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APRN News – Alaska Politics

Arctic Priorities Questioned on Eve of U.S. Chairmanship

The United States assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council next week, kicking off a two-year window to assert American priorities in the region. The U.S. and other member nations have committed to making the Arctic a “zone of peace.” But now, some Arctic watchers wonder if the U.S. needs to add an item to its Arctic priority list: get tough with Russia.

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April 17, 2015
Refined Fuel Tax Measure Heads To Governor’s Desk

Refined Fuel Tax Measure Heads To Governor’s Desk

Though discussion of new revenues hasn’t gone far in the Legislature this session, the Senate on Friday passed a measure taxing refined fuels.

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April 17, 2015
Chinook Salmon Bycatch; And HB132

Chinook Salmon Bycatch; And HB132

This week on Alaska Edition: The North Pacific Fisheries Management Council takes action on Chinook salmon bycatch in Alaska’s pollock fishery. How could the veto of HB132 affect the Mat-Su Valley? Where does Medicaid expansion stand in the legislature?

KSKA: Friday, 4/17 at 2:00pm and Saturday, 4/18 at 6:00pm
KAKM: Friday, 4/17 at 7:30pm and Saturday, 4/18 at 4:30pm

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April 17, 2015

State’s New Child Adoption Rules Signal Thaw With Native Groups

With the president of the Alaska Federation of Natives by his side, Walker announced at a press conference that the state would make it easier for Alaska Native children to remain with extended family or with tribal members in adoption cases.

April 16, 2015
Student protesters asking  the legislature to increase education funding. Hillman/KSKA

Anchorage Students Rally Against Education Funding Cuts

More than 150 high school students walked out of class Thursday afternoon to attend an impromptu rally at the Anchorage Legislative Information Office.

April 16, 2015
Battle Over Medicaid Spills Onto Capital Steps

Battle Over Medicaid Spills Onto Capital Steps

The event is another strategy from the administration to get lawmakers to bring the issue to a vote in the Legislature ahead of session’s end.

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April 16, 2015
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker speaks to reporters during a press conference Jan. 27, 2015. He was discussing a draft plan released earlier in the day by the U.S. Department of Interior that would block oil development in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

As Deadline Looms, Gov. Walker Says Legislature Could Gavel Out On Time

With the legislature scheduled to gavel out by midnight on Sunday, Governor Bill Walker has seen very few pieces of legislation make it to his desk. APRN’s Alexandra Gutierrez sat down with Walker yesterday afternoon to get his take on how the session is progressing. Walker said he thinks it’s still possible for lawmakers to get their work done on time.

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April 16, 2015

Petitioners ask Governor to Stop Supporting Same-Sex Marriage Bans

More than 1,200 sign a petition asking Gov. Walker and Attorney General Craig Richards to remove Alaska from an amicus brief.

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April 16, 2015

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Defends Federal Land Management

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell today defended the federal government’s land management and brushed off calls from legislators in Alaska, and other states, to seize federal lands.

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April 16, 2015

Oil Price Likely To Dip Again After Brief Surge

The price of Brent Crude hit above $63 a barrel today, the highest it’s been this year. That gives Alaskans something to cheer about, but the head of the U.S. Energy Information Administration told a Senate panel Thursday two political events on the horizon would likely bring the global price down.

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April 16, 2015
Ninth Circuit Denies Big Thorne Injunction

Ninth Circuit Denies Big Thorne Injunction

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an emergency motion for an injunction that would have delayed the Big Thorne Timber Sale pending an appeal of a lower-court ruling.

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April 16, 2015

Juneau School District Seeking Special Election For School Bonds

The Juneau School District wants a special June election asking voters to approve a bond for school renovations before a law stopping state reimbursements for school construction takes effect. The governor still hasn’t signed the bill, but if he does, the school district has 90 days before it becomes a law to hold an election. Even if all goes smoothly and the district beats the countdown, it’s still unclear if it will get reimbursed. Lisa Phu has more.

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April 16, 2015

Walker Commands Lawmakers To Act On Appointments

The executive proclamation comes days after legislative leadership cancelled their confirmation session — and days after the governor sent a six-page letter reiterating that he would veto a contentious gasline bill and urging lawmakers not to override him.

April 15, 2015
House Speaker Mike Chenault, R-Nikiski (left) confers with other members of the House leadership just before the vote on House Bill 176, April 15, 2015. The bill repeals a 2.5 percent pay raise for state employees scheduled to take effect July 1, 2015. (Photo by Skip Gray/360 North)

State House Moves To Freeze Public Employee Salaries

The Alaska House has narrowly passed a bill that would claw back raises for many state workers.

April 15, 2015

U.S. Senate Favors Secure Rural Schools – Secure Docs, Too

The U.S. Senate last night passed a bill to continue Secure Rural Schools. That’s a federal revenue-sharing program that delivers some $14 million to local governments in Alaska, primarily in Southeast, to compensate for low federal timber receipts. The bill also helps Medicare providers nationwide.

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April 15, 2015
Federal Agency Reviewing Yellow Cedar For Protection

Federal Agency Reviewing Yellow Cedar For Protection

Based on a petition submitted about a year ago by a coalition of conservation groups, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced last week that protection for the Alaska yellow cedar tree might be warranted under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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April 15, 2015
Opt Out Bill Could Cost Alaska $97 Million in Federal School Funding

Opt Out Bill Could Cost Alaska $97 Million in Federal School Funding

Senate Bill 89 aims to increase the authority of parents, allowing them to opt their children out of standardized tests, and educational programming dealing with sexual health.

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April 15, 2015

Murkowski Campaign Shows Financial Might

Sen. Lisa Murkowski is up for re-election next year, and her fundraising is going strong. Her campaign today reported she raised $700,000 in the first three months of the year, and has $1.5 million on hand.

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April 15, 2015

Anchorage Announces Fiscal Surplus

As law-makers battle over budgets in the closing days of the Legislature, the city of Anchorage is announcing a fiscal surplus.

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April 15, 2015
House Steps Towards Full Legal Marijuana Market

House Steps Towards Full Legal Marijuana Market

The bipartisan 25-to-15 vote creates a parallel marijuana body within the Alcoholic Beverages Control Board to oversee a permit structure for all parts of a full legal market.

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April 14, 2015