Alaska News Roundup for December 15

  • Mark your calendars Anchorage because some of the feistiest legislators we have are coming together to host an End of Year Town Hall with (drum roll please) Gov. Bill Walker tomorrow night! That’s right, Sen. Bill “who needs sleep” Wielechowski (D-Anchorage), Rep. Max “parliamentarian wizard” Gruenberg (D-Anchorage), and Rep. Gabrielle “multitasking master” LeDoux (R-Anchorage) have ensuring interested parties get the chance to speak directly with the governor about the budget and other issues considered vital. It is happening December 16 from 6:30-8:00pm at the Creekside Park Elementary School.
  • Here are some pictures of Sen. Click Bishop’s (R-Fairbanks) and Rep. Adam Wool’s (D-Fairbanks) recent Politics and Pizza constituent meeting. My little bird tells me that 60+- people showed up and the focus of concern regarded the budget and its current/potential impact on the local economy.Click and AdamP1000251

 

 

  • The stomach churning Alaska Department of Corrections report doesn’t appear to have brought about the changes many were hoping as the Dispatch breaks the news that instead of using this as a turning moment in Alaska prison history…the Attorney General is advising prisons to NOT DOCUMENT THE FACTS of inmate’s deaths. Really.

  • The Mat-Su Chamber of Commerce is beginning mulling the idea of increasing the bed tax of hotel rooms in the Mat-Su Borough after the Mat-Su Convention and Visitors Bureau voted to increase the bed tax from 5% to 8%. The Frontiersman has the details of both sides to this new issue.
  • Fairbanks and North Pole movers and shakers met to discuss the legislative requests and prioritize project proposals for the upcoming legislative session-much to the Fairbanks News Miner’s Max Buxton’s delight.
  • The Peninsula Clarion reports that the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s Marijuana Task Force held their first and only meeting of 2015 and NOTHING was decided. Although the testimony from residents stretched into hours (mostly urging the panel to stick closely with state law), the Task Force decided on the prudent route and postponed all decisions until their next meeting in 2016.
  • Congratulations (?) to Ron Taylor on his appointment to oversee the transition of Department of Corrections leadership for the next three months in what is being called “a special project”.
  • Sen. Jon McCain (R-AZ) took his in-progress protégé Sen. Dan Sullivan to Arizona to examine the VA system in Phoenix and according to the National Journal…might have witnessed how real power trickles down to state level politics.Screen Shot 2015-12-16 at 9.34.58 AM

 

  • Nothing has been determined by the Fairbanks City Council regarding the disputed labor contract that the Alaska Superior Court determined as unacceptable a few weeks ago. The Fairbanks News Miner has the backstory, the update and what was said at the rather tense city council meeting
  • In a move that is sure to make Rep. Don Young do a little happy dance, Sen. Lisa Murkowski introduced the Puerto Rico Assistance Act to assist the island with their debt by introducing austerity, a fiscal control board and earmarked funds. The Hill is also quick to point out that missing from this bill is a legal framework to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt AND contribution by bondholders.
  • Pat Forgery with the Dispatch rightly points out that while the federal government has been great at helping our foreign partners with LNG projects…Alaska has been getting the cold shoulder despite our Washington delegation’s attempts to reverse this lack of support.
  • The Ketchikan City Council took a second swing at commercial cannabis sales after their December 3 vote to outright ban the tax stream hasn’t made many friends with their constituents, per the Fairbanks News Miner.
  • APRN takes us to Sitka to see how the PFD voter initiative is going. Answer? Well, if all canvassers are as charmingly informed as Sophie Nethercut than this ballot measure will be a shoo-in. This should make Anchorage local radio personality Bernadette Wilson (and head of the state wide ballot campaign) does a little happy dance.
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