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APRN News – Alaska Politics

Alaska Senators Split On Homeland Security Funding Bill

The U.S. Congress tonight approved a one-week continuing resolution to avoid a partial shut down of the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier today, Alaska’s two Republican senators split over a bill that would fund the department for the rest of the fiscal year.

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February 27, 2015

Judge Denies Stay In State Education Lawsuit

A superior court ruling that invalidates the State of Alaska’s longheld practice of requiring municipal governments to contribute a specific amount toward public education remains in place for now.

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February 27, 2015
During a House Finance subcommittee meeting Feb, 27, 2015, Rep. Les Gara (left center) speaks out against cutting funds proposed in the state operating budget by Gov. Bill Walker that would expand Medicaid in Alaska. In spite of his arguments, the money was stripped from the budget bill. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

With Medicaid Language Stripped From Budget, Path To Expansion Uncertain

A House subcommittee has stripped Medicaid expansion language from the state’s operating budget. The move is a setback for the Walker administration, which has made Medicaid expansion a top priority, but the fight may not be over yet.

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February 27, 2015
State Considers B.C. Mines As Promoters Plan Visit

State Considers B.C. Mines As Promoters Plan Visit

The Walker-Mallott administration announced Wednesday that it’s set up a working group to address the transboundary mining boom near Southeast Alaska. The news comes as British Columbia’s mine-regulation agency plans meetings with Alaska fishermen and tribal groups.

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February 27, 2015
Fairbanks Assembly OKs Air-Quality Ordinance; Dissenter Predicts Voter Backlash

Fairbanks Assembly OKs Air-Quality Ordinance; Dissenter Predicts Voter Backlash

The Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly passed a sweeping air-quality ordinance Thursday night that supporters hope will finally begin to clean up Fairbanks’s wintertime air pollution. Most members agreed the ordinance isn’t perfect, but that it’s a good start.

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February 27, 2015
ADN's Devin Kelly, KTUU's Austin Baird join Alaska Public Media's Zachariah Hughes on Alaska Edition to discuss Anchorage's upcoming mayoral election. (Photo by Josh Edge, APRN - Anchorage)

Crowded Anchorage Mayoral Race Heats Up

Today we’re discussing the race for mayor in Alaska’s largest city. Anchorage’s city politics have ripples across the state, whether in terms of funding coming from the Legislature, or launching political careers into higher office. The election is on April 7th, but recently we’ve seen the race start to take off. It’s a crowded field, with 11 candidates, hundreds of thousands of dollars pouring in from donations, and expectations of an eventual run off.

KSKA: Friday, 2/27 at 2:00pm and Saturday, 2/28 at 6:00pm
KAKM: Friday, 2/27 at 7:30pm and Saturday, 2/28 at 4:30pm

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February 27, 2015
Beached logs pile up in Shoal Cove on Revilla Island in the Tongass National Forest. A new report challenges old-growth logging spending in the forest. (Jim Baichtal/USFS)

Sen. Lisa Murkowski Skeptical Of Forest Service’s Tongass Plan

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell defended his management of the Tongass National Forest today to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who chairs the panel, says the service isn’t allowing enough timber sales to keep what remains of the logging industry in Southeast Alaska in business.

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February 26, 2015
Samantha Cox has already begun taking custom orders for marijuana pipes and products. Some are discreet vaporizers shaped like pens. Others are elaborate pipes, such as this dragon from China. Some customers have vowed never to shop at Evergreen again. (Emily Kwong/KCAW photo)

Navigating “The New Normal” Of Legal Marijuana

As the recreational use of marijuana becomes legal in Alaska today, the changing laws surrounding pot have already created a ripple effect in Sitka. Law enforcement is ironing out the details and businesses are catering to new clientele, with mixed opinions.

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February 26, 2015

Independent Power Producers Seek Utility Regulations Change

Some Alaska alternative energy producers may benefit from new rules the Regulatory Commission of Alaska is considering. But other independents say the state’s power statutes are so antiquated they should be completely revised.

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February 26, 2015
Admiral Bill Gortney took over dual-hatted command of NORAD and NORTHCOM in December 2014. (DoD photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley, U.S. Navy)

Head of Continental Defense Lays Out Threats Facing U.S. Amid Rising Importance of Arctic

Head of NORAD and NORTHCOM discusses the significant increase of Russian long-range aviation, Arctic advocacy in the Defense Department, and position of Alaska in global and Pacific operations.

February 25, 2015

Attorneys Wrap Up Arguments In Lawsuit Challenging Restrictions To Medicaid-Funded Abortions

Attorneys for both sides wrapped up arguments Wednesday in a case that could reverse state prohibitions against some Medicaid-funded abortions. Attorneys for Planned Parenthood claim a state statute is too restrictive, while it violates a woman’s constitutional rights.

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February 25, 2015
The Department of Defense's first U.S. Air Force F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft soars over Destin, Fla., before landing at its new home at Eglin Air Force Base, July 14, 2011. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Joely Santiago)

Air Force Officials Say F-35 Program Back On Track, Eielson Remains Preferred Location

The F-35 aircraft, the new fighter the Air Force wants to keep at Eielson Air Force base, has been plagued by cost overruns and equipment failures, but Air Force brass told a U.S. Senate Committee this morning those problems are in the past.

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February 25, 2015

New Marijuana Bill Would Require Alaska Residency Of Sellers

The 25-page bill would require marijuana retailers and growers to be licensed by the state, instead of just getting business registrations.

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February 25, 2015

With Budget Recommendations, Early Education Programs On Chopping Block

Pre-kindergarten grants, Parents as Teachers, Best Beginnings — all of these early learning programs were zeroed out in the budget recommendations offered by a House education subcommittee on Tuesday night.

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February 25, 2015
Rep. Benjamin Nageak addresses the Alaska House of Representatives, Feb. 4, 2015. He was speaking as the primary sponsor of HJR 10, a resolution opposing the revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

State Rep. Nageak Taken From Capitol By Ambulance

A Barrow state representative was taken by ambulance from the state Capitol Wednesday. House Speaker Mike Chenault said Rep. Benjamin Nageak, a Democrat from Barrow, wasn’t feeling well and given his medical history, it was thought better to have Nageak checked by medical personnel than to do nothing.

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February 25, 2015
Bruce Twomley has been with the Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission since 1982. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Commercial Fisheries Commission Chief Reacts To Being On Chopping Block

The Commercial Fisheries Entry Commission is defending itself against a recent state report pointing out inefficiencies and legislation that could dissolve the agency.

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February 25, 2015
Update: Tlingit-Haida OKs Same-Sex Marriages

Update: Tlingit-Haida OKs Same-Sex Marriages

Southeast Alaska’s largest tribal organization has authorized its courts to perform same-sex marriages. The Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska announced its new policy Monday.

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February 25, 2015

As Legislature Eyes Budget Cuts, Public Media Funding Targeted

Between operations and infrastructure, public radio and television were granted $5 million in state funds in the last budget. With the proposal offered by the House Finance subcommittee, funding would be reduced to $2.5 million.

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February 24, 2015

After Filing Bill To Limit Per Diem, Anchorage Democrat Pledges Some Of Her Own

A week after filing a bill that would prohibit legislators from collecting per diem when not in the capital, Rep. Harriet Drummond has pledged to return some of her own daily allowance. The Democrat will fly home for Anchorage caucus this weekend.

February 24, 2015

Trial Challenging Restrictions For Medicaid-Funded Abortions Continues In Anchorage

State attorneys are about to finish questioning witnesses for the defense in a trial that could determine whether or not the state removes some restrictions for Medicaid – funded abortions for low income women.

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February 24, 2015