This week on Capital Hill, expect more drama than an Italian opera…so sayeth The Hill. The House is expecting to officially decide on their new Speaker (i.e. Rep. Paul Ryan), deal with the November 3 debt limit deadline, add an additional financial Band-Aid to Highway funding, reauthorize the Export-Import Bank, and…FINISH THE CYBERSECURITY INFORMATION SHARING ACT (CISA) on Tuesday. Here is why you should be interested if you use Apple, Twitter, Facebook, and Google and why the digital security field is not amused with FB.
Congratulations to Tom Begich (now also known as the luckiest man in Alaska) on his betrothal to the always-engaging Sarah Sledge. One of my little birds told me that it was a quiet affair with only a few select friends and family in Anchorage.
It seems that not all is honkey-dory down in Bethel regarding the ABC board’s licensing of Bethel Spirits issue. The Tundra Drums reports that the October 22 meeting was hastily withdrawn and set for a yet to be determined date. The official reason given was that “necessary entities” were not given the obligatory 20 days notice. My little bird told me that there is MUCH more going on behind closed doors and this is expected to turn into a “big deal.”
Rep. Mike Chenault (R-Nikiski), Sen. Kevin Meyer (R-Anchorage), Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R-Eagle River), Rep. Mark Neuman (R-Big Lake), and Rep. Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) think there are simply too many Alaskans in prison and have started proposing changes to the state justice system in order to see at least a 25% decrease in incarcerations.
Here they come to save the day! The State of Alaska has agreed to wire part of Cook Inlet Energy LLC’s tax credit payment to the tune of $6.4 million early so the energy producer doesn’t go into bankruptcy, per the Peninsula Clarion.
FINALLY!! The state ferry system has something to celebrate (happy dance time). APRN reports that the LeConte ferry not only saved six men after their skiff overturned in the choppy waters off Rocky Island, but this bit of derring-do didn’t even alter the ferry’s expected arrival time too much.
Rep. Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) wants the governor to investigate the curious situation where when “oil prices go up the price for gas also goes up but when oil prices fall we don’t see that same decrease in gas prices.”
Have no fear Rep. Kawasaki because the Dispatch reveals that Alaska’s oil and gas system is already on the governor’s mind with plans to reduce the state’s gas tax credit program following Sen. Cathy Giessel’s (R-Anchorage) special legislative hearing on the very issue.
My little birds tell me that Mayor-elect Ethan Berkowitz is on the mend from recent shoulder surgery. He is expected to be back in transition-mode next week!
State flags are at half mass today throughout Alaska in honor of Peace Officers Memorial Day.
It’s not just Joe Miller that Sen. Lisa Murkowski might have to contend with during the Republican senatorial primary, but maybe state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Fairbanks) as well per Roll Call and my little birds. Former Sen. Mark Begich’s 2016 senatorial ambitions have remained elusive.
House Finance announced that the committee was blocking the Medicaid Expansion bill yesterday. APRN has Rep. Steve Thompson (R-Fairbanks) statement and Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), HSS Commissioner Valerie Davidson and Gov. Bill Walker’s responses.
Cordova is not amused with the Navy’s summer training exercise because of the planned use of bombs, sonar and the expected dumping of 352,000 lbs. of toxic materials during mating season for the area’s marine and migratory animals. KTUU has further details.
Sen. Dan Sullivan and Sen. Lisa Murkowski are part of a short list of senators that sponsored a bill to delay the Positive Train Control, the technology system used to monitor trains and would likely have prevented the Amtrak derailment in Pennsylvania, that was supposed to be fully implemented by the end of 2015 after the passage of a 2008 law regarding PTC, per FirstLook.