state legislature

Conference Committee, House and Senate scheduled to meet Friday

Representatives of the state House and Senate serving on the Legislative Conference Committee are scheduled to meet tomorrow at 10 a.m. Their assignment is to come up with a compromise operating budget. The Senate calendar shows it plans to convene tomorrow at 11 a.m. and the House at 2 p.m. Friday. Lay off warning notices were sent Monay to about 10-thousand state employees, giving them 30-days-notice they’ll be laid off if the Legislature doesn’t pass a budget by July 1.

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

Legislative majority leaders have not yet worked out an agreement with minority members last night that allows legislators to pull money out of savings to pay for state government. A 3-quarters majority is needed to tap the Constitutional Budget Reserve. The House and Senate were scheduled to adjourn Sunday but negotiations on the capital and operating budgets continue behind closed doors.

Gov. Walker cuts former Governor's infrastructure budget in half

By Alexandra Guttierrez, Alaska Public Radio Network

By law, Alaska's governor is required to submit a budget by Dec. 15. Having been in office for only two weeks, Gov. BIll Walker (Unaffiliated) opted to submit his predessor's $5.2 billion operating budget Monday, without endorsement. But he did make some changes to former Gov. Sean Parnell's (Republican) capital budget.

Depending on who you ask, HB77 would have streamlined state permitting of development projects, or unacceptably limited public participation in resource management decision-making. Due to controversy over those differing views, the bill is dead.

Royal Dutch Shell didn't fully consider the risk of towing an unpropelled drill rig through the Gulf of Alaska during a winter storm, according to a Coast Guard investigation into the grounding of Shell's Kulluk rig on New Year's Eve in 2012.