APRN News – Alaska Politics
Anchorage Mayor-Elect Ethan Berkowitz is developing a plan to transition into his new role. He says it will be created by a group of community leaders in his transition team and use input from public discussions and town hall-style meetings.
The U.S. House has passed a bill to keep the Coast Guard operating at the current spending level.
The Interior Secretary’s power to take land into trust for tribes could create pockets of Indian Country across Alaska. Tribes see it as an opportunity to police their own territory and improve village safety. Others see it as the reservation model that Alaskans rejected in the land claims settlement act 44 years ago. Outside the state, land-into-trust is controversial, too.
Supporters of Medicaid expansion have continued their efforts with rallies in downtown Anchorage this week.
We’ve been hearing for months about Alaska’s fiscal crisis. The budget is being cut and we’ll have to dip into reserves. Some economists predict that the state will run out of savings in less than a decade. But is there an alternative? Can the state make money for the general fund from sources other than oil revenue? Some economists say yes.
KSKA: Friday, 5/15, at 2:00 p.m. and Saturday, 5/16, at 6:00 p.m.
KAKM: Friday, 5/15, at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, 5/16, at 4:30 p.m.
The FAA last week named University of Alaska Fairbanks a “Center of Excellence” for research on unmanned aircraft. UAF and partner universities are charged with helping the FAA figure out how to integrate the unmanned machines in the national airspace. It’s still not clear if much federal money will follow.
The Walker-Mallott administration will include transboundary mine critics’ concerns in its negotiations with British Columbia. Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott made that announcement after returning from a week of meetings with government, industry and aboriginal leaders in the nearby province.
Royal Dutch Shell’s drilling plans for the Arctic have hit a snag in Seattle. Shell is planning to dock oil rigs at the Port of Seattle before they head north to drill in the Chukchi Sea. The city council and mayor have come out against that deal. And that got the attention of a group of Alaskans, who showed up to tell Seattle’s leaders to get out of the way.
The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday morning the FCC is ready to investigate how a company partly owned by Fairbanks-based Doyon won licenses to use the wireless spectrum, while claiming it was entitled to billions of dollars in discounts. Critics say Doyon’s big corporate partner, Dish Network, is taking advantage of a program meant to help small businesses. Doyon says the program worked exactly as intended.
The next floor sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday this week, and are also expected to be technical sessions barring any deal between lawmakers.
The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials.
The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials. The update comes as Gov. Bill Walker has asked lawmakers to accept federal dollars to expand the state’s Medicaid program.
The regional Native corporation for Southeast Alaska upped its income by $50 million in 2014. Officials at Juneau-headquarteredSealaska say it’s the start of a multi-year recovery. But critics point to figures showing it’s still losing money.
As part of the Legislature’s majority party, Republican committee chairs have the authority to schedule official hearings. At a press availability on Monday, members of the minority explained they were dissatisfied with the progress of the special session, and decided to hold meetings of their own.
The Walker administration is pushing for more funding for the Office of Children’s Services, in response to the growing number of foster children in the system.
The state is in a serious revenue shortfall. But lawmakers are far from agreement about how to address it. What’s driving the stalemate? What can be done to bring all sides together to get the work done? The 90 day session is over, the special session is on and little has been accomplished to address the deficit.
APRN: Tuesday, 5/12 at 10:00am
Gov. Bill Walker’s administration plans to reach out to Alaskans for their thoughts on the right size of state government and future revenue options.
Alaska lawmakers are due back in Juneau on Tuesday, but who actually comes and how long they stay is unclear.