Politics

After weeks of inaction, the state House spent nearly all day Thursday in session debating the new budget proposal from the Republican-led majority caucus, but at least a dozen Democratic amendments were rejected.

Nathaniel Herz,Pat Forgey
The state House rejected efforts Thursday to cap spending on oil company tax credits at $500 million, as majority members argued that deferring $200  million or more in cash payments for even a few months could harm small oil and gas companies that need the cash. Dermot Cole
The state of Alaska is instituting a hiring freeze Friday across much of state government as a result of the Legislature’s inability to approve a fully funded budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.Pat Forgey
Alaska state Rep. Lance Pruitt, an Anchorage Republican, says he’s been asked by several people to challenge longtime Republican U.S. Rep. Don Young in 2016 and would give the idea more consideration after the end of this year’s state legislative session.Nathaniel Herz
The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a new regulation Wednesday that defines the scope of federal oversight of waters, to a chorus of Alaska lawmakers and industry groups calling it an egregious federal overreach. Erica Martinson
The Republican-led House Finance Committee on Wednesday morning unveiled an offer to Democrats that seeks to break the Alaska Legislature’s budget stalemate by spending more for education and state workers, but ignores Medicaid expansion.Nathaniel Herz
Alaska’s House Democratic leader says he’s reached an impasse in his budget negotiations with his Republican counterpart, and he plans to propose a new framework for discussions that could include an outside mediator or bringing in Gov. Bill Walker.Nathaniel Herz
The Alaska Legislature on Tuesday unveiled plans to cut back its nonpartisan support staff, which it said would save $1.7 million by eliminating 23 jobs and the Capitol tour program in Juneau.Nathaniel Herz
The Republican-led House majority caucus took a major step Tuesday to execute its plan to use the Alaska Permanent Fund to get access to money with which to balance this year's budget, but critics from both outside and inside the caucus have expressed concerns that the plan could threaten future dividend payments.Pat Forgey,Nathaniel Herz
Alaska's junior Senator, Dan Sullivan, will join a U.S. Senate delegation led by Arizona Sen. John McCain that will visit Vietnam and Singapore this week.Associated Press