alaska

Alaska House Minority leader Chris Tuck says he does not believe lawmakers are any closer to a budget deal. Tuck and House Speaker Mike Chenault have been talking in a bid to put together a package that would get enough support to use the constitutional budget reserve fund to cover costs for the fiscal year starting July 1.

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Skyrocketing heroin use affects rural, urban Alaska

By Daysha Eaton, KYUK

"Positive... inspiring"

By Independent journalist Mark Trahant, and Lori Townsend, APRN

5/25/15 Public expresses frustration with Legislators

May 25, 2015

Legislators get an earful:  “stop playing”

By Alexandra Gutierrez, APRN

Friday for the first time since the regular session adjourned in April, a legislative committee took verbal testimony from the public.

The House Finance committee allotted three hours for input on the state operating budget, and more than 80 people spoke. The meeting opened with a series of former foster children coming to the microphone, and asking for more funding for social workers at the Office of Children’s Services.

Joaqlin Estus / KNBA

 Housing to increase access to health services for Alaska Natives

Tribal, federal, state, and private sector leaders Wednesday {may 20, 2015] kicked off construction of housing at the Alaska Native Medical Center saying it will improve services for Alaska Native and American Indian people who travel to Anchorage from across the state for health care. A state Senator who helped get the project financed says it will also save the state millions of dollars a year for years to come. 

Governor Bill Walker says his priority is for Legislators to pass a fully-funded budget, not where it's done. A Legislative attorney earlier this week said the move from Juneau to Anchorage would be illegal without the Governor's approval.

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The Alaska House and Senate are moving their work from Juneau to Anchorage. Legislative majority leaders made the announcement the same day the Governor warned state workers of massive layoffs if the Legislature doesn't approve a fully-funded budget. A quarter of the state's 16,000 employees work in Juneau. KTOO's Lisa Phu talked with some of them on their lunch hour at the State Office Building in Juneau.

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5/13/15 - Legislators make no progress on budget

May 12, 2015

Lawmakers met Tuesday just to keep the clock going but have made no progress on the reasons for the special session: the budget, Medicaid expansion, and a sexual abuse prevention law. Legislators are at an impasse over the budget. A two thirds majority is needed to get into savings, giving Democratic minority caucus members some clout. They say the budget must include Medicaid expansion and more money for education. Republican majority members say budget increases are the last thing they want. 

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Bureau of Ocean Energy Management okays Shell exploration plan

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management yesterday approved Shell's exploration plan for the Chukchi Sea. Shell still must obtain other permits from state and federal agencies.

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State legislature continues inaction

By Ben Matheson, KYUK

The path to unified management of Kuskokwim salmon stocks is uncharted, but along the way, the newly established Kuskokwim River Inter Tribal Fisheries Commission wants  involvement at each step. That begins with tribal consultation in preparations for another summer of sacrifice. The commission’s inaugural meeting wrapped up Wednesday in Bethel.

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