(158) stories found containing 'bert stedman'

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State House approves budget with one-time boost in school funding

The Alaska House has sent to the Senate a state operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 with an almost $2,300 Permanent Fund dividend that would be the single largest expenditure in the spending plan. The budget also includes $175...

 By Larry Persily    News    March 27, 2024

Ferry ridership still not back to pre-pandemic numbers

The state ferry system carried 181,000 passengers in 2023, still short of the pre-COVID numbers in 2019 and down substantially from almost 340,000 in 2012 and more than 420,000 in 1992. Overall vehicle traffic also is down, from more than 115,000 in...

 By Larry Persily    News    March 20, 2024

Legislature falls short in override of governor's school funding veto

Alaska lawmakers fell one vote short Monday in an attempt to override the governor’s veto of a comprehensive school funding bill, which included a permanent increase in the state funding formula for K-12 education and which could have provided an add...

 By James Brooks    News    March 20, 2024

Higher oil prices add about 2% to estimated state revenues

A new state revenue forecast based on modestly higher oil prices gives the Alaska Legislature some additional breathing room as lawmakers craft a new state budget. The forecast, released March 13 by the Alaska Department of Revenue, updates a fall... Full story

 By James Brooks    News    March 13, 2024

Legislative leaders say state cannot afford governor's dividend proposal

Leading Alaska legislators said there is little appetite for spending from savings to pay a super-sized Permanent Fund dividend this year, likely killing a proposal from Gov. Mike Dunleavy. In December, the governor proposed spending almost $2.3 bill... Full story

 By Yereth Rosen    News    March 13, 2024

Legislators look for answers to help beleaguered seafood industry

Russian fish flooding global markets and other economic forces beyond the state’s border have created dire conditions for Alaska’s seafood industry. Now key state legislators are seeking to establish a task force to come up with responses to the low... Full story


Alaska needs to control its PFD politics

It was a perplexing week in the Legislature. While the Senate Finance Committee was reviewing honest numbers about real budget needs hitting up against the limit of available state revenues, the House was debating whether the exalted Permanent Fund...

 By Sean Maguire    News    March 6, 2024

State budget tight, with several big items still to be considered

State senators heard last week that based on current revenue forecasts, legislators will struggle to balance the budget with several big-spending items still to be considered. The nonpartisan Legislative Finance Division explained that items...

 By Yereth Rosen    News    December 20, 2023

Governor proposes drawing down state savings to pay larger PFD

With a deep reduction in oil revenues expected, Alaska is on track for an almost $1 billion budget hole in the coming year that will have to be filled with money from savings, according to a spending plan presented Dec. 14 by Gov. Mike Dunleavy. The... Full story


Governor's budget includes no increase in school funding

Gov. Mike Dunleavy said education is among his top priorities in the coming fiscal year but did not include an increase to the state’s per-student funding formula, known as the base student allocation, in his proposed budget. The budget includes abou...

 By James Brooks    News    October 18, 2023

Spending on dividend and public services squeezes Permanent Fund

The Alaska Permanent Fund isn’t running out of money, but it may be running out of money that can be spent. After years of earning less than it needed to beat inflation and the demands of the state treasury, the Permanent Fund’s spendable res... Full story


Legislators say higher oil revenues will enable more spending on public needs

With high oil prices driving up state revenues, Southeast legislators say to expect a larger capital budget next year for public works projects, more money for deferred maintenance and another attempt to boost state funding for public schools....


State plans to send Matanuska into shipyard for full-hull scan

The state wants to send the Matanuska, the oldest vessel in the Alaska Marine Highway System fleet, into a shipyard for the equivalent of a full-body scan. Management wants to find out just how much of the ship’s steel has rusted, and how far the r...

 By Larry Persily    News    June 28, 2023

State ferry system says it is unable to provide hiring numbers

The Alaska Marine Highway System, which five months ago embarked on improving its hiring process to address chronic crew shortages, is unable to say how many new employees it has hired since then. The push started after a consultant’s report in J...

 By Larry Persily    News    June 28, 2023

Legislators disappointed but not surprised at governor's education funding veto

Southeast legislators said they were disappointed that Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed half of the one-time increase in state money for K-12 public schools, but will try again next year to address education funding needs. “We heard from school districts a...


Permanent Fund needs to share more investment details

I congratulate the Permanent Fund trustees for adopting Resolution 23-01 at their April 12 meeting to limit additional investment in the in-state investment program in which Barings and McKinley Capital Management have each been given $100 million to...


Reader appreciates the Sentinel's award-winning, quality journalism

I just wanted to give a big shout-out for all the recent awards the Sentinel staff received at the annual Alaska Press Club contest. I won’t try to name them all. Wrangell should be very proud of Larry Persily and the entire crew at the newspaper. I...

 By James Brooks    News    May 10, 2023

Senators acknowledge no change this year in public employee retirement plan

As public employees rallied in front of the Alaska Capitol last week, demanding reinstatement of a pension system the Legislature abolished 18 years ago, leading members of the state Senate said their request was unlikely to be fulfilled this year.... Full story


Legislators say not enough time left in session for a sales tax

Almost two weeks after Gov. Mike Dunleavy told lawmakers he would propose a new sales tax, legislators have yet to see the governor’s bill — and are still far from reaching agreement on the state’s fiscal future. Lawmakers broadly agree on the need...

 By Larry Persily    News    April 26, 2023

Governor tells legislators he will introduce state sales tax

Gov. Mike Dunleavy told legislators in a pair of closed-door meetings last week that he will introduce a state sales tax as a component of a budget-balancing, long-term fiscal plan. But with just three weeks left in the legislative session, with no...

 By Sean Maguire    News    April 19, 2023

PFD, school funding separate House and Senate in final budget weeks

With four weeks left before the May 17 adjournment deadline, legislators are focusing on the state budget and how to resolve big differences between the House and Senate over school funding and the amount of this year’s Permanent Fund dividend. T...


Southeast at risk of losing Alaska Marine Highway service to Prince Rupert, permanently

Ketchikan, her close community neighbors and all of Southeast Alaska are in danger. We are at risk of losing our Alaska Marine Highway System ferry run to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, permanently. Ferry service to Prince Rupert is vital. It is...

 By Larry Persily    News    April 5, 2023

State plans to spend $8 million to replace steel on Matanuska

The state now plans to spend an estimated $8 million to replace wasted steel on the ferry Matanuska. If the repairs can be completed in time, the ship could be available by late summer or early fall if it is needed to fill in on Southeast routes....

 By Alaska Beacon    News    April 5, 2023

State Senate not interested in blocking legislative pay raise

The Alaska House of Representatives could vote this week or next on a bill that would block a 67% pay raise for state legislators and a 20% raise for the governor and top members of the executive branch. Passage of the bill is anticipated — m... Full story

 By Sean Maguire    News    March 29, 2023

House approves funding for more food stamp workers to clear applications backlog

The Alaska House advanced a targeted spending bill March 22, intended to address the state’s unprecedented backlog of unanswered applications for food stamp benefits and a shortage of public defenders in criminal cases. The budget bill is being f...


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