Articles written by Becky Bohrer

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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...

 

No clear consensus on how state will balance the budget

With just under a month left in the legislative session, Alaska lawmakers are trying to figure out how to pay the bills given a steep drop in oil revenue that's left the state mired in deficits. There are a plenty of ideas, but there's no clear conse...

 

More cuts considered as Legislature makes tough choices

Alaska legislators are considering budget cuts to agencies that may seem small compared to the estimated $3.5 billion deficit the state is facing amid slumping oil prices. But they could mean big changes for some state services and programs. The...

 

Lawmakers continue the battle of the budget in Juneau

Legislators this coming week will reach the half-way point of the scheduled 90-day session, with the House working toward finalizing its version of the state operating budget and a Senate committee...

 

Lawmakers grappling with proposals to balance the state's coffers

Alaskans this coming week will begin getting a sense for where the House might cut the state budget with subcommittees poised to make spending recommendations. A Senate committee plans to hear...

 

Slow pace of gasline development dismaying to Gov. Walker

Gov. Bill Walker said he wants the state and the North Slope's major producers to reach agreement on key contracts and issues related to a major gas project before the end of the current legislative session. "If agreements are not reached by the end...

 

Lawmakers agree to work together this legislative session

The first week of the new legislative session ended with Gov. Bill Walker and legislative leaders agreeing on a need to work together to confront the state's multibillion-dollar budget deficit. Now,...

 

A look at pre-filed bills coming before lawmakers this week

While the state budget crisis is dominating headlines - a number of bills were pre-filed before the legislature opened Tuesday. Rep. Jim Colver filed a bill that will effectively eliminate the...

 

Dividends shared by Alaskans in record numbers

The manager of a program that lets people donate money from their Alaska Permanent Fund dividends to nonprofits is optimistic they'll continue giving in record numbers if the dividend's size is reduced. While any Alaskan receiving a dividend can...

 

One year after taking office, Gov. Walker looks ahead

Gov. Bill Walker likened his first year in office to moving into a new house that catches fire on move-in day, with low oil prices fueling a massive state budget deficit. But he said his biggest...

 

Medicaid sees 7,700 Alaskans enrolled since September expansion

About 7,700 people have enrolled in an expanded Medicaid program launched by the state on Sept. 1 to cover more lower-income Alaskans, a state health department official said. The agency appears on...

 

Alaska income tax: a closer look at Gov's proposal

If Gov. Bill Walker gets his way, Alaskans will be chipping in to help reduce the state's estimated $3.5 billion budget deficit. Walker has proposed sweeping changes, including instituting an income...

 

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