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APRN News – Alaska Politics

Anchorage mayor-elect announces community-driven transition process

Anchorage mayor-elect announces community-driven transition process

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.

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May 19, 2015

US House votes to maintain current USCG spending levels

The U.S. House has passed a bill to keep the Coast Guard operating at the current spending level.

May 19, 2015

Walker Announces Budget Vetoes, Warns Of Layoffs

In a letter sent to state employees, Walker explained that the partial veto is being made because the Legislature authorized $5 billion in state spending when only $2 billion are readily available.

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May 18, 2015

Rep. Young Riles Indian Country With Hearings on ‘Land in Trust’ Powers

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.

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May 15, 2015

Anchorage: Activists Rally for Medicaid Expansion, Oil Tax Law Revision

Supporters of Medicaid expansion have continued their efforts with rallies in downtown Anchorage this week.

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May 15, 2015

How can Alaska solve its fiscal crisis?

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.
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May 15, 2015

UAF Gets a Federal Boost for Unmanned Aircraft

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.

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May 14, 2015
AK, B.C. promise more input into mine decisions

AK, B.C. promise more input into mine decisions

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.

May 13, 2015

Alaskan Natives Support Arctic Drilling; Seattle City Council Opposed

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.

May 13, 2015

FCC Investigates Bid Discounts for Doyon-Owned Firm

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.

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May 12, 2015

With No Budget Deal In Sight, Lawmakers Hold Brief Technical Session

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.

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May 12, 2015

Walker Administration Says Medicaid System Is On The Mend

The state’s troubled Medicaid payment system has seen improvements in recent months, according to Walker administration officials.

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May 12, 2015

While Pitching Expansion, Health Department Officials Cite Fixes To Payment System

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.

May 12, 2015
Sealaska earnings up, but losses continue

Sealaska earnings up, but losses continue

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.

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May 11, 2015

Minority Democrats To Hold Own Hearings

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.

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May 11, 2015

With Foster Care Cases Up, Lawmakers Consider Funding Triage

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.

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May 8, 2015

Lawmakers Seek Audit Of State Crime Lab

Sen. Berta Gardner, an Anchorage Democrat, filed a bill to audit the processing of rape kits in the state earlier this year, after a report by the Legislature’s research department was unable to get information on the number of untested kits.

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May 8, 2015

Legislative gridlock

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

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May 8, 2015

Walker plans event on Alaska’s fiscal situation

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.

May 8, 2015
Alaska lawmakers’ Capital City plans still unclear

Alaska lawmakers’ Capital City plans still unclear

Alaska lawmakers are due back in Juneau on Tuesday, but who actually comes and how long they stay is unclear.

May 8, 2015