Committee to take up Education Bill on Tuesday at 10

Committee to take up Education Bill on Tuesday at 10

Gavel Alaska is reporting Conference Committee on Education will continue meeting on Tuesday morning.

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Gavel Alaska ‏@GavelAlaska 22m

Conference committee on education bill has been rescheduled to 10 am tomorrow. Senate & House meeting back up at 11 am. #akleg

#akleg  on Twitter is the place to go for latest updates on what is happening in Juneau. Alaska Legislature members and Alaska press are constantly posting update and info.

I’m sitting here listening to the Kodiak Island Borough School Board meeting which must OK a budget for next year tonight then meet with the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly on Thursday…Kind of challenging to present a reasonable budget while still waiting for legislature to approve school funding…Maggie

Photo from Alaska Democratic Caucus Facebook Page.

What legislators say about session and bills

See this article on How to Find Out Which Bills Got Passed.

A good way to track what got passed and what the various legislators think about the session and the issues they dealt with is to go to the four different caucus websites and read press releases, newsletter summaries being sent to constituents, as well as Twitter and Facebook posts.

Here are the links the four caucus groups in the Alaska Legislature.

House Majority Republican Caucus

Check out “Latest News” tab and also look at bottom of page for summary of most viewed, etc.  Usually, they post end of session press availability and assorted audio – video items under “Recent Media.”

This caucus site is the best for post-session press releases and bill summaries during the first few days after the session. Also it is the best site to follow for what bills have been signed by the governor, usually with a press release for each bill as it’s signed. Those often take several months to process, so bookmark the site and check back often.

This site tends to be the most active of the four in the off-session, interim months.

Also be sure to check those newsletters to constituents that summarize what happened in Juneau. They are some of the best sources of info in terms of being easy to understand. Also, you get background or “asides” from the legislators that you won’t get anywhere else.

  Senate Majority Republican Caucus

The Senate Majority also does a good job of posting press releases and updates on bill progress and signings after the session is over. Same with audio-video. And same as above for constituent newsletters.  Be sure to check the bottom of the home page for latest updates and “In the News” where you’ll find articles, etc. from Alaska media about what Senate does.

The House Minority and the Senate Minority

The Majority Caucuses have the money and the staff to do lots of press stuff, but the two minority caucuses generally have viewpoints and materials you won’t find anywhere else–partly because they don’t get the press coverage the majority does.

(The majority controls the legislature so most of the bills passed are majority bills, so that makes it a fact of political life, not necessarily a pro-Republican thing in terms of press coverage.)

The updates to constituents written by the minority legislators tend to have a totally different tone from those of majority legislators. Plus, the different perspective is refreshing–sometimes the only place you’ll hear many of these thoughts expressed are in the minority members’ letters to their constituents.

Alaska Senate Democrats News Room

The Senate Minority’s take on what happened in the legislature and perspectives on different bills.

Alaska House Democrats Website

This takes you to home page of House Minority’s website which includes recent press releases and commentary. The House Democrats are really good at Facebook and Twitter.

(They won my vote as a good source of info back in the beginning of the year when their Facebook post was virtually the only mention of the State of the State Address before it happened…Maggie)

What bills have been passed by the Alaska Legislature

Here are some links to find out what is happening in Juneau on this final day of the session.

Good luck getting on it this final day of the session, but  here is the page on the Alaska Legislature’s official site that shows what bills have passed as of when you search the site.

There are instructions from me on how to use the Bills Passed Page below, or click on this link to the original post.


Here’s where you’ll find a listing and links to all the House Majority’s Press Releases.  You might want to bookmark it and refer back to it after the session when they have time to write lots of press releases about all the different bills that they passed……………..

Summary of new items posted on the Alaska Senate Majority website.  Click on the bar labeled “Breaking News” which is gold in color and under the main photo. Same as above, you may want to bookmark this page so you can what they say about bills after the session.


The House Democratic (Minority) Caucus is also posting news and commentaries on bills. Look to bottom of page to see Twitter and Facebook posts.


The Senate Democratic (Minority) Caucus has a lot of posts, Twitter, and Facebook comments going up in these final hours.  Look near the bottom of the page for the current info.



Request for help from Jetpack about SPAM emails


I hope you can help as I have reached the end of my rope. Plus your system will never work for the people that I do websites for unless there is a fix.

I’ve tolerated this too long and will fix this this week even if it means going to a different system, which from Googling the issue, it looks like I will.

I also do websites and your plug-in widget sign-up is great for letting people know when a new post is posted.  I’d like to use it on websites I design for people who know nothing about marketing or dealing with websites. Simple…make a post…and people who sign up will get a notice by email.

Unfortunately, I cannot in good conscious recommend your system given all the trouble I have.

I must get 100+ emails a day with new SPAM subscribers.

Can you tell me how to fix this, or recommend a different system that would work for “newbie” website owners and basic internet marketers like those whose sites I build?

Here’s a link to where I posted a Jing of one page of subscribers so you can see what I’m talking about.


Information on Alaska Capital and Operating Budgets

Alaska’s Fiscal Year 2015 Budgets.

Funding for new fiscal year which begins July 1st.

Where Does Alaska’s Money Go?

The state’s Operating Budget controls the day-to-day expenses of running the state, including staff, office supplies and the telephone bill.

The Capital Budget determines what is spent on infrastructure and big ticket items like buildings and trucks.

I tell people to think of the Capitol Building, where the legislature meets. That Capitol Building is spelled with an “O” while the Capital Budget uses an “A”. If they do work on the building or decide to build a new one, the money for the Capitol Building would be in the Capital Budget.

A third budget that you hear mentioned is the Mental Health Trust Budget. State statute requires that mental health funding be presented in a separate appropriation bill, making it easier to track what funds the state invests in that area.

The Operating Budget is HB266.                 How much does Alaska have in Savings?

The Mental Health Budget is HB 267.

And the Capital Budget is SB 119.


Understanding Alaska’s Budget  –  A great source of simple-to-understand materials on the budget and how it works. Lots of colorful charts, pies and graphics.  Site was commissioned by the legislature to help Alaskans understand the budget. (This is where these great, colorful graphics came from.)

Ballotpedia — Quick overview of budget with lots of links to sources.

Alaska’s Mental Health Trust Fund Budget — The lesser known “third” budget the Alaska Legislature approves.

Alaska Office of Management and Budget — Home Page, links to more on right and in header at top of page.

OMB Links for 2015 Operating, Capitol Budgets — With links to 20-million pages of information and backup data.

Glossary of Budget Terms — In case you get confused reading through those 20-million pages of information and backup data.

Our spending per person is higher than any other state. It is worth noting that states with smaller populations generally have high per capita spending.

Citizen’s Guide to Alaska Budget — (Opens in PDF format) One of those old goodies from the Legislature that explains how the process works.

Swiss Army Knife Guide to Alaska Budget Process –  (Opens in PDF format)

You have not lived until you’ve read through the Swiss Army Knife.  It was updated in 2012,  so it’s pretty snazzy compared to the old classic version. This a “Classic” for all the right reasons.

It’s what the Alaska Legislature uses to teach staff and new legislators about how the budget process works.