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APRN News – Alaska Politics

Legislature Gavels Out

Legislature Gavels Out

Nearly two months after its regular deadline, the Alaska Legislature finally gavels out. Both chambers have approved a $5 billion operating budget and agreed on a way to pay for the deficit.

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June 11, 2015
Murkowski Votes ‘Nay’ on Icebreaker Provision in Defense Bill

Murkowski Votes ‘Nay’ on Icebreaker Provision in Defense Bill

In Congress Thursday morning, a U.S. senator proposed adding nearly a billion dollars to a Defense spending bill to acquire an icebreaker – and that senator was not from Alaska. Sen. Lisa Murkowski is normally an ardent advocate for more icebreaking capacity, but she felt compelled to vote against the icebreaker amendment.

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June 11, 2015

Rep. Young Lobbies To Offer Land Allotments For Alaska Native ‘Nam Vets

Congressman Don Young’s subcommittee on Native affairs took testimony today on a bill to re-open land allotment selections for Alaska Natives who served in the military during the Vietnam War.

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June 11, 2015

House Passes Operating Budget, As Special Session Moves Toward End

The Alaska House of Representatives has passed an operating budget, signaling the end of a stalemate over the state’s multi-billion-dollar budget deficit.

June 11, 2015

National Park Service supports Mount McKinley name change

The National Park Service is not against changing Mount McKinley’s official name to Denali, but Alaskans are still in a battle with Ohioans over the name of North America’s tallest mountain.

June 11, 2015

U.S. House Bill Seen as Aviation Boon, Housing Bane

The House this week passed a transportation and housing bill. Rep. Don Young says it includes programs important to Alaska aviation, while the White House says it shortchanges homeless programs and transit.

June 11, 2015

Lawmakers Strike Budget Deal

The stalemate finally ended on Wednesday night, when a conference committee between the two bodies agreed to pay for the contracts this year, but placed limits on future increases.

June 10, 2015

Village Crime Victims Need Intervention, Senators Told

A U.S. Senate committee today heard pleas for better treatment of crime victims in Native communities. Gerad Godfrey, chairman of an Alaska victims’ compensation panel, recommends sexual assault rapid response teams for Alaska villages.

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June 10, 2015

Key Provision Of Erin’s Law Restored

After holding the bill for three weeks, the Senate Finance Committee has unveiled a new version of the Alaska Safe Children’s Act — known nationally as “Erin’s Law.” Some controversial riders have been removed.

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June 10, 2015

State Consolidates Two Divisions in Dept. of Labor

Gov. Bill Walker will take a modest step toward streamlining state government by combining two divisions within the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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June 10, 2015

Lawyers Say Walker Can Act On Medicaid Without the Legislature

Governor Bill Walker likely has the authority to expand Medicaid without legislative approval, according to two legal opinions written last month.

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June 10, 2015

New Marijuana Restrictions Regulate Secondhand Smoke

The move is a blow for legalization advocates in Anchorage, and leaves many regulatory questions unanswered.

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June 10, 2015

Talkeetna River Dam Project could have preliminary license revoked

A required progress report on the proposed Talkeetna River Dam is overdue, according to the federal agency that licenses large energy projects.

June 10, 2015

Navy holds community forum in Kodiak

Navy representatives held a community forum in Kodiak yesterday to address concerns about its training in the Gulf of Alaska, which they say begins Monday. They say many people believe this month’s training will include bombs, sonar, and exercises that will disturb commercial fishing, but say much of that is misinformation.

June 10, 2015
Rep. Don Young Marries on 82nd Birthday

Rep. Don Young Marries on 82nd Birthday

Alaska Congressman Don Young tied the knot today, on his 82nd birthday. Young married 76-year-old Anne Garland Walton, a flight nurse from Fairbanks. She says his birthday cakes will never be the same.

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June 9, 2015

Budget Woes Hurt Small Spuds

The legislature’s lack of action on a budget is no small potatoes.

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June 9, 2015

PFD earning, taxes highlight governor’s fiscal discussion

Governor Bill Walker gathered Alaska leaders from around the state in Fairbanks over the weekend to talk about state services and how to pay for them. The event called: “Building a Sustainable Future: Conversations With Alaskans” resulted in some clear and predictable messages, but it’s uncertain when or if they will result in legislative action.

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June 8, 2015
Sen. Sullivan Moves D.C. Office to Hart Building

Sen. Sullivan Moves D.C. Office to Hart Building

Sen. Dan Sullivan is out of the basement. His staff announced today that they’ve moved to their new office location in the nation’s capital, on the 7th floor of the Hart Building.

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June 8, 2015

Alaska residents rank 3 state services as low priority

State services like the pioneers’ home, the aerospace corporation and the agriculture division should be Alaska’s lowest priorities, according to participants in a budget conference held by Gov. Bill Walker.

June 8, 2015

Special session costs of at least $430K so far

The two special legislative sessions so far have cost the state at least $430,000, with costs still being tallied.

June 8, 2015