; The Alaska Support Industry Alliance (The Alliance), normally an organization strongly aligned with both Republican lawmakers and the Republican Party itself, took the unusual…
What was supposed to be the least interesting bill heard on what was supposed to be the final day of the legislative session took quite a turn Sunday morning.
That appears to be the major undercurrent of the State Legislature as it enters overtime in the legislative session with historic fiscal issues still to be decided.
The Rasmuson Foundation, through its program Plan4Alaska, today released an analysis of state revenue options they say shows new revenue bills offered by finance committees in the State House and State Senate to restructure use of Permanent Fund earnings are insufficient to meet Alaskaâ€™s budgetary needs.
The belief among local Republican Party officials is that Rep. Jim Colver (R-Palmer) is working to form a bipartisan majority coalition in the state house, that his voting in opposition to the Houseâ€™s Republican leadership too often appears to be growing. Now multiple local party officials are searching for pressure that the party establishment can exert to bring Colver â€œback in line.â€
Speaking in Bethel at a Rasmuson Foundation sponsored community gathering on the stateâ€™s fiscal crisis Lt. Governor Byron Mallott made it clear Governor Bill Walker has no intention of letting state legislators adjourn session and leave town without finding a comprehensive solution to the $4 Billion state budget shortfall.
Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz is taking strong objection to work being done in Juneau by state legislators. In the wake of several proposals by lawmakers to cut the state budget including shifting public employee retirement costs to local governments and ending municipal revenue sharing the normally affable Mayor has appeared on several tv and radio outlets to offer harsh criticism of their work.
Here is a release from the Alaska Republican Party saying they are giving the delegates Marco Rubio won in their Presidential Preference Poll to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz because Rubio has “dropped out” of the race. But did he? The Midnight Sun’s understanding is that Rubio suspended rather than ended his campaign.
To help boil things down, here are two short floor speech clips that pretty well encapsulate the budget positions of the State Senate Majority and Minority. Don’t worry, they are short and largely free of numbers and acronyms. They don’t and aren’t intended to give you the depth of detail of the budget, but rather the values each side is basing their positions upon.
After re-watching all of the Legislative Council meetings since December in an attempt to fully understand the situation, one thing stands out: Legislative Affairs Agency (LAA) Executive Director Pam Varni is the problem.