Alaska News Nightly: Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019

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Dunleavy proposes doing away with public assistance payouts

Associated Press

Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed doing away with Alaska’s practice of providing payments so people don’t lose food stamps and other benefits after Permanent Fund dividends arrive.

Board changes eyed as a way to streamline

Associated Press

Gov. Mike Dunleavy plans to introduce legislation to repeal the state boards tasked with regulating alcohol and marijuana in Alaska.

Tourism, courts, pensions, oil tax credits: Where Alaska Gov. Dunleavy wants to spend more cash 

Nathaniel Herz, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Anchorage

There’s been a lot of attention on the programs that Governor Dunleavy is proposing to cut in his budget. Like education, health care and state ferries. What you might not have heard is how Dunleavy is also proposing to increase spending on a handful of projects and programs.

Dunleavy wants to cut cruise ship watchdog program

Jacob Resneck, CoastAlaska – Juneau

Nearly 13 years ago, voters in Alaska wanted more oversight of the cruise industry. So, they voted to create the Ocean Rangers program. Now, Governor Dunleavy’s administration wants to scrap the independent environmental watchdogs on cruise ships.

House committees organize, five weeks after session began

Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – Juneau

The powerful House Finance Committee will have eight Republicans — including four from each caucus — two Democrats and one independent.

Murkowski cool to Dunleavy cuts

Liz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Anchorage

Sen. Lisa Murkowski said the state has big budget decisions to make, decisions she made clear are not up to her. But she expressed reservations about several cuts Gov. Mike Dunleavy has proposed.

Study: Steep tariff hikes needed for Port of Alaska repairs

Associated Press

A recent study says steep tariff hikes could be on the way at the Port of Alaska if the Municipality of Anchorage has to pay for repairs to the dock.

Juneau, cruise industry make nice at regional conference as decision to appeal lawsuit lingers

Adelyn Baxter, KTOO – Juneau

A lawsuit between the cruise ship industry and the city of Juneau has been on the mind of port communities that rely on seasonal tourism. At a summit this week, representatives from both sides tried to reassure them.

In Sitka, a teacher wants her classroom to know who’s responsible for climate change

Elizabeth Jenkins, Alaska’s Energy Desk – Juneau

Some school districts don’t elaborate on the causes of climate change, while others make it clear: Humans are largely to blame. This week, we’re going inside two Alaska classrooms to learn how teachers and students are navigating these difficult conversations.

Research shows king salmon may be swimming with predators

Johanna Eurich, KYUK – Anchorage

King salmon have been returning younger and in lower numbers than predicted in much of the state, which has biologists wondering what is happening to kings in the ocean.