Capital Building in Juneau. The press availability will feature Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Leader Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage) and Alaska Senate Democrats Leader Sen. Berta Gardner (D-Anchorage).

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NEWS: Anchorage Legislative Caucus Holding Public Hearing Saturday

Rep. Matt Claman

ANCHORAGE – Today, the Anchorage Legislative Caucus announced its next public hearing in Anchorage will be January 9, 2016 at the Loussac Library. Representative Matt Claman (D-Anchorage) is the Democratic co-chair of the Anchorage Legislative Caucus and will co-chair the meeting with Representative Liz Vazquez (R-Anchorage), the Republican co-chair of the caucus.

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NEWS: Massive Scope of Proposed Fiscal Changes Demands Thorough Review of Impacts on Alaskans of All Income Levels

ANCHORAGE – Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker unveiled an ambitious budget plan called “The New Sustainable Alaska Plan” that shifts much of the burden of paying for state government from the oil and gas industry onto the backs of hard-working, average Alaskans. The Governor’s proposal includes fundamental changes to how vital state services in Alaska are funded including new or increased taxes on income, fishing, mining, tourism, alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel. The Governor’s proposal also makes drastic cuts to vital early education opportunities in Alaska and would result in significantly reduced Permanent Fund Dividends. The 13 members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition thank Governor Walker for his leadership and the public process used to come up with the proposed budget plan but will insist that every proposed change be thoroughly vetted by the Alaska Legislature.

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NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Supports Legislation to Remove Unneeded Partner from AKLNG Natural Gas Pipeline Project

JUNEAU – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives joined the Alaska Senate in approving legislation funding the buyout of TransCanada from the long-awaited AKLNG natural gas pipeline project. Removing TransCanada from the AKLNG partnership increases the state of Alaska’s total ownership share in the pipeline and associated infrastructure up to twenty-five percent.

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NEWS: Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition Ready for the Gasline Special Session

ANCHORAGE – The third Special Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature is scheduled to start Saturday morning with House and Senate floor sessions. Governor Bill Walker has scheduled a briefing for all lawmakers Saturday afternoon to outline the details of the three pieces of legislation that will be under consideration. The members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) are looking forward to the Governor’s detailed briefing but are dismayed by today’s announcement from the Senate President and the Speaker of the House that members of the House Finance and Senate Resources Committee’s will be encouraged to skip the briefing in favor of committee hearings on the same subjects at the same exact time as the Governor’s briefing.

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