July 19, 2016 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns Special Session

On July 18, the Alaska Legislature adjourned its fifth special session. The Legislature failed to pass any deficit reduction measures the special session was called to address. Following the unsuccessful eight day session, it is expected that further work towards […]

Alaska State Capitol BuildingOn July 18, the Alaska Legislature adjourned its fifth special session.

The Legislature failed to pass any deficit reduction measures the special session was called to address.

Following the unsuccessful eight day session, it is expected that further work towards budget reforms will wait until after the November election.

Photo of the Alaska State Capitol by Jay Galvin on Wikimedia Commons.

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July 8, 2016 •

Special Session in Alaska Impacts Campaign Fundraising

Alaskan lawmakers have been busy strategizing how to continue campaign fundraising ahead of the July 11 special session. State statute bans lawmakers from soliciting or accepting contributions in the capital city or any municipality where the Legislature is convened. Despite […]

Alaska_House_of_RepresentativesAlaskan lawmakers have been busy strategizing how to continue campaign fundraising ahead of the July 11 special session.

State statute bans lawmakers from soliciting or accepting contributions in the capital city or any municipality where the Legislature is convened.

Despite calls by some lawmakers to hold the session in Anchorage due to a lodging shortage in Juneau, the formal legislative session will remain in Juneau allowing political fundraising to continue in Anchorage.

Photo of the chamber of the Alaska House of Representatives by L’Aquatique on Wikimedia Commons.

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June 20, 2016 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns; Governor Calls for Another Special Session

On June 19, the Alaska Legislature adjourned its fourth special session. The Legislature failed to pass revenue measures the special session was called to address. Gov. Bill Walker immediately issued a proclamation calling another special session to convene on July […]

AlaskaOn June 19, the Alaska Legislature adjourned its fourth special session.

The Legislature failed to pass revenue measures the special session was called to address. Gov. Bill Walker immediately issued a proclamation calling another special session to convene on July 11.

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June 1, 2016 •

Alaska Budget Bill Sent to Governor

The Alaska Legislature reached a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday, May 31. The bill was approved nine days into the special session that was called when lawmakers could not produce a budget during the 121-day regular extended session. It is unclear […]

AlaskaThe Alaska Legislature reached a bipartisan budget deal Tuesday, May 31.

The bill was approved nine days into the special session that was called when lawmakers could not produce a budget during the 121-day regular extended session.

It is unclear whether Gov. Bill Walker will sign the bill. Alaska faces a government shutdown if a budget is not adopted by July 1, and lawmakers were feeling the pressure to approve a budget before June 1 to stop the governor’s administration from sending 30-day layoff warnings to state employees.

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May 19, 2016 •

Special Session Called in Alaska

On May 18, the Alaska Legislature hit the constitutional limit on session length of 121 days in session without reaching a budget deal. Gov. Bill Walker immediately called a special session scheduled to begin May 23. In addition to the […]

AlaskaOn May 18, the Alaska Legislature hit the constitutional limit on session length of 121 days in session without reaching a budget deal. Gov. Bill Walker immediately called a special session scheduled to begin May 23.

In addition to the budget, the issue of oil and gas tax credits will also be addressed in the special session.

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May 2, 2016 •

Alaska Legislature Remains in Session

With scheduled renovations to begin May 1 at the Alaska Capitol, lawmakers are moving to a new location before continuing to work to fix the state’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Constitutionally, the legislature can remain in session for up to […]

AlaskaWith scheduled renovations to begin May 1 at the Alaska Capitol, lawmakers are moving to a new location before continuing to work to fix the state’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Constitutionally, the legislature can remain in session for up to 121 days, despite a 90-day limit written into state law after voters passed a ballot initiative in 2008.

Senate President Kevin Meyer wants to remain in Juneau as long as the legislature remains in regular session. Last year, lawmakers moved to Anchorage following Gov. Bill Walker’s call for a special session.

On Wednesday, Walker announced he is prepared to call a special session in Juneau if the budget issue, including his plan for a broad-based tax, cannot be addressed before the 121-day deadline.

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April 18, 2016 •

Alaska Legislature Continues in Session

The Alaska Legislature remains in session despite its Sunday deadline, with lawmakers set to work on a budget deficit-reduction package. Other issues still outstanding include Gov. Walker’s legislation to reform Alaska’s oil tax credit subsidy program and the institution of […]

Alaska State Capitol BuildingThe Alaska Legislature remains in session despite its Sunday deadline, with lawmakers set to work on a budget deficit-reduction package. Other issues still outstanding include Gov. Walker’s legislation to reform Alaska’s oil tax credit subsidy program and the institution of a personal income tax.

A voter initiative passed in 2006 limits the legislative session to 90 days, but legislators often continue after the deadline and adhere, instead, to a constitutional deadline of 121 days.

Photo of the Alaska State Capitol by Jay Galvin on Wikimedia Commons.

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March 22, 2016 •

Alaska Governor Willing to Call Special Legislative Session to Address Budget Deficit

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is willing to call a special legislative session if lawmakers do not pass his tax or revenue proposals to address the growing budget deficit. The state Department of Revenue forecasts a dramatic drop in overall funding […]

Bill_Walker_inauguration_speechAlaska Gov. Bill Walker is willing to call a special legislative session if lawmakers do not pass his tax or revenue proposals to address the growing budget deficit. The state Department of Revenue forecasts a dramatic drop in overall funding and predicts low oil prices will continue for several more years.

To help shrink the multi-billion dollar deficit, Walker proposed tax increases, including the reinstitution of a personal income tax. He also suggested restructuring the use of the Alaska Permanent Fund earnings to change how the annual dividends most Alaskans receive are calculated.

The regular legislative session is set to adjourn April 17.

Photo of Gov. Bill Walker by James Brooks on Wikimedia Commons.

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January 7, 2016 •

Juneau to Hold Special Election on March 15

The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to call for a special election to elect a mayor for the remainder of the current term. Deputy Mayor Mary Becker stepped in to the role in November following the passing of […]

Flag of Juneau, AlaskaThe City and Borough of Juneau Assembly voted to call for a special election to elect a mayor for the remainder of the current term. Deputy Mayor Mary Becker stepped in to the role in November following the passing of Mayor Greg Fisk. The special election will be held Tuesday, March 15. Because Becker was serving as Assemblymember for District 1 when she became mayor, there is now a vacant seat on the Assembly.

Interested applicants for the seat will be interviewed during a Special Assembly meeting on Monday, January 11. On Tuesday, January 12, the Assembly will hold a Special Assembly Meeting with the Juneau Legislative Delegation and will conduct a public hearing followed by Assembly action regarding appointment to the vacant District 1 seat.

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November 23, 2015 •

APOC Proposes Changes to State Regulations

The Alaska Public Offices Commission proposes to adopt regulation changes concerning mitigation criteria and penalty assessment for violations of state lobbying and campaign finance laws. Substantive changes include expanding the definition of inexperienced filer to take into account technical issues, […]

AlaskaThe Alaska Public Offices Commission proposes to adopt regulation changes concerning mitigation criteria and penalty assessment for violations of state lobbying and campaign finance laws. Substantive changes include expanding the definition of inexperienced filer to take into account technical issues, defining self-reporting, and limiting penalties to be considered out of proportion to the alleged violation.

Written comments must be submitted to the Commission by January 29, 2016. Oral comments may be submitted at a hearing on February 11, 2016 in Anchorage. The Commission will aggregate its response to substantially similar questions and make the questions and responses available on its website.

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November 6, 2015 •

Alaska State Legislature Adjourns Special Session

The 3rd special session of the 29th Alaska State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, November 5. Lawmakers approved a $160 million spending bill for the state’s natural gas pipeline. Construction is still years away, but the money will allow […]

Alaska State Capitol BuildingThe 3rd special session of the 29th Alaska State Legislature adjourned sine die on Thursday, November 5. Lawmakers approved a $160 million spending bill for the state’s natural gas pipeline. Construction is still years away, but the money will allow study and planning for the pipeline to continue. Ultimately, if approved, the pipeline project could require a $15 billion investment from the state.

Photo of the Alaska State Capitol by Jay Galvin on Wikimedia Commons.

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October 5, 2015 •

Alaska Special Session to Convene October 24

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker called for a third special legislative session to convene on October 24, 2015. The Legislature will meet in Juneau to consider an act to monetize certain natural gas reserves via a gas reserves tax, as well […]

AlaskaAlaska Gov. Bill Walker called for a third special legislative session to convene on October 24, 2015.

The Legislature will meet in Juneau to consider an act to monetize certain natural gas reserves via a gas reserves tax, as well as an act to make supplemental, capital, and operating appropriations from the constitutional budget reserve fund.

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September 24, 2015 •

Alaska Governor to Call Special Session

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker plans to call a special legislative session to address details of, and issues related to, the development of a natural gas pipeline. The state is currently developing the project with three oil producers and a pipeline […]

AlaskaAlaska Gov. Bill Walker plans to call a special legislative session to address details of, and issues related to, the development of a natural gas pipeline. The state is currently developing the project with three oil producers and a pipeline company.

Because Walker is required to give legislators a 30 day notice, the special session cannot begin until the end of October at the earliest. Walker expects the session to conclude before Thanksgiving and would prefer it be held in Juneau despite ongoing renovations at the state Capitol.

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July 17, 2015 •

Anchorage Assembly Votes to Return City Elections to April

On July 14, 2015, the Anchorage Assembly voted 7-3 to move the regular 2017 city elections from November back to April. Last year the city Assembly voted to change city elections from April to November in the hopes of boosting […]

Flag of AnchorageOn July 14, 2015, the Anchorage Assembly voted 7-3 to move the regular 2017 city elections from November back to April. Last year the city Assembly voted to change city elections from April to November in the hopes of boosting voter turnout.

Members of the Assembly who supported the reversal based their votes on a number of issues ranging from logistics to preventing local candidate campaigns from being overshadowed by state and federal campaigns.

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