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APRN News – Alaska Politics

2nd Murkowski Energy Bill Has Controversies Lacking in 1st

Yesterday Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced an energy bill that steered clear of hot-button issues to ensure Democratic support. Today, the Alaska Republican sponsored a separate energy bill of just hot buttons.

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July 23, 2015

Senators seek hearing on Walker’s Medicaid expansion plans

The chairman of the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee says he’ll take under advisement requests to hold a hearing on Gov. Bill Walker’s proposal to accept federal funds for Medicaid expansion.

July 23, 2015

Murkowski Energy Bill Avoids Hot Buttons

Sen. Lisa Murkowski today released a national energy policy bill. It’s been one of her highest priorities as chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, and she produced the bill jointly with the top Democrat on the committee, Maria Cantwell of Washington. Murkowski says it required compromise; the bill doesn’t include some of the big items on Murkowski’s energy agenda.

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July 22, 2015
Saxman: Call us ‘Rural’

Saxman: Call us ‘Rural’

The Southeast village of Saxman took its fight to be designated a “rural” community to Congress today. Saxman Village President Lee Wallace told a House subcommittee he was devastated in 2007, when he watched the Federal Subsistence Board decide Saxman was “non-rural.”

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July 22, 2015
Sen. Murkowski delivered a floor speech today in opposition to the proposal to sell oil from the
SPR to partially pay for the Senate highway bill. Photo: Office of Senator Lisa Murkowski.

Murkowski balks at funding source in highway bill

The deadline for renewing the nation’s highway programs is nine days away. Leaders in the Senate this week negotiated a bill that would fund highways for the next six years. But it would require selling off $9 billion of crude oil that’s stashed in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

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July 22, 2015
The Legislative Budget and Audit Committee listens to a report on how to improve the school funding formula. Hillman/KSKA

Legislature Reconsiders How to Distribute Public School Funding

The state’s Legislative Budget and Audit Committee is examining how education funding is distributed. A new study doesn’t look at how much money districts should get. Instead, it asks if all the districts are being treated fairly.

July 22, 2015
Former state Sen. French applies for Anchorage judgeship

Former state Sen. French applies for Anchorage judgeship

Former state Sen. Hollis French is among the 14 applicants seeking to replace retiring Judge Michael Spaan on the Anchorage Superior Court.

July 22, 2015

Consultant hired to help recommend Medicaid reforms

The state health department has hired a consultant to help recommend next steps as the administration plans to implement Medicaid expansion and looks to make further changes to the existing Medicaid program.

July 22, 2015

Public testimony critical of large capital projects in Municipality of Anchorage

An open house held by the Anchorage Metropolitan Area Transportation Solutions, or AMATS, turned out public testimony that was almost unanimously against several large capital projects in the Municipality.

July 22, 2015

Judge sides with Jewell in dispute over exploration plan

A federal judge has sided with Interior Secretary Sally Jewell over whether Jewell must approval exploration plans meeting certain requirements for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

July 22, 2015
Gen. Mark Milley is nominated for Army Chief of Staff. (Photo: U.S. Army)

General Says Decision on JBER Cuts Not Final Without Arctic Plan

The general nominated to be the Army’s Chief of Staff suggested this morning that the plan to cut 2,600 Alaska soldiers isn’t final yet. But it’s hard to say whether the Army really plans to reconsider, or whether the general merely agreed to follow a procedure to ultimately reach a pre-determined end.

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July 21, 2015

Government attorneys seek dismissal in Guard records case

The U.S. attorney’s office is seeking dismissal of a lawsuit by four National Guard members alleging that investigative and other records pertaining to them were improperly leaked to reporters and state officials.

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July 21, 2015
University of Alaska Fairbanks removes Mississippi flag

University of Alaska Fairbanks removes Mississippi flag

The University of Alaska Fairbanks has removed a Mississippi flag from a 5-state display, citing the ongoing national discussion about Confederate imagery.

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July 21, 2015

Meat Packing Plant on the Chopping Block

Palmer’s state run livestock slaughterhouse is facing budget woes, and the state may privatize the facility.

July 21, 2015

Alaska Supreme Court upholds superior court ruling against ‘Save Our Salmon’ Initiative

In a ruling issued Friday, Alaska’s Supreme Court upheld the overturning of the ‘Save Our Salmon’ Initiative.

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July 20, 2015

Senate Ed Bill Bolsters Role of Alaska Tribes

An education bill the U.S. Senate passed last week includes several provisions that boost the role of Alaska Native tribes, and a new grant program for Native language immersion programs.

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July 20, 2015
Shell Rigs Leave Dutch for Chukchi, To Wait

Shell Rigs Leave Dutch for Chukchi, To Wait

Shell is still moving its drill rigs into the Arctic, even as one of its icebreakers prepares to head back south for repairs. The unexpected crack in the hull of the Fennica has added uncertainty to the start of the short Arctic drilling season.

July 17, 2015

Mississippi flag to be removed from Juneau street display

After a month long dispute, the Mississippi flag on Egan Drive is coming down. Former Assemblyman Marc Wheeler received a permit earlier this morning to remove the flag this weekend.

July 17, 2015
Confederate flag controversy prompts deeper look at racism in Juneau

Confederate flag controversy prompts deeper look at racism in Juneau

Nearly 200 people have signed a letter asking for the removal of the Mississippi flag downtown because it features an image of the Confederate flag. After dust settles from the controversy, the people spearheading the removal of the flag are unsure what’s next in combating racism in the state’s capital.

July 17, 2015
It’s Official: Obama to Visit Anchorage Aug. 31

It’s Official: Obama to Visit Anchorage Aug. 31

The White House announced today that President Obama will visit Alaska at the end of next month. On Aug. 31 Obama will visit Anchorage to address a State Department conference focused on climate change that is expected to draw foreign ministers from Arctic and non-Arctic countries.

July 17, 2015