AM Alaska News Roundup for Jan. 23

  • The State of the Budget was a much more serious affair than Wednesday’s SOTS address (including a complete defunding of the Alaska Aerospace program). The news is grim with cuts to every perceivable department and agency. The Dispatch, the Juneau Empire, the Fairbanks News Miner and APRN.  This didn’t stop an amusing emoji generalization of the speech from circulating.

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  • The debate over the Keystone XL pipeline ended around midnight. Politico reports that many Democrats left calling foul and wringing their hands. The Hill explains that Keystone will be brought back for a vote next week.
  • Alaska, meet the new National Guard Investigator: Former Juneau Superior Court Judge Patricia Collins. The Juneau Empire, KTUU and APRN have information about Judge Collins and what her duties will entail.


  • Dan Sullivan’s amendment to the Keystone XL pipeline bill caught the attention of TheDailyBeast. It is a humorous article about Sen. Sullivan’s effort to protect the town of Chicken from EPA officials carrying guns within the city-a direct link to the 2013 raid of the local mine. It must have been a slow news cycle for them.
  • The Alaska Journal of Commerce has an editorial about Gov. Bill Walker’s interest in Cook Inlet fisheries and the potential political aftershocks it could create.
  • In today’s Net Neutrality news, The Hill explains why congressional GOP are demanding that the FCC allow the public to view the proposed internet regulations before they are voted on and not after the Feb. 26 vote.

  • Another fight is about to erupt down in Juneau that pits the Walker administration on one-side and Senate leaders on the other with regards to Medicaid expansion. Matt Buxton with the Fairbanks News Miner has the details.
  • The GOP presidential candidates have their armor polished, their campaign advisors ready and their donors’ checks deposited. The battle for Iowa begins!
  • Politico has their second annual ranking of the individual states that make up our Union. Alaska ranks #23. Not too shabby.
  • Nome and many other municipalities around the state won’t have to wrestle with marijuana much more on their own. One of my Little Birds has told me that Rep. Cathy Tilton will be filing legislation that will relate to whether pot regulation will be with the ABC board or the creation of a state marijuana control board. Interesting.
  • This week’s Congressional Research Service report is focused on Pres. Obama’s immigration accountability executive action. Since Congress has made this report unavailable to the average American, the Washington Post has the analysis.
  • The Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor believes that the compensation system of roughly $333K a year in PILT is not adequate, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • The Walker administration is starting to get pushback from legislators regarding mega-projects, according to Pat Forgey with the Dispatch.
  • The New York Times’ take on the recent GOP internal fight over their party’s abortion bill is that it reveals a deep divide that had previously been kept behind closed doors.
  • The Peninsula Clarion reports that the Federal Subsistence Board has voted to allow subsistence gillnetting on the Kenai River.
  • The Washington Post has Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s future plans since it became known that he might require corrective surgery on his injured eye.
  • Former HSS Commissioner Bill Streur might be down, but he’s not out according to APRN. The Senate Finance Committee has hired Dr. Streur as a consultant on the Medicaid budget/expansion.
  • The Washington Post explains with a chart (!) why 2016 might not be a good cycle for former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) to try his luck with a third presidential race.
  • The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly has approved the O&G special assistant to the mayor of Kenai, per the Peninsula Clarion.
  • Politico has a piece regarding the insane amounts of amendments that are being voted on with only three weeks into the 2015 session. (There is also a great picture of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.)



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