NEWS: Much Good and Some Bad in Governor Walker’s Line Item Budget Vetoes

Anchorage – Earlier today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker used his line-item veto power to cut $1.29 billion from the FY 2017 budgets. The veto includes $430 million in tax credit and other payments to the oil and gas industry down to the statutory minimum requirement of $30 million. The veto of the oil tax credit money is supported by members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) in the Alaska House of Representatives.

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NEWS: Last Minute Assault on Public Education Hits School Children

Juneau – As the Second Session of the 29th Alaska Legislature reaches the constitutionally mandated end of session, lawmakers and advocates for a healthy K-12 public education system are reeling from a surprise cut to public education. On Tuesday night, the House and Senate Operating Budget Conference Committee slipped a $50 cut to the Base Student Allocation (BSA) into the proposed FY 2017 budget in violation of funding promised by state law.

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NEWS: Alaska House Passes Legislation to Roll-Back Many Unsustainable Oil Industry Subsidies

Juneau – Today, the Alaska House of Representatives approved House Bill 247 to significantly reform Alaska’s unsustainable oil tax credit subsidy system. The members of the Alaska Independent Democratic Coalition (AIDC) cautiously supported the legislation after participating in a bipartisan effort to amend the bill to dramatically increase savings and fix flaws included in previous versions of the bill.

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NEWS: Lawmakers Applaud Today’s Superior Court Decision to Dismiss Ill-Advised Lawsuit Over Medicaid Expansion in Alaska

Juneau – Today, Superior Court Judge Frank Pfiffner issued a ruling in the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council against Alaska Governor Bill Walker over his decision last year to expand Medicaid without legislative approval. Judge Pfiffner found that the Social Security Act requires Medicaid expansion, and that existing state law required Governor Walker to provide Medicaid to the group of Alaskans eligible for expansion. In his 26-page ruling, Judge Pfiffner granted the Governor’s motion for summary judgement and dismissed the case brought by the Alaska Legislative Council, which is made up of ten members of the Alaska Legislature.

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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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