Governor Bill Walker’s fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018) budget reduces state spending while supporting vital services and protecting the permanent fund dividend. The proposed $4.2 billion unrestricted general fund (UGF) operating budget is 23 percent lower than when Governor Walker took office two years ago. To lead by example, Governor Walker will take a one-third pay cut.
The main media attention focused on the censure and withdrawal of party support for three Republican legislators who have organized with Democrats in the State House. That may be the sexy headline for mass consumption, but we here at The Midnight Sun prefer to dig deeper into the political ramifications from such a gathering that may go largely undocumented by the mainstream media.
Just moments ago the Alaska Republican Party (ARP) moved to formally begin the process of defeating three Republican legislators (Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux, Rep. Louise Stutes, Rep. Paul Seaton) who have joined with Democrats to form a bipartisan majority in the State House.
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.
Late this afternoon the House Republican Caucus, who will be in the minority in the next legislature, released their organization and leadership positions.
A federal court decision striking down gerrymandered legislative districts in Wisconsin could have major impacts in Alaska over the next 15 years.
As we reported last week, Millett was leading Higgins by 76 votes after most questioned, early vote, and absentee ballots were counted.
Here is how today’s count went:
It has been a week and a half since the 2016 general elections. Most of us have begun moving past them or in many Democrats cases continued to pretend Trump was never elected. For a few poor candidates, however, their races are still too close to call so all they can do is wait nervously for the Division of Elections (DOE) to count the last few ballots in their race and settle things once and for all.
Today, Gov. Bill Walker moved his Chief of Staff Jim Whitaker to an advisor role and hired Scott Kendall to replace him.
It has been only a week since the 2016 general election and The Alaska Republican Party is already making major changes. The party has a new office and a new top staffer to run it.