Politics

Democrats are making use of an obscure provision in state budgeting law that hasn't been relevant for a decade, and that some say shouldn't exist and isn't working as intended. 

Pat Forgey
The extended session means that Alaska legislators are now collecting a total of about $13,000 extra per diem each day. On Wednesday, a number of session-only legislative staff jobs ended, but many of those workers will be kept on as the session continues, further increasing costs.Pat Forgey
The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act on Wednesday, with an amendment from Alaska Sen. Dan Sullivan that has its roots in the Veco scandal.Alaska Dispatch News
While Alaska legislative leaders negotiate a final budget deal, most other lawmakers have little to do. Advocates of Medicaid expansion, among them Gov. Bill Walker, say they should use their time to study the proposal.Nathaniel Herz
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker was adopted into the Kaagwaantaan clan last week during a meeting of the Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, according to a press release from his office.Associated Press
Senate Republicans on Tuesday tried to enlist the media in a bid to reach Alaskans unhappy with their budget cuts. Democrats say the cuts are unnecessarily deep because they won't stop the state from running out of money.Nathaniel Herz
Former Anchorage mayoral candidate Andrew Halcro returns to the talk show circuit with a political show on an Anchorage AM station.Devin Kelly
Republican leaders say they have solid ground to extend the Legislature's work beyond 90 days because they are relying on the Alaska Constitution's maximum 120-day session limit, not the shorter limit established by the voter initiative process in 2006.Pat Forgey
While the Legislature voted 47-12 to confirm Randy Hoffbeck as revenue commissioner, the leaders of a Senate committee voted against him, with one asserting that an investment decision Hoffbeck made last month cost the state tens of millions of dollars. It's a claim he rejects.Dermot Cole
Rank-and-file legislators trickled into the Capitol later than usual Monday as Republican and Democratic leaders met to try to resolve a budget impasse that extended the Alaska Legislature’s 90-day session past its scheduled adjournment Sunday night.Nathaniel Herz