Peter Segall

Sens. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, center, and Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, right, put questions to Office of Management and Budget Director Neil Steininger during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The Legislature's third special session of the year is dealing mostly with budget issues despite having been called to bring resolution to the state's fiscal deficit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sens. David Wilson, R-Wasilla, center, and Lyman Hoffman, D-Bethel, right, put questions to Office of Management and Budget Director Neil Steininger during a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021. The Legislature's third special session of the year is dealing mostly with budget issues despite having been called to bring resolution to the state's fiscal deficit. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, center, leaves the House chambers on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 following marathon floor sessions that morning and Monday night. The House passed an appropriations bill but not before members of the minority voiced deep objections.
From left to right, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage; House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla and Reps. Mike Prax, R-North Pole; Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski and George Rauscher, R-Sutton, speak on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives following a floor session on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Lawmakers found themselves debating familiar topics as they worked through amendments to a budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
From left to right, House Majority Leader Chris Tuck, D-Anchorage; House Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla and Reps. Mike Prax, R-North Pole; Ben Carpenter, R-Nikiski and George Rauscher, R-Sutton, speak on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives following a floor session on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. Lawmakers found themselves debating familiar topics as they worked through amendments to a budget bill. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, speaks with Reps. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, as members of the House Republican Minority failed to show up for floor session. Divisions over the pace and direction of the special session has delayed legislative work. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, speaks with Reps. Bryce Edgmon, I-Dillingham, and Matt Claman, D-Anchorage, on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, as members of the House Republican Minority failed to show up for floor session. Divisions over the pace and direction of the special session has delayed legislative work. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state’s budget and find resolution on the state’s long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Rep. Ivy Sponholz, D-Anchorage, left, listens as Legislative Finance Director Alexei Painter gives a presentation to the House Ways and Means Committee on Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. Lawmakers have less than 30 days to try and both complete the state’s budget and find resolution on the state’s long term fiscal problems. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Lawmakers will be back at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this file photo, on Aug. 16, and after spending several weeks on background hearings and public testimony, members of the work group say they’re ready to get into solutions. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Lawmakers will be back at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this file photo, on Aug. 16, and after spending several weeks on background hearings and public testimony, members of the work group say they’re ready to get into solutions. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File
Coeur Alaska will likely be able to expand their facilities at the Kensington Gold Mine including the tailing treatment facility, seen in this October 2019 photo, after the U.S. Forest Service announced it intends to approve the company’s proposal to extend the mine’s life by 10 years. Operations were expected to end in 2023 under a plan approved in 2005.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File
Coeur Alaska will likely be able to expand their facilities at the Kensington Gold Mine including the tailing treatment facility, seen in this October 2019 photo, after the U.S. Forest Service announced it intends to approve the company’s proposal to extend the mine’s life by 10 years. Operations were expected to end in 2023 under a plan approved in 2005.
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a ceremony for Alaska Native Veterans from the Vietnam era at the Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau on May 5, 2021. Dunleavy announced the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden administration for what Dunleavy says is illegally keeping restrictions in place on federal lands in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a ceremony for Alaska Native Veterans from the Vietnam era at the Walter Soboleff Building in downtown Juneau on May 5, 2021. Dunleavy announced the state filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Biden administration for what Dunleavy says is illegally keeping restrictions in place on federal lands in Alaska. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Another special session is scheduled to start Aug. 2, 2021, at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Empire file photo. But some lawmakers said Wednesday August may be too soon, and suggest that date may change. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Another special session is scheduled to start Aug. 2, 2021, at the Alaska State Capitol, seen here in this Empire file photo. But some lawmakers said Wednesday August may be too soon, and suggest that date may change. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Courtesy photo / Alaska Court System
Chief Justice Daniel E. Winfree, right, is sword in by Justice Dario Borghesan in Anchorage on July 1. Winfree will take over after former Chief Justice Joel Bolger retired earlier this year.

State Supreme Court has new Chief Justice

Governor announces appointment to high court.

Courtesy photo / Alaska Court System
Chief Justice Daniel E. Winfree, right, is sword in by Justice Dario Borghesan in Anchorage on July 1. Winfree will take over after former Chief Justice Joel Bolger retired earlier this year.
Insulation can be seen through broken shingles on the Novatney Building’s roof. Funding for maintenance work on the roof was among Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s over $215 million in budget cuts. Design work for the effort has long been completed, said UAS facilities maintenance and operations manager Adam Zenger. The roof does not currently leak, he said, but in light of roof’s condition he said there’s concern that could change. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Insulation can be seen through broken shingles on the Novatney Building’s roof. Funding for maintenance work on the roof was among Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s over $215 million in budget cuts. Design work for the effort has long been completed, said UAS facilities maintenance and operations manager Adam Zenger. The roof does not currently leak, he said, but in light of roof’s condition he said there’s concern that could change. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy, seen here speaking at a Jun 17, 2021 news conference at the Alaska State Capitol, announced $215 million in vetoes to the state budget Thursday, and called on lawmakers to come together to solve the state's fiscal issues. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire file)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Members of the House Republican Minority Caucus talk amongst themselves during an at ease on the floor of the Alaska House of Representatives on Monday, June 28, 2021. House members reached a deal on an operating budget and avoided a government shutdown but members of the minority said they had been repeatedly pushed out of the process. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, told reporters on Friday she was optimistic a deal with the House minority caucus would be reached by Monday. Both Stutes and Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, declined to give details on the deal. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
House Speaker Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, told reporters on Friday she was optimistic a deal with the House minority caucus would be reached by Monday. Both Stutes and Minority Leader Cathy Tilton, R-Wasilla, declined to give details on the deal. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year’s second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Kiehl said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)

Lawmakers optimistic but vague about budget negotiations

Speaker said talks have improved, decline to give details

Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, spoke on the first day of the year’s second special session of the Alaska State Legislature on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. Kiehl said he was not happy to be there. Gov. Mike Dunleavy brought lawmakers back to Juneau to fix what he called a defective budget but legal questions remain unresolved. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation CEO Angela Rodell speaks to the House Finance Committee on Thursday, June 24, 2021. Rodell urged lawmakers to pass a budget before the state government shuts down on July 1, even though APFC employees are considered essential. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
A sign invites visitors into the Alaska State Capitol building on Monday, June 21, 2021. Lawmakers will begin their second special session of the year Wednesday after Gov. Mike Dunleavy sent the state’s budget bill back to lawmakers saying it lacked critical components. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File
Royal Caribbean’s “Radiance of the Seas” is docked in Seward on Sept. 7, 2007.
AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz, File
Royal Caribbean’s “Radiance of the Seas” is docked in Seward on Sept. 7, 2007.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn’t rectify by Friday issues with the budget passed earlier this week.
Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy held a press conference at the Alaska State Capitol on Thursday to say he was ready to call lawmakers into yet another special session if they didn’t rectify by Friday issues with the budget passed earlier this week.
Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire)

State avoids shutdown, but PFD questions remain

Capitol reopened, and lawmakers prepare for take off.

Tensions were running high during the Senate debate over the budget, and Sen. Mia Costello, R-Anchorage, spoke to Sen. Tom Begich, D-Anchorage, about comments he made on the floor on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (Peter Segall/Juneau Empire)