AM Alaska News Roundup for Jan. 16

  • Global currency is in turmoil from the most unlikely of sources: Switzerland. The Washington Post explains what the 17-39% increase of the Swiss franc within the last 24 hours means to international trade and the backstory of this unexpected move by the Swiss National Bank (SNB).
  • Bill Walker will be delivering two separate State of speeches next week, something that APRN noticed hasn’t been done since Gov. Frank Murkowski in 2006. The first will be the traditional State of the State and the following day will be a State of the Budget address. 360 North will be streaming the events live.
  • Mark your calendars because ConocoPhillips will be releasing their Q42014 results on January 29 and Seeking Alpha not only has a summary, but suggestions on what to keep in mind while combing through the spreadsheets.
  • KOIN reports that Shell Oil has been given permission to use the Port of Seattle as a winter port for their drilling rigs and barges.
  • The leaders of both the Alaska House and Senate announced their legislative goals for the upcoming session to focus on spending cuts and less on increasing revenue sources/amounts, according to the Dispatch.
  • APRN wonders if the continued decline in Brent crude prices will decrease interest in Arctic drilling.

  • Syracuse.com debunks five popular myths about Congressional freshman and specifically points out Sen. Dan Sullivan as an example as to why the idea that there are fewer congressional veterans is false.
  • Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallot held their first Cabinet meeting after the swearing in of commissioners and acting commissioners, according to the Juneau Empire.
  • Executive action might be Pres. Obama’s go to tactic, but Politico explains how he is nearing the end of his executive authority, the potential repercussions by the GOP and future options for passing his current agendas.
  • Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) didn’t mince words with The Hill about Pres. Obama’s upcoming SOTU address when he said that Pres. Obama needs to “be realistic” with his reform proposals.
  • It might be old news, but the AGDC firings are still be discussed by industry and political wonks around the state with the Peninsula Clarion shining some light on the behind-the-scenes events that took place.
  • The head administrator for Medicare and Medicaid, and a strong force behind the ObamaCare rollout, is leaving the federal Centers for Medicaid Services, according to the New York Times.
  • At least 150 people came to the Mat-Su marijuana public forum last night. The Dispatch was on hand it sound like it was the place to be seen.
  • Wholesale ObamaCare repeal is no longer the chief tactic of the GOP; instead momentum is gaining around the idea of incremental changes and potentially hollowing out the law from within, per The Hill.
  • The Fairbanks News Miner has the skinny on the Fairbanks North Star Borough Assembly’s proposal to ban the use of solid fuels (like wood) when the air in the borough becomes unhealthy due to particulates. The proposed ban comes with a fine beginning at $100.
  • CNN has compiled the five main arguments being heard around capital hill conservatives against former Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2016 presidential aspirations.
  • The Frontiersman has an article about more bad news for the proposed Knik Arm Bridge.
  • Politico has the details regarding a joint polling project by Stan Greenberg and Page Gardner of Women’s Voices Women’s Vote. In a nutshell: For the Dems to win and win big in 2016 will depend mostly on GOTV with working-class voters and unmarried women.
  • KTUU has compiled the list of 2014’s top ten highest paid lobbyists. Ringing in at #1 is Wendy Chamberlain, up in the ranks from #2 in 2013.
  • While many GOP members already have their red swag bag packed and ready for the convention in July, the Washington Post has compiled a helpful primary calendar.
  • The Juneau Empire covered yesterday’s new legislator luncheon hosted by Gov. Bill Walker and Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott.
  • Want to learn how to maximize the Alaska Legislative website?  The Alaska State Library is offering webinars to teach you how to do just that.
  • Get some blue bunting if you’re planning on stopping by the 3rd floor of the State House today because Gov. Walker was pleased to announce the birth of his third grandchild, Walker Ross Linderman.

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