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Leg With Louie: COVID-19 Legislative Response update

By the time you receive this email, the Alaska State Legislature may be in recess, allowing them to leave Juneau and practice effective social distancing, which is not possible during floor sessions and hallway discussions. We should commend their efforts to date. A series of important bills have proceeded in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its mounting impacts on …

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Leg with Louie: Before the Session Ends

The Legislature is coming to a close, with pandemic and economic headwinds and more than a little uncertainty ahead. For the safety of our representatives, we need them to pass a budget and go home now. The session will likely adjourn or recess after a budget deal is struck sometime next week. In the meantime, why are legislators, like Sarah …

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Leg with Louie: Staying Engaged in Uncertain Times

It is to their credit that our legislators have an eye on the pandemic, and an eye toward closing shop early, and are discussing processes to vote on the budget and governor’s appointments by phone. Taking it week by week is the way to go, or probably more like day to day if yesterday’s spate of event, class, gathering, and …

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Leg with louie: Governor Dunleavy heads to the Kenai Peninsula

Dear Friends, The Governor’s operating budget for Alaska was improved by House Finance and sent from the full House this week with increases to the Alaska Marine Highway System, Pioneer Homes, Public Broadcasting, and reduced less than the Governor requested in many other areas. The bill – still a grim and diminished vision for Alaska – headed to the Senate for …

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Leg with Louie: Tell the House to Trust Alaskans

This is a blog, and it is an action alert. Your help is needed ASAP, so please click the action link. The House Resources Committee will take up amendments to HB 138 on Monday. This legislation, sponsored by Representative Chuck Kopp, will make it impossible for Alaskans to protect waters of high ecological value as Tier III waters under the …

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Leg with Louie: Who Pays and Why?

As we mature into modern statehood, or our middle adolescence, or late pre-adolescence as a state, we do well to consider the things we have perhaps outgrown and update them or trade them in for something new. This includes old timey tax structures. Our state’s motor fuel and marine fuel tax has not changed since the 1970s.  Senate Bill 115 …

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Leg with louie: The Condition our Condition is in

Our Governor does not look comfortable standing tall to the scrutiny of our 60 State Legislators. No, he looks short of breath and even nervous. I have met the man and shook his hand, and by gosh, he looks dashing when he smiles. If I were working in his office, I would find a way to employ a smile coach …

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Leg With Louie: It’s Business Time in Alaska

The Governor recently submitted to the legislature a small squadron of bills as a part of a self-proclaimed “Open for Business” platform. Not only is this catchphrase redolent of the wonderful Flight of the Concords song “Business Time” it also bears the burnish of historical use. It is what Vitus Bering reported back to Peter the Great in 1725. It is …

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Leg With Louie: hope for the future in the dim light of a dawning decade

Under a newly proposed Trump Administration rule, Environmental Impact Statements on major federal actions, say permitting a Pebble Mine or a transnational oil pipeline, would be limited to a maximum of two years of agency and public review and among other limitations, the analysis of cumulative impacts is not allowed. Trump’s new EIS rule change would institutionalize the same shoddy, …

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Leg with Louie: what’s next?

There is little to no chance the legislature will accede to Governor Dunleavy’s request for a special session at a middle school in Wasilla (though the idea is fun). This administration is no friend to the Legislative majorities right now and appears to have an instinct for bullying. I bet if they go, they go to gavel in and gavel …