Alaska Legislature

The special session of the Alaska State Legislature is split between two cities. Most legislators are in session at the capitol in Juneau, but about a third of Alaska senators and representatives followed Governor Dunleavy to Wasilla, making an override of the governor’s budget cuts an impossibility. District P Senator Gary Stevens of Kodiak spoke with KBBI’s Kathleen Gustafson by phone from Juneau about the failure to override and about what comes next in the special session for this week’s Legislative Update.

Senator Gary Stevens spoke with KBBI's Kathleen Gustafson about the possibility of a special session in Wasilla and about his work as chair of the legislative council and education committee for this week's Legislative Update.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer Rep. Sarah Vance is for the first time speaking out publicly about Gov. Michael Dunleavy’s proposed budget cuts. The freshman Republican has been media shy since being elected in November. But she broke her silence on AM talk radio Wednesday.

Vance doesn’t talk to the media very often. Citing scheduling conflicts since Dunleavy unveiled his spending plan, she’s canceled three interviews with KBBI. She also did not return requests for comment from the Peninsula Clarion.

Vance sworn into Alaska's 31st Legislature

Jan 15, 2019
360 North

Today was the first day of the legislative session and Sarah Vance was officially sworn in as House District 31’s representative.

Lt. Gov. Kevin Meyer swore in House reps. in batches.  

“Ok continue now with the oath of office," Meyer said. "Will the following reps. come forward for their oath of office: House District 29 Ben Carpenter, House District 30 Gary Knopp, House District 31 Sarah Vance.”

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Homer resident Sarah Vance is set to take House District 31 Rep. Paul Seaton’s place in little over a week. She met with constituents late Thursday morning ahead of the upcoming legislative session. Constituents lobbied and questioned the freshman representative on everything from the budget to the potential repeal of a contentious criminal justice reform bill.



Over a dozen people crowded into the meeting room at the Homer Legislative Information Office  to get their chance to personally ask Vance questions.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

House Rep. Paul Seaton of Homer is taking a new route this election cycle. Seaton has represented House District 31 on the Kenai Peninsula as a Republican since 2002, but he filed Thursday to run as a non-partisan candidate in the Democratic primary.

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Gov. Bill Walker visited Homer Thursday. Walker was in town for an campaign fundraiser Thursday evening, but he also met with public officials and gave a speech during a Homer Rotary Club meeting in the afternoon.

Walker highlighted the end of the legislative session, and noted some of the roughly 130 bills passed this year, namely Senate Bill 26. The bill will allow the state to draw from the Permanent Fund Earnings reserve to pay for both dividends and government.

Photo Courtesy of South Peninsula Hospital

Healthcare providers may go a few weeks without Medicaid reimbursements. After it became clear that Medicaid funding will run dry about a month short of the new fiscal year, the Legislature included some funding to pay for Medicaid services until July 1 as it passed the capital budget over the weekend. 

Aaron Bolton, KBBI News

Boat and fishing vessel owners will likely be required to meet new registration and title requirements next year. The change is part of Senate Bill 92, which passed through the state Legislature this week. The bill aims to give the state, municipalities and individuals more tools to hold owners of derelict and abandoned vessels legally liable.

The Senate sent the bill to Gov. Bill Walker’s desk Thursday after the House passed the legislation earlier this week.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska Republican Party leaders voted Saturday to block Homer Rep. Paul Seaton, Anchorage Rep. Gabrielle LeDoux and Rep. Louise Stutes of Kodiak from running in the party’s 2018 primaries.  

All three representatives joined Democrats and independents last fall to form a bipartisan coalition, taking control of the House away from Republicans. The Republican Party’s state central committee said that violated a party rule about caucusing with other political parties and that the legislators misled voters when the joined the coalition.

Courtesy of Alaska Legislature

Alaska’s Legislature is in the midst of its fourth special session. Gov. Bill Walker called legislators back to Juneau to tackle criminal justice reform and to consider his latest tax proposal. KBBI’s Aaron Bolton spoke with Homer Rep. Paul Seaton about the House passing its version of Senate Bill 54, which would bring back jail time for class C felonies and where the House Finance Committee stands on Walker’s flat tax proposal. 

Gov shutdown may impact fishing and tourism in Homer

Jun 19, 2017

Alaska’s Legislature has been at an impasse for months on the state budget. Gov. Bill Walker called legislators back for a second special session Friday and voiced his dissatisfaction with their progress. With a potential state government shutdown about two weeks away, Homer’s fishing and tourism industry could suffer.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is still working through the kinks of a potential government shutdown on July 1.

“This has never happened in Alaska. We’ve never faced this,” Fish and Game Commissioner Sam Cotton said.

Alaska State Representative Paul Seaton of Homer joined KBBI's Carolyn Norton Friday morning, April 21st to discuss the process of negotiating an operating budget and fiscal plan.

Photo by Casey Marsh/KBBI

Welcome to the Friends of the Homer Public Library District 31 Candidate Forum. The participants are Representative Paul Seaton of Homer; Homer Mayor Beth Wythe; and John Cox of Anchor Point. The Forum took place on Friday August 6th at the Homer Public Library, and was moderated by Andy Haas.

Forum Shows Contrasts in HD 31 Candidates

Aug 8, 2016
Photo by Casey Marsh/KBBI

Tune in to KBBI this Wednesday from 9-11 a.m. to hear the entire candidate forum hosted by the Friends of the Homer Library.

The forum took place Aug. 5 at the Homer Public Library with Rep. Paul Seaton, Homer Mayor Beth Wythe and candidate John Cox.

The three are running in the Alaska Republican primary for the House of Representatives seat in District 31 that is currently held by Seaton.