Alaska 2024 Legislative Session Recap

Alaska Capitol Building in Juneau

Alaska’s 120-day legislative session ended on May 15. Under the Republican leadership of Governor Mike Dunleavy, Senate President Gary Stevens, and House Speaker Cathy Tilton, lawmakers addressed a wide range of issues, including the state budget, public health and safety, energy infrastructure, and K-12 education.

However, lawmakers failed to make significant progress in key areas such as fiscal stability, education reform, and the revival of the state pension system. Any bills that didn’t pass during the session have expired, regardless of whether they originated in the first half of the session or were newly filed proposals in 2024.

Gov. Dunleavy has until today (June 6) to veto any legislation, including budget line items, before the approved bills become law without his signature.

Budget and Economic Development

On the final day of the session, lawmakers passed a $6 billion operating budget, part of an overall $11.3 billion for spending on state services utilizing additional dollars from the federal government and fee-funded programs. Notable items included $175 million in additional funding for K-12 schools, $10 million earmarked for Alaska seafood marketing, $7.5 million allocated to child care centers, and money for a Permanent Fund Dividend of $1,650 for every Alaskan. The spending plan awaits the Governor’s signature or veto.

HB 273 empowers the Alaska Housing Finance Corporation (AHFC) board to make homeownership more affordable. By allowing adjustments to loan-to-value ratios, prospective homebuyers can secure financing with a lower upfront cash requirement for their down payment.

HB 251 reforms Alaska’s Agriculture Revolving Loan Fund and expands loan categories to include food manufacturing and shipping.


Both chambers approved the following healthcare bills, with each awaiting Gov. Dunleavy’s signature or veto:

The Medical Assistance and Food Stamp Program (HB 344) authorizes the state to apply for a Section 1115 Medicaid waiver to lower the state’s Medicaid costs by basing them on Alaska-specific care strategies.

The Direct Health Agreement bill (SB 45) exempts subscription-based healthcare, also known as “direct healthcare agreements,” from insurance regulations. These agreements allow patients to visit a doctor’s office for a monthly fee.

Hunting and Fishing

Signed into law by Gov. Dunleavy on April 24, SB 93 changes how much the Fishermen’s Fund may reimburse commercial fishing vessel owners for P&I insurance claims. It raises the reimbursement threshold from $5,000 to $10,000 per claim, or the full deductible amount, whichever is less.

HB 272 authorizes the Alaska Board of Game to establish annual big game hunting seasons in areas specifically for Alaskans with physical disabilities.

HB 295 allows individuals and organizations to acquire salmon from state-operated hatcheries to stock Alaskan lakes. Both chambers passed these two bills, which await transmittal to the governor.

Carbon Storage and Energy

Both chambers approved two carbon storage and energy bills, each awaiting Gov. Dunleavy’s signature or veto: HB 50 will secure funds via oil taxes for carbon sequestration, related tax credits, and oil and gas harvesting in the Cook Inlet, while HB 307 will allow for cheaper electricity sales and movement across Alaska.

However, the Alaska Affordability Act, proposed by Gov. Dunleavy to incentivize the private sector to make strategic investments that improve the cost of living in Alaska, failed in the Senate Committee on Finance. The measure would have created a substantial corporate income tax credit for businesses that make certain expenditures, including child care, heating or electric utilities, residential mortgages and energy-efficient housing, and food security.

Public Safety

Lawmakers combined several bills into the HB 66 anti-crime package, which awaits transmittal to the governor. It includes penalties for drug suppliers of overdose victims, allows police officers to testify before grand juries (instead of victims), makes the act of withholding drugs or passports with intent to traffic a felony crime, and requires the state to investigate why minority groups are overrepresented in the prison system. 

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