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Alaska Politics

Board Reverses Suspensions Of Former-Sen. Stevens Prosecutors

A review board has reversed the suspensions of two federal attorneys accused of withholding evidence in the prosecution of the late Sen. Ted Stevens. The Merit Systems Protection Board ruled this month that the Justice Department bungled the disciplinary process against the two prosecutors.

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January 15, 2015
Jennifer Pastrick, far left, sat beside Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anch), Sen. Bill Wielechowski (D-Anch.), and retired Lieutenant Ken Blaylock on the second floor of the Legislative Information Office.

Anchorage Democrats Push Bills Combating Sexual Assault, Retaliation in National Guard

Anchorage Democrats Chris Tuck and Bill Wielechowski introduced a packet of legislative measures revising reporting procedures, revamping the Guard’s internal protocols, and creating a mechanism for private companies to give veterans hiring preference.

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January 15, 2015
Plunging Oil Prices Cast Doubt on Arctic Drilling

Plunging Oil Prices Cast Doubt on Arctic Drilling

As oil prices continue to plummet, some corporations are scaling back on expensive exploration projects — like drilling in Arctic waters. But, one company with a major stake in the region has yet to tip its hand.

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January 15, 2015

Small Businesses Struggle To Comply With Health Insurance Requirement

Starting this month, businesses in Alaska with more than 100 full time workers have to provide health insurance. And under the Affordable Care Act “full time” is any employee who works more than 30 hours a week. Senator Lisa Murkowski is sponsoring legislation that would change that threshold to 40 hours. Many restaurants owners in Anchorage are watching the legislation closely.

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January 15, 2015

Governor Names New Deputy Labor Commissioners

Gov. Bill Walker has named two new deputy commissioners at the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

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January 15, 2015
In Underground Rooms, Sullivan’s Senate Office Takes Shape

In Underground Rooms, Sullivan’s Senate Office Takes Shape

U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan, like other Republicans in Congress, is on a two-day retreat in Hershey Penn. Speakers include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Jay Leno. Meanwhile, Sullivan Chief of Staff Joe Balash provides a status report on new hires and how long he expects they’ll work in their underground office.

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January 14, 2015

About 16,000 Alaskans Sign Up On Healthcare.gov

The federal government says about 16,000 Alaskans have signed up for health insurance on healthcare.gov. That’s about 3,000 more than signed up during the initial open enrollment period.

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January 14, 2015

New Regulations Unlikely To Change Coal Ash Disposal In Alaska

The Environmental Protection Agency recently issued the first ever federal standards for the disposal of coal ash by electric utilities. The toxin containing ash has gotten national attention in recent years due to spills in the Lower 48, but the situation is different in Alaska.

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January 14, 2015
Exact numbers won't be available until after committees and the public weigh in.

Anchorage Measure Will Tax Alcohol to Pay For Treatment and Services

In a surprising addition to the agenda, Assembly Chair Dick Traini introduces a plan short on specifics but with broad ambitions.

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January 13, 2015

Halcro Announces Candidacy for Mayor of Anchorage

Anchorage Chamber of Commerce president announces he will leave his position in order to run for mayor of Alaska’s largest city.

January 13, 2015

Meyer Decides Against Pierre Contract For Press Work

The incoming Alaska Senate president has decided against hiring a former state military affairs official to help the Senate majority press office this session.

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January 13, 2015

‘Hire More Heroes Act’ Passes U.S. House Unanimously

Despite the fierce fights waged in Congress over the Affordable Care Act, a bill to loosen the employer mandate sailed through the U.S. House last week.

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January 13, 2015

State’s New Attorney General Outlines Department’s Challenges

Alaska’s new attorney general is a 39-year-old who has spent the last 10 years practicing law with Governor Bill Walker. Craig Richards grew up in Fairbanks. He’s enthusiastic about his new position. Richards says the department of law is dealing with two big challenges right now- the first is the National Guard issue.

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January 13, 2015
Mendenhall Glacier. (Photo by Lisa Phu/KTOO)

Forest Service Proposes Mendenhall Glacier Fee Increase

The U.S. Forest Service is holding a public meeting tonight to discuss a proposed fee increase at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center starting with the 2016 tourist season.

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January 13, 2015
(Alexandra Gutierrez/APRN)

Habitat Director Out, As Walker Administration Shifts Approach To Permitting

Habitat Division head Randy Bates is the second Fish and Game director to be removed since Walker took office. His resignation is one of a number of personnel changes that signal a shift from the Parnell administration’s approach to land management.

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January 12, 2015

State Transportation Commissioner Steps Down

State transportation commissioner Patrick Kemp has been ousted following his defense of the department’s pursuit of the Juneau access road.

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January 12, 2015

Young, Credited With Effectiveness, Says Personality is Part of his M.O.

Alaska Congressman Don Young was sworn in today for his 22nd term, having missed the main swearing-in last week due to the death of his brother. Recent research by two political scientists say Young is one of the 20 most effective lawmakers in the U.S. House. Nationally, though, he is more known for his big, sometimes brash personality. Young says that’s how he likes it.

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January 12, 2015
Legislators take comments in the Assembly Chambers at the Loussac Library.

Anchorage Legislators consider ways to cut capital costs

Before heading to Juneau, Anchorage Legislators are listening to community input on ways to cut state spending.

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January 10, 2015

In First Batch Of Early Bills, No Big Ticket Items

In a little over a week, the 29th Legislature will gavel in. In preparation, lawmakers have released the first batch of bills they plan to consider.

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January 9, 2015

Halcro Files Letter Of Intent In Anchorage Mayor’s Race

Former Alaska legislator Andrew Halcro has filed a letter of intent to run for mayor of Anchorage. Halcro filed the letter, signaling his interest in seeking the post, with the Alaska Public Offices Commission on Friday.

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January 9, 2015