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APRN News – Alaska Politics

2017 budget

Obama budget reveals Alaska flashes

President Obama delivered his final budget to Congress this morning. It has a picture of Denali on the cover, and several big-ticket Alaska items among its pages. Download Audio
February 9, 2016

Presidential race heads to Alaska in March

Alaska’s major parties will pick their candidates on different days. The Republicans will choose theirs on March 1st, also known as Super Tuesday. That’s because it’s the day that the largest number of delegates will be picked this year.
February 9, 2016
Obama transfers Port Clarence land to Bering Straits Native Corporation

Obama transfers Port Clarence land to Bering Straits Native Corporation

President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act last night, transferring 2,500 acres of federal land at Port Clarence to local, state, and federal stakeholders. Located 120 nautical miles northwest of Nome, Port Clarence has long been left out of discussion as the location for the nation’s Arctic deep draft port. Download Audio
February 9, 2016

House passes resolution to focus on budget

Lawmakers have talked about focusing on the state budget since their session began three weeks ago. But on Monday, they took action to make it official. The House passed a resolution that limits committees to working on bills that raise or spend state revenue. This new rule will remain in place until the House passes a budget. Download Audio
February 8, 2016
AMHS report: Ferries boost Anchorage, Mat-Su economies too

AMHS report: Ferries boost Anchorage, Mat-Su economies too

Many people think the Alaska Marine Highway System only serves port communities in the Southeast and Southwest parts of the state, plus Prince William Sound. It turns out the Railbelt benefits, too. Download Audio
February 8, 2016

Bill would mandate repaying scholarships if recipients don’t graduate quicker

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would require students to repay state scholarships and grants if they fail to graduate within six years of starting their programs. Members of the House Education Committee on Monday questioned Rep. Tammie Wilson (R-North Pole/Fairbanks) about her bill.
February 8, 2016
Edgecumbe to ANSEP: ‘It’s 70 years of tradition here’

Edgecumbe to ANSEP: ‘It’s 70 years of tradition here’

The past three weeks have been turbulent at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program, or ANSEP, has proposed turning the 70-year-old boarding school into an accelerated high school, with an emphasis on science and engineering. It all began when ANSEP founder Herb Schroeder presented his idea to lawmakers in January, as a draft piece of legislation. Now, Edgecumbe students and teachers, are asking questions about ANSEP’s motivations – and whether the plan would even work.
February 8, 2016
Bethel businesses submit new round of liquor license applications

Bethel businesses submit new round of liquor license applications

The Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is considering two liquor license applications for Bethel next week: one for a package liquor store for Bethel Native Corporation’s subsidiary Bethel Spirits LLC and another for Fili’s Pizza restaurant.
February 8, 2016
Skagway assembly member signs guilty plea to federal tax charges, owes IRS $600,000

Skagway assembly member signs guilty plea to federal tax charges, owes IRS $600,000

Longtime Skagway Assembly member and business owner Dan Henry signed a plea agreement Wednesday admitting guilt to federal tax charges and agreeing to pay $600,000 in restitution to the IRS.
February 8, 2016
State seeks power to prosecute Bill Allen on federal trafficking charge

State seeks power to prosecute Bill Allen on federal trafficking charge

Alaska Attorney General Craig Richards says the state wants authority to pursue charges against former VECO boss Bill Allen for allegedly transporting a young woman across state lines for sex. The state has tried before, but in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch today, Richards cites a new law that requires her to allow the state to pursue the federal case, or provide a detailed explanation why she won’t. Download Audio
February 5, 2016
Public testimony: Keep state hands off of dividends

Public testimony: Keep state hands off of dividends

Alaskans don’t want to see large cuts to their annual Permanent Fund dividends. At least, that was the message most people delivered Thursday night about Gov. Bill Walker’s plan for the fund. Download Audio
February 5, 2016
Low energy prices a double-edged sword for industry

Low energy prices a double-edged sword for industry

Low energy prices may help Alaska LNG compete against other prospective natural gas export projects around the world.
February 5, 2016
Obama proposes big new tax on oil

Obama proposes big new tax on oil

President Obama wants to impose a $10-per-barrel tax on crude oil. An industry adovcate calls it an attempt to punish oil companies. Sen. Lisa Murkowski gave it "absolutely no chance" of passing Congress. Download Audio
February 4, 2016
Education commissioner Mike Hanley stepping down

Education commissioner Mike Hanley stepping down

Mike Hanley is stepping down as Alaska’s education commissioner. Governor Bill Walker announced the leadership change in a press release Thursday morning. Download Audio
February 4, 2016
Fate of Medicaid expansion hangs on interpretation of one word

Fate of Medicaid expansion hangs on interpretation of one word

The Legislative Council's case against Medicaid expansion hangs on the interpretation of the word 'required' in Alaska statute. That's a point all parties agreed on during oral arguments Thursday morning in an Anchorage courtroom. Download Audio
February 4, 2016

Hanley’s departure comes at critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe

Education Commissioner Mike Hanley’s departure comes at a critical time for Mt. Edgecumbe, the state run boarding school in Sitka. The Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program is interested in piloting an accelerated, STEM-focused high school on the campus. As details of that proposed takeover unfold, Mt. Edgecumbe administration was looking to Hanley as one of their defenders. Download Audio
February 4, 2016
Kachemak Selo highlights need for new school

Kachemak Selo highlights need for new school

A new school for the town of Kachemak Selo is at the top of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District’s list of funding requests to the legislature. But with the state in financial crisis due to declining oil revenue, their request may go unmet. The tiny Russian Old Believer village is at the head of Kachemak Bay. Download Audio
February 4, 2016
Senate takes public testimony on Walker’s Permanent Fund bill

Senate takes public testimony on Walker’s Permanent Fund bill

Alaskans get their first chance today to tell legislators what they think of the centerpiece of Gov. Bill Walker’s fiscal plan for the state.
February 4, 2016

Sen. Sullivan co-sponsors bill to split 9th Circuit Court of Appeals

The age-old effort to split up the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is back. Republican senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska and Steve Daines of Montana have co-sponsored the latest bill.
February 4, 2016
Proposed bill would protect Chilkat River, among others

Proposed bill would protect Chilkat River, among others

The Chilkat Indian Village in Klukwan is trying to preserve its main salmon resource – the Chilkat River — with the highest environmental protection available.If the river is named an Outstanding National Resource Water, it would be protected from activities that degrade water quality. But there is no system in place in Alaska to evaluate this kind of water protection request. That could change with a bill in the State Legislature that would place these types of decisions in the hands of lawmakers.
February 4, 2016