Week of December 3, 2018
House District 1 ended in a dead tie between newcomers Bart LeBon (R) and Kathryn Dodge (D). The state Division of Elections has certified the election and did an official recount today. That recount has broken the tie and Bart LeBon is officially up by one vote! Wow! Kathryn Dodge had preemptively filed a lawsuit over a couple of questionable “over-votes” so it looks like the true winner won’t be able to take the stage just yet and will depend on the outcome of the challenge. More details on the House District 1 craziness here and here.
Dunleavy has been busy finding folks that are focused on trimming state spending to fill the critical head position in all of the state departments. One of his selections is getting a lot of attention, Donna Arduin, from financial consulting firm Arduin, Laffer and Moore Econometrics, has been picked to lead up the very critical Office of Management and Budget. Arduin is known for being a “budget-fixer”, hired by several Republican governors, she favors broad tax and spending cuts. More here and here.
The long serving Bethel Democrat will be back in the majority this year, but not in a leadership position. Hoffman will continue to serve on the Senate Finance Committee, but loses his chairmanship (a position he has held since 2007). The condition to being in the majority? All members must vote for the budget put forward by the Majority, no exceptions. Ironically, it was that exact stipulation that got Governor-elect Dunleavy kicked out of the Senate Majority last year before he quit the group all together….
As the shake up continues, the Department of Education will remain under the leadership of Michael Johnson, who has served previous Administrations. The Commissioner of the Department of Education and Early Development doesn’t actually serve at the discretion of the Governor, but instead appointed by the State Board of Education. This is considered extremely positive as Michael Johnson is a big supporter of rural education efforts. Story here.
Bradner Legislative Digest
· Alaska’s elections can now officially be bought by folks from out of state
· Roads to Riches – money for the Ambler Road is coming
· Murkowski splits with Trump on Climate Change
· Trump Adminstration argues against tribal sovereignty
· Long legal battle ahead for ICWA
· Trump tweets about Alaska
· Secretary Zinke and Dem lawmaker exchange mean words
· Climate change: real or not?