After budget, legislators' work might not be doneMonday, April 20, 2015 6:15am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Efforts to reach agreement on a state spending plan continued Monday, as the Legislature went into overtime. But even after a budget is finalized, legislators' work may not be done. Gov. Bill Walker has indicated he could call a special session if lawmakers do not address Medicaid expansion before adjourning. He told reporters late Sunday night that other bills also could possibly be added to any special session call. Voters in 2006 approved an initiative calling for 90-day legislative sessions, but the Alaska Constitution allows for legislators to meet for up to 121 days, with an option of extending. If the governor calls a special session, the bills under consideration would be limited to those he lists. Under an extended legislative session, all bills remain in play.
Senate considers new committee on federal issuesMonday, April 20, 2015 6:00am
- JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - Alaska's Senate is poised to consider creating a special committee to address federal overreach. A resolution from the Senate Rules Committee would create a Senate Special Committee on Federal Overreach. The resolution calls for the new committee to submit reports to the Senate in January 2016 and 2017 about how to use state authority to oppose what it calls the unconstitutional exercises of federal power. The reports also are supposed to address how Alaska can work with other states on such issues. The resolution suggests the governor form a working group to create a new organization focused on state-federal relations. The resolution would create a seven-member committee that terminates in January 2017. Costs are expected to be absorbed in the legislative budget. The resolution was on the Senate's calendar Monday.
Annual native dance festival held in BethelMonday, April 20, 2015 5:45am
- BETHEL, Alaska (AP) - Native dancers from across the country joined traditional and modern dancers this weekend at the annual Cama-i Dance Festival in Bethel. Alaska public radio station KYUK reports young dancers gathered in the Bethel regional high school gym to personify this year's theme, Generations Celebrating Through Dance. Performers said dancing is one way tribes keep a vibrant culture despite factors like relocation and loss of language.