Governor Bill Walker late yesterday issued a declaration of disaster for the North Slope Borough following a strong Arctic sea storm in September. The declaration makes available $1 million from the state’s Disaster Relief Fund, and will allow the community to begin addressing the full scope of damage from the Sept. 28-30 storm.
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF), in cooperation with the Alaska Division of the Federal Highway Administration, is proposing to rehabilitate the Tok Cutoff between mile posts 38 and 50. Improvements will include drainage, embankment stabilization and rebuilding pavement structure. The project also includes railing upgrades and deck repairs to the Indian River Bridge #651.
The City of Anchorage joined Governor Walker in recognizing the importance of reminding citizens to become avalanche aware by issuing a resolution declaring November Avalanche Awareness Month and supporting public awareness for snow safety.
The Coast Guard concluded its annual Arctic Shield operations Monday with the closure of its Forward Operating Location in Kotzebue and the departure of the Cutter Healy from the Arctic.
Alaska businesses will see an average degrease of 5.4 percent for 2018 workers’ compensation insurance assigned risk rates. Workers’ compensation voluntary insurance loss costs will decrease by 7.9 percent.
In the final days of the President Clinton administration, the United States Department of Agriculture adopted one of the most far reaching land management rules of all time when it placed 58 million acres of National Forest into a protected classification that prohibits timber harvest, road construction, and indirectly nearly all development. This single action removed two percent of the entire United States land mass from the pool of lands that can be economically developed nationwide. The State today appealed the district’s court unfavorable decision upholding the rule to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The State filed an appeal today to the Alaska Supreme Court in Alaska Democratic Party v. State of Alaska, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state statute that requires a candidate who runs in a political party’s primary election to be a registered member of that party. The Alaska Democratic Party filed suit against the State in order to be allowed to run unaffiliated candidates, who are not registered Democrats, in its 2018 political party primary.
Governor Bill Walker and Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott today testified in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources in support of oil and gas exploration and development in the 1002 section of the non-wilderness area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). The 1002 area makes up 8 percent of the 19 million-acre ANWR.
This week 75,000 Alaska residents will receive timely information regarding their Permanent Fund Dividend Automatic Voter Registration. The State Division of Elections (DOE) is sending a mailing for either those who are being newly registered to vote or who are updating their mailing address. These notices are required as part of implementing a ballot measure approved by Alaska voters on November 8, 2016. The new law became effective on March 1, 2017. This means that PFD applications received in March only were processed and verified for voter registration purposes.