The Alaska State Senate Majority held their first press conference today. If you don’t have a half-hour of free time to watch the whole thing, here are our CliffsNotes version of what was said.
In our January 8 episode, Casey Reynolds and Forrest Dunbar discuss the shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Alaska’s revolving door between the news media and political jobs, and as many as ten ballot questions that could appear on the ballot in Anchorage’s upcoming election. We are also joined by incoming House Rules Chair Gabrielle LeDoux to discuss how the bipartisan House majority came together and if it will hold, Sen. Pete Kelly’s comments this week that the legislative session will be a fight between capitalism and socialism, and Sen. Kevin Meyer’s attempts to outlaw her PAC.
This evening, incoming Senate President Sen. Pete Kelly issued a statement following up on comments made Thursday by one of Governor Bill Walker’s top fiscal policy advisors, Director of the Alaska Department of Revenue’s Tax Division Ken Alper, about the state’s over $4 Billion budget deficit. In those comments, Alper said lawmakers need to focus on new revenues to close the state’s over $4 Billion budget deficit , including a restructuring of the Permanent Fund to use some of the fund’s revenues for other state functions.
In June, we looked at how Democrats could wrest power from Republicans in the State Senate, or at least create a bipartisan coalition.
The short version of that story is that, yes, there is a potential path for Democrats to have a role in senate leadership. It requires them winning at least two seats currently held by Republicans and getting at least three more to jump ship and organize with them, letâ€™s not pretend it is the most likely of scenarios. But it is plausible.
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.