With four members, Fairbanks now has the most representation on the 11-person board. A spokesperson for the governor says the governor desired “more regional representation.”
Alaska’s governor and congressional delegation are furious over President Obama’s announcement this weekend that he’s seeking wilderness status for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. That would put the area off-limits to oil and gas development. Permanent wilderness designation would require congressional approval, and this Republican-led Congress is unlikely to grant it. But that’s just the start of what Obama has in store for the state in the coming days.
President Obama is proposing the largest ever wilderness designation in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would forever put the coastal plain off-limits to oil and gas development.
Republican Senator Lesil McGuire of Anchorage has introduced the first large-scale bill regulating marijuana like alcohol in Alaska. The measure includes fine points that lawmakers, police, and the public need to adapt November’s Ballot Measure 2 into a legal framework.
Both of Alaska’s U.S. senators voted for an amendment saying climate change is real and not a hoax. The rub came on amendments declaring a cause.
Governor Bill Walker’s State of the Budget speech made clear that leaner times are ahead for Alaska. His address was a somber departure from the optimistic state of the state address. He noted almost right away that managing the state’s finances into better standing will not be easy.
KSKA: Friday, 1/23 at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 1/24 at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, 1/23 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 1/24 at 4:30 p.m.
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski will deliver the next Republican weekly national speech on Saturday. It’s the party’s response to the president’s weekly radio address.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan has been named chairman of the subcommittee on Fisheries, Water and Wildlife, part of the Environment and Public Works Committee. Its jurisdiction includes oversight of the Clean Water Act, wetlands, the Endangered Species Act, invasive species and National Wildlife Refuges.
Just this week, the U.S. Senate got started with committee work, with most panels holding their first hearings. All four of Sen. Dan Sullivan’s committees met Wednesday, colliding in a scheduling pile-up that’s typical in Congress. To get by — and be effective — requires skill in the art of Senate juggling.
The Senate Finance Committee approved hiring former-health commissioner Bill Streur today as a consultant on the Medicaid budget and Medicaid expansion. Expanding the program as part of the Affordable Care Act is a priority of Governor Bill Walker, but many Republican lawmakers say the state can’t afford any new spending.
Nearly 17,000 Alaskans have signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov during this open enrollment period. That’s already a substantial increase from last year. And Affordable Care Act navigators expect the next three weeks will be even busier as the February 15th enrollment deadline approaches.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough passed a resolution this week establishing a Borough Marijuana Advisory Committee.
Kenai Peninsula residents overwhelmingly turned out in support of establishing cannabis agribusiness in the borough, or at least not restricting it too much this early in the game.
In his first State of the State address to the Legislature, Gov. Bill Walker spoke broadly of the need to address the state’s financial shortfall and the importance of building a natural gas pipeline. But while its spirit was praised, legislative leaders found it short on detail.