July 9, 2019 •

Alaska Legislature Convenes Second Special Session in Two Cities

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The state Senate kicked off the second special session in Juneau and promptly removed Sen. Mia Costello as the majority leader. Costello was in Wasilla with nearly a third of her fellow lawmakers. Gov. Mike Dunleavy called for the second […]

The state Senate kicked off the second special session in Juneau and promptly removed Sen. Mia Costello as the majority leader.

Costello was in Wasilla with nearly a third of her fellow lawmakers.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy called for the second special session to be held in Wasilla on July 8.

The session ended quickly because there was no majority to conduct business.

House minority leader Lance Pruitt stated the members would remain in Wasilla and wait for the legislators in Juneau to attend.

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June 14, 2019 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns First Special Session, Governor Calls Second

Alaska State Capitol Buildling - Jay Galvin [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

Lawmakers ended their special session on June 13. The Legislature passed a capital budget bill but failed to reach the three-quarter threshold required to fund major provisions. Failure to reach the threshold left millions of dollars in projects unfunded and […]

Lawmakers ended their special session on June 13.

The Legislature passed a capital budget bill but failed to reach the three-quarter threshold required to fund major provisions.

Failure to reach the threshold left millions of dollars in projects unfunded and federal match money at risk.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy called a second special session in order to address the permanent fund dividends the Legislature also could not agree on.

The second special session will convene on July 8, at 1 p.m. in Wasilla.

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May 17, 2019 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns, Governor Calls Special Session

Alaska State Capitol Buildling - Jay Galvin [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

The 31st Alaska Legislature adjourned the first regular session at the constitutional deadline on May 15. The legislature did not find resolution on some of the biggest issues including crime, the budget, and the dividend residents receive from the state’s […]

The 31st Alaska Legislature adjourned the first regular session at the constitutional deadline on May 15.

The legislature did not find resolution on some of the biggest issues including crime, the budget, and the dividend residents receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy called a special session to begin on May 16.

The special session will be limited to discussing a crime reform package, an operating budget containing a full permanent fund dividend, a capital budget, funding for K-12 education, and a mental health trust budget.

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November 29, 2018 •

Alaska Law on Out-of-State Contributions Found Unconstitutional

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Alaska law regulating the annual aggregate limit on campaign contributions from nonresidents of Alaska is unconstitutional. Two members of the three-judge panel found the nonresident limit does not meet an important […]

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Alaska law regulating the annual aggregate limit on campaign contributions from nonresidents of Alaska is unconstitutional.

Two members of the three-judge panel found the nonresident limit does not meet an important state interest and therefore violates the First Amendment.

To meet the important state interest bar, the state must show that the law limiting out-of-state contributions is an effort to prevent corruption, not merely to prevent undue influence.

Annual limits on individual contributions to a political candidate, a nonpolitical party group, or what a political party may contribute to a candidate were unanimously held to be constitutional.

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November 7, 2018 •

Alaska Voters Send a Republican to the Governor’s Mansion

State Republicans are celebrating a victory today following a successful gubernatorial election. Mike Dunleavy, a former state senator from Wasilla, was elected governor, defeating Democratic candidate Mark Begich and current governor Bill Walker, whose name remained on the ballot despite […]

State Republicans are celebrating a victory today following a successful gubernatorial election.

Mike Dunleavy, a former state senator from Wasilla, was elected governor, defeating Democratic candidate Mark Begich and current governor Bill Walker, whose name remained on the ballot despite a late withdrawal from the race.

With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Dunleavy triumphed over opponent Begich with about 52 percent of the vote.

After four years of having an Independent in office, this is a win for the Alaska Republican Party. The last Republican governor of Alaska was Sean Parnell, who was elected in 2010.

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October 25, 2018 •

Alaska Governor Drops Re-election Bid

Gov. Bill Walker dropped out of his race for re-election on October 19, just days after his lieutenant governor resigned for making “inappropriate” comments. Public and private polling showed him trailing in third place, behind Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat […]

Gov. Bill Walker dropped out of his race for re-election on October 19, just days after his lieutenant governor resigned for making “inappropriate” comments.

Public and private polling showed him trailing in third place, behind Republican Mike Dunleavy and Democrat Mark Begich.

While dropping out, Gov. Walker said, “Alaskans deserve a competitive race,” and then endorsed Begich to replace him.

Due to the timing of the announcement, Walker’s name will still appear on the ballot.

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October 22, 2018 •

Alaska Lieutenant Governor Resigns

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned October 16 after making comments that were called “inappropriate” by Gov. Bill Walker. His replacement is Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, who was once a commissioner for the Department of Health and Social Services. According to […]

Alaska Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott resigned October 16 after making comments that were called “inappropriate” by Gov. Bill Walker.

His replacement is Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson, who was once a commissioner for the Department of Health and Social Services.

According to Gov. Walker, it is too late to remove Mallott’s name from the ballot, but Mallott will not accept the position of lieutenant governor if he is elected next month.

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October 16, 2018 •

Ad Time Reservations Qualify as Expenditures

On October 9, the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) ruled that two independent expenditure groups violated state campaign finance laws. The groups, Republican Governors Association and Families for Alaska’s Future – Dunleavy, reserved ad time to influence the gubernatorial election […]

On October 9, the Alaska Public Offices Commission (APOC) ruled that two independent expenditure groups violated state campaign finance laws.

The groups, Republican Governors Association and Families for Alaska’s Future – Dunleavy, reserved ad time to influence the gubernatorial election without registering as independent expenditure groups.

APOC determined the reservation of ad time is a promise or agreement to transfer value between parties.  Therefore, the reservation qualifies as an expenditure under state law.

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October 9, 2018 •

Super PAC Contributions the Subject of Alaska Public Office Commission Appeal

On October 4, 2018, the Anchorage Superior Court heard witnesses in the formal appeal of an Alaska Public Office Commission (APOC) decision allowing unlimited contributions to independent expenditure groups. Several citizens, represented by the nonprofit group Equal Citizens, claim the […]

On October 4, 2018, the Anchorage Superior Court heard witnesses in the formal appeal of an Alaska Public Office Commission (APOC) decision allowing unlimited contributions to independent expenditure groups.

Several citizens, represented by the nonprofit group Equal Citizens, claim the contributions are pursuant to a 2006 Alaska State law.

APOC relied on the application of Citizens United when it rejected the original claim.

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July 23, 2018 •

Alaska Governor Signs Legislative Ethics Bill

Gov. Bill Walker signed significant legislative ethics reforms into law on July 19. House Bill 44 prohibits lobbyists from buying meals or alcoholic drinks for legislators, requires legislators to receive prior approval for travel abroad that is paid for by […]

Gov. Bill Walker signed significant legislative ethics reforms into law on July 19.

House Bill 44 prohibits lobbyists from buying meals or alcoholic drinks for legislators, requires legislators to receive prior approval for travel abroad that is paid for by the state, and mandates legislators to disclose conflicts of interest on which they are voting when there is something financial at stake for themselves or immediate family members.

The legislative ethics reform ballot initiative has been taken off the fall ballot because the bill and initiative have been deemed substantially similar.

The bill went into effect immediately.

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May 14, 2018 •

Alaska Passes Ethics Bill, Potentially Removes Government Ethics Initiative Measure

The Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 44, a bill with the potential to remove an initiative measure known as the Government Accountability Act from the November ballot. Under the Alaska Constitution, if a bill is deemed to be substantially similar […]

The Alaska Legislature passed House Bill 44, a bill with the potential to remove an initiative measure known as the Government Accountability Act from the November ballot.

Under the Alaska Constitution, if a bill is deemed to be substantially similar to an initiative, the initiative could be removed from the ballot.

Similar to the initiative measure, House Bill 44 prohibits lobbyists from purchasing alcoholic beverages for a legislator, implements a stricter policy on foreign travel, eliminates a per diem for legislators after 121 days if the budget has not been passed, and bans foreign corporations and nationals from making political contributions.

The governor has 20 days to sign, veto, or allow the bill to become law without his signature.

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May 14, 2018 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns Legislative Session

The 30th Alaska Legislature adjourned sine die in the early hours of May 13. The legislative session was extended with lawmakers working past the 90-day, voter-approved session limit in mid-April, but finishing within the constitutional time limit of up to […]

The 30th Alaska Legislature adjourned sine die in the early hours of May 13.

The legislative session was extended with lawmakers working past the 90-day, voter-approved session limit in mid-April, but finishing within the constitutional time limit of up to 121 days.

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January 9, 2018 •

Alaska State Senator Resigning

Alaska state Sen. Mike Dunleavy announced he will resign his Senate E seat to focus on a campaign for governor. Had Dunleavy remained in office, he would have been prohibited from campaigning or raising money during the legislative session, which […]

Alaska state Sen. Mike Dunleavy announced he will resign his Senate E seat to focus on a campaign for governor.

Had Dunleavy remained in office, he would have been prohibited from campaigning or raising money during the legislative session, which starts January 16. His resignation is effective January 15.

To select Dunleavy’s replacement, the Alaska Republican Party will send 3 names to Governor Bill Walker to choose.

Walker’s choice must then be confirmed by a majority of Republicans in the Alaska Senate.

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November 27, 2017 •

Alaska Adjourns Special Session

Alaska’s fourth special session adjourned on November 21 after reaching the 30-day limit set by the state’s constitution. Since November 10, lawmakers were in a technical session after the Senate attempted to adjourn the special session after passing a criminal […]

Alaska’s fourth special session adjourned on November 21 after reaching the 30-day limit set by the state’s constitution.

Since November 10, lawmakers were in a technical session after the Senate attempted to adjourn the special session after passing a criminal justice reform bill. In Alaska one body cannot adjourn without the other.

No committee hearings are held in a technical session, and no formal legislative business is done.

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