Dave Donaldson, APRN - Juneau

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ddonaldson (at) alaskapublic (dot) org | 907.586.6948 | About Dave

Lt. Governor Receives Petition to Revive Coastal Management Program

The Lieutenant Governor has received a petition application with at least the required hundred signatures for a ballot question that would put a new Coastal Management program back before the legislature -- or the public -- next year.

Conoco May Get Access to NPRA

The state and Conoco-Phillips are getting federal support for drilling plans in the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska – NPRA. Conoco-Phillips has several leases in the area, but has so far been blocked from developing them by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ refusing to allow the construction of a bridge over the Colville River.

State Settles Rural Education Case

A settlement has been reached in a 1997 lawsuit alleging the state was neglecting its duty to provide adequate funds for rural schools in the state.

Lawmakers Study Texas Prison Reform

State Legislative Committees today (Monday) began looking at the steps needed to cut back on the cost of prisons at the same time as maintaining a “tough-on-crime” reputation. The House and Senate Finance Subcommittees on Corrections heard of strategies in other states – most predominantly Texas, where state Representative Jerry Madden recalled how he was part of a bipartisan approach to prison reform.

Legislators Searching for Ways to Cut Spending on Prison System

Monday, the state Senate and House Finance Subcommittees on Correction are holding a joint hearing on ways to cut what the state spends on its prison system. It's called "The Smart Justice Summit" and will evaluate methods to solve what Anchorage Democrat Johnny Ellis calls the "prison growth crisis." Ellis is Senate Rules chairman as well as chairman of the Senate subcommittee.

Legislative Agency Warns of Risk to State’s Credit Status

Wednesday, a legislative agency reports that the state’s credit status will be at risk if the oil tax reductions proposed by the governor become law.

Special Committee Working to Find Long-Term Fiscal Stability for State

A newly formed special legislative committee is taking the first steps toward finding long-term fiscal stability for the state.

Six Groups Under Consideration for Designing, Managing of Knik Arm Bridge

The Knik Arm Bridge and Toll Authority has accumulated a list of six engineering and development groups willing to consider designing and managing the project if it proceeds.

Legislators Return from Norway Trip

A group of 40 Alaskans – including a dozen legislators — have returned from a tour of Norway, where their goal was to get a look at another oil economy. The trip was organized by...

Senate Receives Update on State Employee Retirement System

Thursday, the State Senate got an update on the state employee retirement system’s unfunded liability – it’s now $11 billion.

Committee Considers Issues Raised By Recent Court Cases

Monday, legislators revived what once was a regular step in preparing for upcoming legislative sessions – the House Judiciary Committee discussed recent court cases that might need action next year.

Legislators Investigate North Slope Employment Report Discrepancy

Tuesday, legislators began looking at the discrepancy between Department of Labor reports of high employment on the North Slope and high unemployment among Alaskans qualified to work there.

Lawmakers Hear About Halibut Allocation

Legislators took a lesson in fish management and politics late last Thursday, and they got a chance to show their frustration with the federal government’s restrictions on Southcentral and Southeast halibut harvests.

Officials Address Yupiit School District Problems

Nearly 46 percent of the state’s schools showed Adequate Yearly Progress in the national tests required by the No Child Left Behind standards.

Senate President Defends Travel Expenses

Reports Monday of recent travel expenditures by legislators indicate that this current year is on track right now to costing about the same as most previous years’ travel – with one exception.

Southcentral Foundation Gets Grant to Find Those Who Need Denali Kid Care

The Anchorage-based Southcentral Foundation has received a $700,000 federal grant to find more Alaska Native children who need to enroll in the Denali Kid Care program.

Pipeline Coordinator Reminds Senate That the Project Needs More Than a Statute

The State Senate committee looking at the state’s energy future Wednesday got a reminder from the federal pipeline coordinator: the state statute setting up a pipeline project from the North Slope to North American...

TransCanada Says State Partially to Blame for Lack of Potential Shippers

TransCanada, the state’s license-holder for a large-capacity natural gas pipeline from the North Slope to North American markets, told a legislative committee Tuesday that the state is partially responsible for the lack of potential gas shippers willing to sign contracts to use the project.

State Senate Looks at Long Term Railbelt, Southcentral Energy Development Plans

Monday, the Senate began taking a close look at the plans being developed for long term energy supplies along the Railbelt and in Southcentral Alaska. The Resources Committee opened three days of hearings on...

Legislators Expect Bill to Lower State Oil Taxes Next Session

Among the issues legislators anticipate dealing with during next year’s session is a revived effort by the Parnell Administration to lower the state’s taxes on oil production.