Jennifer Canfield, KTOO - Juneau
Jennifer Canfield is a reporter at KTOO in Juneau.
Gov. Bill Walker signed the Alaska Safe Children’s Act Thursday in Anchorage. The bill, also known as Erin’s Law, was controversial for some and stalled by a legislature that was at odds regarding the state’s fiscal situation. While the fight over Erin’s Law may be over, two lawmakers who worked on the bill say there is still more to be done.
Three U.S. senators have introduced a bill that would fund the implementation of Erin’s Law in states where it’s been adopted.
The State of Alaska still has not released all documents and emails related to the Alaska National Guard scandal. Alaska Public Media and the Alaska Dispatch News sued the state for the documents last October after the Parnell administration took four months to deny public record requests.
Gov. Bill Walker named his new rural affairs adviser Tuesday at the Alaska Federation of Natives winter retreat in Kotzebue. Gerad Godfrey’s full title is “Senior Advisor on Rural Business and Intergovernmental Affairs” — a title that Godfrey says is meant to communicate that much of his work will focus on economic development in villages and bringing tribes to the table when the state consults local governments.
Sen.-elect Bill Stoltze, R-Chugiak, plans to introduce a bill to move the Alaska Legislature to Anchorage. Stoltze isn’t proposing a full-on capital move. Instead, KTUU reports that the bulk of state government would remain in Juneau and legislative sessions would be held at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.
Rep. Cathy Muñoz (R- Juneau) will reintroduce a bill this legislative session to make discrimination based on sexual orientation illegal.
All three of the capital city’s state lawmakers handily won re-election Tuesday. Sen. Dennis Egan and Reps. Cathy Muñoz and Sam Kito III all got at least 60 percent of the votes counted in their respective races on Election Day.
The Federal Subsistence Board’s rural determination process will change, according to an announcement made at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention last month.
There are numerous redactions in the released documents, and some of the requested documents are not included; many are still under review and are subject to release in the coming days.
The U.S. Department of Justice may intervene in an Alaska Supreme Court case concerning a non-Native couple’s adoption of an Alaska Native child. In September, the Native Village of Tununak lost its appeal against the State of Alaska and the adoptive couple.
University of Alaska Southeast Chancellor John Pugh will retire in May. He announced his retirement Monday in an email to Southeast campus councils and the UAS Alumni Board of Directors.
The Alaska Federation of Natives wrapped up their annual convention with the usual process of amending and voting on resolutions. The resolutions process was similar to past conventions except for the notable difference this year of candidate endorsements.
Candidate for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and incumbent Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday. AFN delegates voted Saturday to endorse Begich for re-election. An endorsement of Bill Walker for governor and Byron Mallot for lieutenant governor was also announced.
Candidates for U.S. Senate Dan Sullivan and Sen. Mark Begich met on-stage at the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage Friday.
The head of Alaska’s largest Native organization publicly criticized Gov. Sean Parnell Thursday morning, the opening day of the Alaska Federation of Natives Convention in Anchorage.
The Tanana 4-H club returned to the Elders and Youth Conference Tuesday, following up on their emotional presentation at last year’s conference. The group’s message is still the same: they don’t always feel safe or cared for and they want that to change, but now they’re also taking a stand against marijuana legalization.
Alaska’s largest Native organization will vote on candidate endorsements Saturday morning. The Alaska Federation of Natives Board of Directors has drafted two resolutions that will be heard on the final day of the AFN convention in Anchorage.
The 30th annual Elders and Youth conference began Monday in Anchorage. The conference is held each year at the beginning of the same week as the Alaska Federation of Natives convention. The gathering is an opportunity for youth to discuss an array of issues relevant to Alaska Natives with support from their elders.
As conservationists celebrate 50 years since the passage of the Wilderness Act, a U.S. Forest Service proposal to make certain wilderness area regulations permanent has brought forth accusations that the agency is infringing on First Amendment rights. Nearly a third of the 17 million-acre Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska is designated wilderness.
Juneau Police Lt. Kris Sell has been appointed by Gov. Sean Parnell to serve on the Alaska Criminal Justice Commission. Sell is the only active police officer to serve on the commission, which was created by a bill that passed the legislature earlier this year. Its purpose is to evaluate sentencing laws and law enforcement practices, and to make recommendations for improving the system, which may include changes to criminal rehabilitation and restitution policies.