APRN News – Alaska Politics
Despite having no quorum and no vote, tribal members at the Calista-sponsored Yukon Kuskokwim Governance Convention on Monday decided to move ahead with an interim step toward unifying the regional politically. Leaders put the future of a proposed regional tribal government first in the hands of tribal councils and set a deadline of 30 days for them to vote. If successful, the proposal would then go before individual tribal
voters who would vote yes or no on it.
Prince Rupert leaders are in Juneau this week to lobby for continued connections with Southeast Alaska. Budget cuts threaten to reduce state ferry sailings to and from the British Columbia port city. And policy differences have blocked construction of a new ferry terminal there. Rupert Mayor Lee Brain says the marine highway link helps economies on both sides of the border.
The Anchorage School Board is asking the state legislature to restore one-time school grant funds to the state’s budget. The house passed a budget that removed $32 million late last week.
Last week, Rep. Lora Reinbold voted against the operating budget, breaking one of the House.e Majority caucus’ rules for membership. Now, the Eagle River Republican has lost her committee chairmanship, and her seat on all but one committee.
The heads of the two federal agencies in charge of off-shore oil and gas drilling visited Alaska last week to discuss proposed safety regulations for drilling in the Arctic. They spoke with stakeholders in Anchorage and around the North Slope, including hosting a town hall meeting in Barrow.
Since the start of the year, Anchorage has seen eight homicides and a spate of shootings. Today, officials say the incidents in Alaska’s largest city is a spike, (but) not an overall rise in violent crime. The press conference at City Hall was, just hours after a stabbing victim was pronounced dead following an early morning dispute.
Governor Bill Walker has named two Alaska fishermen as his top picks to serve on the North Pacific Fishery Management Council. The 11-voting member council manages most fisheries in federal waters. The terms of two Alaska members were due to expire this summer.
A Medicaid reform bill has been filed in the Alaska Senate. Many Republican legislators have said reform of the state’s low-income health care program must happen before they accept federal dollars to expand it.
Every state agency saw its non-formula funding reduced compared to the previous budget. The Departments of Commerce, Education, and Military and Veterans Affairs took the greatest hits, with funding cut by roughly a third each.
Governor Bill Walker and legislators need to work together to bring down state spending and raise new revenue. The Governor wants to expand Medicaid, beef up the instate gasline proposal and halt spending on several large infrastructure projects. Some Lawmakers are pushing back. How will they compromise?
APRN: Tuesday, 3/17 at 10:00am
The amendment, which failed on caucus lines, would have allowed the state to accept $145 million in federal funds so that Alaskans near the poverty line can get health care through Medicaid.
Robert Papp, the U.S. special representative for the Arctic, says he questions reports that Russia has launched a major military buildup in the Arctic. Papp says he’s asking U.S. intelligence agencies to look beyond Russia’s military swagger for a realistic view of its Arctic activity. Papp says Moscow could be adding infrastructure for general use in the north.
The Alaska Department of Revenue expects a proposed tax credit for the Agrium fertilizer plant in Nikiski to cost the state between $3 million and $4 million in foregone revenue annually.
Candidates Dan Coffey and Andrew Halcro have raised the most money in the Anchorage mayor’s race. However, financial disclosures paint a more nuanced picture of what those numbers mean.
Sen. Anna MacKinnon’s bill would eliminate the need to adjust clocks twice a year.
Marijuana Efforts Draw Disapproval; Senate OKs Eliminating Daylight Savings Time; Mackeys Want Iditarod Title; Supreme Court Issues Stay in Education Case; Skier Injured in Avalanche; Fish and Game Relocate Wood Bison; Lemon Creek Offers Re-Entry Programs
Dozens of Alaskans criticize overhaul of Senate Bill 30 that leaves marijuana on the list of controlled substances, bringing felony offenses and severe restrictions on transport.
A group of teenagers are calling on Gov. Bill Walker to create a climate change task force.
At a pair of confirmation hearings on Tuesday, Adjutant General Designee Laurie Hummel was asked about her plans for reforming the Guard, and went through a personal line of questioning along the way.
U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan is among 47 Republican senators who signed a letter to Iran’s leadership Monday. The letter concerns President Obama’s negotiations for a deal to halt Iran’s nuclear program. It warns Iran that the next president could reverse any deal that’s not approved by Congress.