Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2019

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House deadlock persists after Knopp votes for himself for speaker

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

Rep. Gary Knopp said on the House floor that he committed to being the 21st vote for a Republican nominee, but he didn’t say which one. He then voted for himself to become speaker.

State Revenue Commissioner outlines administration’s budgeting policy

Rashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is set to release his budget tomorrow morning and it’s expected to contain a lot of cuts to state government. Dunleavy’s Revenue Commissioner, Bruce Tangeman, sat down with Rashah McChesney from Alaska’s Energy Desk in Juneau to talk about the administration’s budgeting philosophy and how it fits into their plans for the Permanent Fund Dividend.

Big win for Murkowski: Public lands bill passes Senate

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.

The U.S. Senate today passed a massive public lands bill, and to the delight of its sponsor, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, the vote was overwhelming.

Alaska Native issues feature prominently at hearing on Arctic Refuge oil leasing

Elizabeth Harball, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

At the Anchorage hearing on oil leasing in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Native voices provided passionate testimony on both sides of the issue.

Brazil dam disaster sparks questions over the safety of Donlin’s tailings dam

Krysti Shallenberger, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Bethel

A tailings dam collapsed last month in Brazil, killing more than 150 people. That accident raised fears among some residents in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta about the safety of the tailings facility and dam that Donlin Gold plans to construct for its large gold mine. Donlin says its design is much safer than the one that collapsed in Brazil.

Ask an Economist: What does the PFD do for jobs, crime and health in Alaska?

Abbey Collins, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

The checks qualified Alaskans receive each year give residents some extra cash. But the Permanent Fund Dividend, or PFD, could have broader impacts, too.

Brent Sass recounts winning strategy for his second Yukon Quest victory

Lex Treinen, KUAC – Fairbanks

Fairbanks Yukon Quest fans cheered Brent Sass and his dogs from Wild and Free Mushing to their second victory in the thousand-mile, international sled dog race yesterday.