Articles written by Becky Bohrer

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 By BECKY BOHRER    Main News    May 16, 2018

Raffle with PFD funds to pay for education legislation passed by lawmakers

JUNEAU - Alaska lawmakers ended the extended legislative session early Sunday after passing state spending plans and a flurry of other bills in the waning hours. Despite running long, the session lacked the drama of the past several years, which...

 
 By BECKY BOHRER    Main News    May 16, 2018

False tsunami message mistakenly broadcast Friday to many across Alaska

Many Alaska residents were mistakenly warned on TV and on the radio Friday morning of a tsunami threat along the West Coast of the United States, from San Diego to Alaska's Aleutian islands. The...

 

Raffle tied to dividend would fund education endowment under new proposal

JUNEAU - The Alaska Legislature already is cutting into the amount of the yearly oil-wealth fund check given to residents to help pay for state government. Now, lawmakers are looking at other ways...

 

The Dividend: lawmakers back off from full funding for 2018 PFD

JUNEAU - The Alaska House's populist vote earlier this week to pay Alaskans the full amount for their oil-wealth fund checks was undone Friday, as House leaders hoped to clear the way for a budget vote. Lawmakers on Friday rescinded the earlier vote...

 

The joke has always been that Alaska is so wealthy it pays to live here

JUNEAU - The joke has always been that Alaska is so wealthy it pays its residents to live here. But those yearly checks have gotten smaller, and could undergo a massive change, as Alaska struggles to pay state troopers and fix roads amid years of...

 

Mike Shower names to fill vacant District E state senate seat

JUNEAU - The man picked by Gov. Bill Walker to fill an open Alaska state Senate seat wasn't a registered Republican until Wednesday morning, when he changed his party affiliation from undeclared,...

 

Senate appointee nominated by governor rejected by republican senators

JUNEAU - Gov. Bill Walker initially stood by his nominee to fill the vacant Alaska Senate seat Tuesday amid calls from Senate Republicans for him to reconsider his position, setting up a confirmation...

 

Multibillion-dollar deficit haunts Alaska four years into governor's term

JUNEAU - In his fourth year in office, Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is looking for a major win on an issue that has vexed him throughout much of his term: tackling the state's multibillion-dollar deficit. Speaking before a joint session of the Alaska Legi...

 

Budget unveiled by Gov. Walker aims to reinvigorate the state's economy

JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Friday proposed a budget plan aimed at reinvigorating the state's economy that he hopes will win over legislators following drawn-out sessions marred by political gridlock. Central to that plan is a payroll tax tha...

 

Gasline deal with China touted by Gov. Walker is not assured deal

JUNEAU - Gov. Bill Walker on Tuesday touted the benefits a major liquefied natural gas project would bring to Alaska, though the project, which the state is pursuing with Chinese partners, is far from assured. Walker, speaking in Anchorage, told...

 

Climate change and Alaska: Gov. Walker creates special team

JUNEAU - Alaska Gov. Bill Walker is creating a special team to recommend ways to address climate change, saying Alaska, an Arctic state with vast coastlines, is on front lines. An initial action plan...

 

Oil revenue projections up for coming year but state still in a fix

JUNEAU - A forecast calling for higher-than-expected revenue this year and next will help Alaska's fiscal situation, but it doesn't eliminate the need for a comprehensive plan to address Alaska's multibillion-dollar deficit, the state revenue...

 

Alaska session expected to run long with big issues pending

JUNEAU,- Alaska legislative leaders on Friday said they plan to work beyond the voter-approved 90-day session limit because the state budget and elements of a deficit-reduction plan are unresolved....

 

Income tax and use of Permanent Fund earnings in Alaska House bill

JUNEAU - A fiscal plan proposed by Alaska House leaders Friday would reinstitute a personal state income tax for the first time in decades and use earnings from Alaska's oil-wealth fund to help pay for government. It's not the first bill this session...

 

Outcry about crime in Alaska spurs changes to last year's reforms

JUNEAU-The Alaska Senate, amid public outcry about crime in the state, is eyeing changes to sweeping criminal justice legislation passed last year. North Pole Republican Sen. John Coghill, who sponsored the new law, said several areas have emerged...

 

Hiring freeze reconsidered, tweaked by Gov. Walkers office

JUNEAU - Gov. Bill Walker's office has tweaked its policy on state agency hiring restrictions, shifting decision-making authority from Walker's chief of staff to state commissioners. John Hozey, a deputy chief of staff to Walker, said in an...

 

Walker spoke to Alaskans in the State of the State address

JUNEAU- Alaska Gov. Bill Walker on Wednesday urged lawmakers to end the bickering and get down to the serious business of resolving the state's budget crisis, challenging them to put forth a plan if they don't like what he's proposed. Walker said...

 

Rifts remain as Alaska legislators see urgency in budget work

JUNEAU - Alaska legislators agree on the need to address the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit. But rifts remain over how best to do that, with divisions forming over taxes, how much to keep...

 

Money matters weight heavy on Gov. Walker's shoulders in 2017

JUNEAU: Alaska's first independent governor enters the second half of his term with unfinished business: resolving the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit. It's not quite what the onetime mayor of rural Valdez had in mind when he campaigned fo...

 

Dividend cut by governor was indeed allowed under Alaska law

JUNEAU: A state court judge ruled a week ago Thursday that Gov. Bill Walker had the authority to reduce this year's Alaska Permanent Fund dividend, siding with the state in the politically charged case. Superior Court Judge William Morse's decision f...

 

Party for election night won't be on Alaska's dime

JUNEAU: It's an election night tradition in Alaska: jubilant candidates followed by chanting, sign-waving supporters parade into a cavernous convention hall, shaking hands and taking their turn at the makeshift TV sets dotting what is known as...

 

Gov. Walker pushes budget agenda as special session begins

State legislators met Monday for their fifth special session in two years, with Gov. Bill Walker saying they need to finish the work of addressing Alaska's gaping budget deficit. But Walker's agenda could face an uphill battle, given that proposals...

 

Lawmakers creep past regular session into overtime Monday

The Alaska Legislature went into overtime Monday as it continued to wrestle with how to confront an estimated $4 billion state budget deficit. House Speaker Mike Chenault said legislative leaders planned to keep working past the voter-approved 90-day...

 

Recession looms for Alaska economic professor warns lawmakers

The collapse in oil prices has left oil-reliant Alaska with a multibillion-dollar budget deficit and few palatable options for digging its way out. With just days left in the legislative session, state political leaders are struggling to get on the...

 

Walker reiterates call for budget plan amid dour forecast

A dour revenue forecast brought with it a warning from Gov. Bill Walker that state legislators need to deliver a plan to address Alaska's multibillion-dollar deficit this year or face a special session. Legislative leaders say Walker has a role to...

 

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