Articles written by Andrew Kitchenman

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  • In final judgment, judge blocks Alaska correspondence provisions, keeps current rules through June

    Andrew Kitchenman|May 9, 2024

    An Anchorage Superior Court judge on Thursday put on hold through the end of the school year a ruling invalidating two provisions of state law governing correspondence education. Judge Adolf Zeman issued a hold, known as a “stay,” requested by plaintiffs on a ruling he made in April, that found the state violated the Alaska Constitution by providing public funding for private schools through its allotment program. The hold will remain in effect through June 30. Along with the hold, Zeman issued a final judgment on the two provisions, ena... Full story

  • Alaska House rejects per-student school funding increase

    Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Beacon|Feb 22, 2024

    The Alaska House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against increasing the amount written into law saying how much the state should spend per student in public schools. Wednesday’s action isn’t final, and the House could change course as soon as 11 a.m. Thursday, when debates are scheduled to resume. House Minority Leader Calvin Schrage, I-Anchorage, said it would be accurate to consider things in a holding pattern. “Obviously, we haven’t come to a deal yet. But the bill will be in second (reading) tomorrow. So we’ll still have the opportuni... Full story

  • Questions on minimum wage, paid sick leave and campaign funding could be heading to Alaska voters

    Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Beacon|Jul 20, 2023

    Proposed ballot measures would raise Alaska minimum wage, add mandatory paid sick leave, as well as limit campaign contributions and state spending on party candidate nominations. The Alaska Division of Elections received the proposals last week. One proposed ballot measure would make a series of changes to state labor laws. It would raise the hourly minimum wage — currently $10.85 — to $13 in July 2025, $14 in July 2026 and $15 in July 2027, and annually according to inflation after that. It would require employers with 15 or more employees to... Full story

  • Permanent Fund account under pressure from investment losses and inflation

    Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Beacon|Jun 1, 2023

    For 41 years, Alaskans’ bank accounts have been refilled with dividends – usually more than $1,000 – from the $76.6 billion Alaska Permanent Fund. More recently, the fund also has been the biggest source of money paying for state government. But what if there was no money available for either dividends or the state budget? Permanent Fund managers have long known the fund could one day have less available to spend than is needed. They now say that day could be coming uncomfortably soon, in perhaps just three years. Since last July, it’s been a... Full story

  • Dunleavy appears headed to re-election, may head off ranked choice count

    Andrew Kitchenman, Alaska Beacon|Nov 10, 2022

    In votes counted through early Wednesday morning, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy appeared on pace for re-election to a second four-year term. Dunleavy, a Republican, built a substantial lead over challengers Democrat Les Gara, independent Bill Walker and Republican Charlie Pierce, holding 52% of Tuesday's 216,364 first-choice votes. If Dunleavy's vote share stays above 50%, he will win the election outright without going through Alaska's new ranked choice counting process. Gara and Walker had less... Full story

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