The Alaska Legislature will go at least into a 92nd day as debate continues over HB 278, the omnibus education bill and centerpiece to a legislative session that has come to be called at Gov. Parnell's suggestion, the "education session."
In the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session Alaska lawmakers introduced, then reduced, then ultimately eliminated a budget item that would have put up money to "influence the outcome" of a ballot initiative vote. It was the right thing to do, though it highlighted the need for a more transparent budget process.Dermot Cole
The back and forth over state funds set aside for a proposed indoor tennis facility in Anchorage has ended. Legislators hashing out the state capital budget have decided to use the remaining $4.4 million for another purpose.Sean Doogan
Sen. Lesil McGuire, R-Anchorage, called it "unfortunate" that the Legislature went beyond the 90-day limit, but said it couldn't be helped. Disputes between the House and Senate on House Bill 278, which began as Gov. Sean Parnell's omnibus education bill, have proven to be a sticking point. Pat Forgey
The Alaska Legislature gave official recognition to 20 Native languages. It's a symbolic gesture, lawmakers say, but it won approval shortly after 3 a.m. Monday in no small part because dozens of Native people who are passionate about their languages spent all day and most of the night in the hallways and galleries.Dermot Cole
The Alaska Senate approved five-year subsidy plans for the Petro Star refineries and the Tesoro refinery at about 2:30 a.m. today. Critics said the companies had not made their case for the subsidy, which would increase the state deficit by up to $150 million over five years. The House adjourned at 4 a.m. without taking up the amended Senate version.Dermot Cole
Lawmakers approved a $9.1 billion budget Sunday, which includes $5.8 billion in state funds, $2 billion in federal funds and $1.3 billion in other funds. Alaska lawmakers praised themselves for finishing about $50 million below their budget targets.Dermot Cole