Rep. Ben Carpenter

Photo: KTOO file photo

Eight Alaska lawmakers are meeting this month to talk through big-picture fiscal issues that have stumped Legislatures for years. 

The Comprehensive Fiscal Plan Working Group is bringing together lawmakers from each of the four caucuses to create recommendations on the state’s budget problems. The plan is to bring those recommendations to the broader Legislature ahead of the Aug. 2 special session in Juneau. 


Sabine Poux/KDLL

A delayed state budget process could result in temporary layoffs, or “pink slips,” for Alaska's teachers. It’s what happens when the Legislature is behind in its budgeting and school districts can’t guarantee teachers spots on the payroll for the fall.

A bill the House of Representatives passed this week, House Bill 169, would preempt those layoffs, funding public education sooner than the rest of the budget.

KTOO file photo

Several Alaska Republican legislators have signed on to a bill defending what they call “COVID-19 immunization rights.” 

Representatives Ben Carpenter, of Nikiski, Sarah Vance, of Homer and Chris Kurka, of Wasilla, are sponsoring House Bill 175. 

Gavel Alaska

A quarter way into the legislative session, Alaska House representatives have their committee assignments. That means they can start considering and passing bills next week.

Nikiski Republican Rep. Ben Carpenter is returning to the House Finance Committee. He was on that committee in his first term as representative. It’s scheduled to meet Monday.

MeWe

Local lawmakers are among the millions of conservatives flocking to Parler and MeWe, unregulated social media sites that have become increasingly popular as mainstream social media companies crack down on election misinformation and extremism.

Incumbent Ben Carpenter and challenger Paul Dale are seeking the House District 29 seat, representing Nikiski, Sterling, Hope and the eastern peninsula.

Campaigning during a pandemic is going to look different this year. Gone are the days of big, in-person town halls and door-to-door canvassing. But that hasn’t stopped a full field of Kenai Peninsula candidates from setting their sights on the Legislature this fall.

House of Representatives District 29 covers Nikiski, part of Cooper Landing, Hope and Seward. First-term Rep. Ben Carpenter, a Nikiski Republican, is running for reelection. He’s got at least one challenger in the fall — Paul Dale, of Nikiski, who filed as a nonpartisan.

Carpenter comments net national blowback

May 19, 2020
State of Alaska

This week, the Legislature returned to Juneau from a recess to work on distributing COVID-19 relief funds in the state. Because they were coming from all over the state to gather in a single building before going back home to their communities, legislators were required to wear masks and be temperature checked as they headed into the building. Once they were checked, they would receive a sticker noting that they were clear of symptoms.

The stickers turned out to be a source of controversy. In an email posted to social media, Rep. Ben Carpenter of Nikiski compared the stickers to the badges with a yellow Star of David on them, which Jews in Nazi Germany were forced to wear as identification prior to being segregated and later shipped to concentration camps.

Chaos quickly followed. Comments were polarized on both sides, with critics saying it was offensive to compare a health screening to genocide, and supporters saying his comments were misunderstood and taken out of context.

Carpenter apologized for the analogy and said he was trying to make a point about loss of liberties and government overreach amid the pandemic response. He also noted concerns about the Legislature requiring the general public to wear similar stickers in the future, noting their medical status.

On this week's Kenai Conversation, the central Kenai Peninsula's legislative delegation shared their thoughts on the state budget, COVID-19 stimulus efforts and next year's budget outlook. Thanks to Reps. Ben Carpenter and Gary Knopp and Sen. Peter Micciche.

State of Alaska

 

Nikiski Republican Ben Carpenter has filed a letter of intent to run for reelection to the state House of Representatives. He spoke with KDLL’s Shaylon Cochran about what he hopes to accomplish in the coming legislative session, and where the focus of the legislature will be on the budget, taxes and the Permanent Fund.

 


House Finance looks at early education cuts

Apr 8, 2019

 

Early literacy programs were a target for budget hawks last week in Juneau, including some of the Kenai’s delegation to the House Finance Committee.

Alaska Legislature

 

A House sub-finance committee went through its regularly scheduled business Monday morning, but not all members stuck around to the end.

 

 


Two of the Central Kenai Peninsula's three members of the Alaska Legislature called a couple of community meetings for Saturday. A packed meeting with residents concerned over state budget cuts to Wildwood Prison was held Saturday morning in the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Chambers. In attendance were Rep. Ben Carpenter of Nikiski and Sen. Peter Micciche of Kenai.

Another meeting followed at noon for those concerned about fixing Senate Bill 91 from last session and the attack on education spending in the governor's budget. It had even more attendees.

Peninsula pols split on PFD

Dec 7, 2018
Shaylon Cochran/KDLL

 

Now that elections have largely been settled across the state, the real fight over the state’s permanent fund can begin.