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Alaska's Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott walked an unusual path to his role as the state's second-ranked elected official, and as a result may have an unprecedented role within the administration of Gov. Bill Walker. Just how significant that role will be, however, remains to be seen.

Pat Forgey
A question in a survey distributed by Kodiak Sen. Gary Stevens asks whether lawmakers should continue to have to submit receipts for qualified office expenses or if the money should be treated as compensation, which would be taxable. Dermot Cole
As Alaska looks to close a looming budget deficit by largely relying on the state’s savings accounts, some are pondering longer-term solutions to the state’s fiscal predicament, including some uncomfortable ideas like instituting new taxes or diverting some of the earnings of the Permanent Fund.Nathaniel Herz
A new Anchorage Assembly committee has been tasked with studying the regulation and taxation of the cultivation, manufacture and commercial sale of marijuana in Anchorage.Suzanna Caldwell
Gov. Bill Walker contends that loosening the state's tight nine-month deadline for crafting marijuana regulations would create the "best possible regulations," said Grace Jang, the governor's spokesperson. Laurel Andrews
An ordinance that would have banned commercial marijuana in Anchorage failed after four hours of public testimony and debate in Assembly chambers Tuesday night. Several Assembly members expressed concern that a ban would disconnect them from conversations regarding marijuana regulations at the state level.  Suzanna Caldwell
Alaska’s U.S. Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan ended the first campaign finance reporting period after his Nov. 4 election victory with more than $275,000 in the bank, according to a filing this month with the Federal Election Commission.Nathaniel Herz
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich voted Monday to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the country’s surgeon general, who was narrowly approved after a lengthy delay stemming from a controversy over the nominee’s views on gun rights.Nathaniel Herz
Alaska's U.S. Sen.-elect Dan Sullivan will serve on the Senate's commerce committee, a slot he requested because of the committee's jurisdiction over fisheries. He was also named Monday to the committees on the environment and public works, armed services, and veterans' affairs.Nathaniel Herz
Officials say the state might have to repay tens of millions of dollars to the federal government if it wants to kick the Juneau Access Road and the Knik Arm Crossing to the curb.   Alex DeMarban