State & Legislature

Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, listens to a question during a press conference in this Empire file photo. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
Sen. John Coghill, R-North Pole, listens to a question during a press conference in this Empire file photo. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
James Biela, lead field advocate the Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, speaks during an informational meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

New data shows Alaska suicide rate increase

Someone in Alaska dies by suicide every 44 hours.

James Biela, lead field advocate the Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, speaks during an informational meeting at the Capitol on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Dr. Suzanne Allen, from Boise, Idaho, gives an overview of the WWAMI School of Medical Education program to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Tuition assistance for medical students on the chopping block

Alaska would be the only state in the country to not provide state assistance for medical education.

Dr. Suzanne Allen, from Boise, Idaho, gives an overview of the WWAMI School of Medical Education program to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Monday, March 25, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Gov. Mike Dunleavy. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this May 2008 photo, the ferry Malaspina heads up Lynn Canal toward Haines and Skagway, Alaska, from Juneau. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
In this May 2008 photo, the ferry Malaspina heads up Lynn Canal toward Haines and Skagway, Alaska, from Juneau. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire File)
Commissioner Designee Bruce Tangeman presents the state’s revenue forecast to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

New state revenue forecast slightly more positive for 2020

Oil forecast goes from $63 to $69 per barrel.

Commissioner Designee Bruce Tangeman presents the state’s revenue forecast to the Senate Finance Committee at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Students from the University of Alaska system pose for a photo after a rally on Monday, March 18, 2019. (Mollie Barnes | Juneau Empire)
Students from the University of Alaska system pose for a photo after a rally on Monday, March 18, 2019. (Mollie Barnes | Juneau Empire)
This graph shows the fare box recovery rate for the Alaska Marine Highway System. (Courtesy)

Beyond the budget: What are the options to extend ferry service past October?

After hearing hundreds of testimonies, lawmakers say keeping basic service a top priority.

This graph shows the fare box recovery rate for the Alaska Marine Highway System. (Courtesy)
Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, right, reacts as Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, D-Sitka, mentions a bill to move legislative meetings to Anchorage as they speak at the Native Issues Forum with Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, left, and Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Kiehl: ‘We’re pulling so hard to keep from going backwards’ on senior housing shortage

‘We’re finding ourselves a little short on time and resources to try and move forward.’

Rep. Dan Ortiz, I-Ketchikan, right, reacts as Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tompkins, D-Sitka, mentions a bill to move legislative meetings to Anchorage as they speak at the Native Issues Forum with Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, left, and Rep. Andi Story, D-Juneau, in the Elizabeth Peratrovich Hall on Wednesday, March 13, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
People pack the room to give public testimony on the Alaska Marine Highway System in the House Transportation and Public Facilities committee on March, 12, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)
People pack the room to give public testimony on the Alaska Marine Highway System in the House Transportation and Public Facilities committee on March, 12, 2019. (Alex McCarthy | Juneau Empire)

On day 56, the Alaska Legislature passes first resolution of session

Congress accepting comments on environmental impacts on ANWR through Wednesday.

The Alaska State Marine Highway Ferry Fairweather pulls up to the Auke Bay Terminal in this 2014 file photo.
The Alaska State Marine Highway Ferry Fairweather pulls up to the Auke Bay Terminal in this 2014 file photo.
Laura Stats of Juneau testifies against Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s payback dividend bills, Senate Bills 23 and 24, during a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting, Thursday night. Stats said these bills would cause “chaos” in Alaska, because of the services that must be cut to fund these Senate Bills. (Kevin Baird ι Juneau Empire).

Alaskans weigh-in on ‘super-sized’ PFD

Most would prefer to fund education, other services

Laura Stats of Juneau testifies against Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s payback dividend bills, Senate Bills 23 and 24, during a Senate State Affairs Committee meeting, Thursday night. Stats said these bills would cause “chaos” in Alaska, because of the services that must be cut to fund these Senate Bills. (Kevin Baird ι Juneau Empire).
Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, speaks during a rally of state union workers in front of the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

Senate Democrats express disapproval over Dunleavy’s budget

‘You can’t break the economy in one portion of the state and expect everybody else to be OK.’

Sen. Jesse Kiehl, D-Juneau, speaks during a rally of state union workers in front of the Capitol on Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
Juneau Empire reporters Kevin Baird, left, and Mollie Barnes interview Gov. Mike Dunleavy at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)

A conversation with the governor

Gov. says businesses will come back to Alaska if budget is balanced.

Juneau Empire reporters Kevin Baird, left, and Mollie Barnes interview Gov. Mike Dunleavy at the Capitol on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire)
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