Gov. Walker’s proposal to change how the Permanent Fund dividend is paid as a way to help fix Alaska's massive budget deficit had few supporters Thursday when it faced public comment for the first time.

Alex DeMarban
The Alaska Legislature cut its overall travel spending last year to $500,000 from $660,000 in 2014, while top officials in Gov. Bill Walker’s administration spent slightly more than their predecessors.Nathaniel Herz
A single Alaska state senator spent $39,900 on travel in 2015, including two trips overseas — a $7,000 increase from the previous year, even as the state faces an escalating budget crisis.Nathaniel Herz
Gov. Bill Walker announced Thursday that his education commissioner, Mike Hanley, would step down March 1, with Susan McCauley, the director of the education department’s largest division, taking over as interim commissioner.Nathaniel Herz
Gov. Bill Walker’s bill to reduce tax credits to the oil and gas industry, worth $500 million to the state primarily through reduced spending, underwent tough questioning during its first hearing in the House on Wednesday.Alex DeMarban
The Alaska House on Wednesday unanimously passed a long-awaited rewrite of the state’s military justice code — the culmination of an effort that grew out of a scandal in the Alaska National Guard a year ago.Alaska Dispatch News
Rabbi Yosef Greenberg of the Lubavitch Jewish Center of Alaska, acting as guest chaplain, opened the U.S. Senate session on Wednesday morning with a prayer for healing and peace in the world.Erica Martinson
Gov. Bill Walker’s deputy chief of staff was a treasurer for the fundraising groups until May 2015, according to the agreement, an allegation that she denied. Alex DeMarban
Outgoing Alaska education commissioner Mike Hanley said Friday he had professional disagreements with the state board of education. But he said that's not a "sour grapes statement."Becky Bohrer | Associated Press

Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards said Friday that the state was launching a new push to prosecute former Veco chief Bill Allen for sex crimes. But a hurdle remains in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice, which would have to sign off for Richards’ office to prosecute Allen under an updated 1910 federal sex trafficking law called the Mann Act.

Nathaniel Herz