Crews from the Coast Guard Cutter John McCormick and Kake Search and Rescue assisted the crew of the 36-foot vessel Viking Queen after it became stranded in Elena Bay, 50 miles southwest of Kake, Sunday.
Tonight, the Alaska Legislature passed a compromise version of legislation to reform Alaska’s system of subsidizing the oil industry on the North Slope with tax credits. House Bill 111 ends Alaska’s unique cash for tax credits system and strengthens the four percent minimum tax to ensure Alaska receives some production tax revenue in times of low oil prices. Tonight’s compromise was brokered by House Resources Committee Co-chair Representative Geran Tarr (D-Anchorage), who served as the Chair of the HB 111 Conference Committee.
Governor Bill Walker tonight reacted positively towards the passage of House Bill 111 on the final day of the Second Special Session of the 30th Alaska Legislature. HB 111 was the only bill remaining on the second special session call for lawmakers to address.
A final compromise reached today between the Senate and the House will end cash payments for oil and gas tax credits beginning July 1, 2017, a move expected to save the state $200 million through the end of this year and up to $200 million each year in the future.
Governor Bill Walker reacted to Moody’s announcement yesterday evening that Alaska’s credit rating has been downgraded to “Aa3” and remains on negative credit watch. The report cites “the large structural imbalance that the state has still not rectified, and the ongoing spending of the state's reserves”. It also warns that, “as the state's reserves diminish, its options to close the budget gap narrow and the consequences should it fail to do so intensify”.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved H.R. 2810, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018, bipartisan legislation that focuses on reforming, repairing and rebuilding our nation’s military. The bill authorizes $695.9 billion in national defense spending for both domestic and overseas contingency operations, including a 2.4% pay increase for our troops, increases in end strength for each of the Armed Forces, and robust support for facilities and equipment modernization.
The Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development will hold a free safety training in Anchorage on silica exposure. Roughly 2.3 million workers are exposed to crystalline silica in their workplaces, including 2 million construction workers who drill, cut, crush, or grind silica-containing materials such as concrete and stone, and 300,000 workers in general industry operations such as brick manufacturing, foundries, and hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.
As the U.S. House of Representatives continues debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2018, Alaska Congressman Don Young is pushing for the inclusion of an amendment to strengthen our nation’s missile defense systems and authorize the development of an additional 28 Ground-based Interceptors. Young’s amendment to the NDAA, expected to be voted on this evening, closely reflects legislation he introduced earlier this year with Senator Dan Sullivan – the Advancing America’s Missile Defense Act.
The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska is pleased to announce Garry Berry as our new Associate Executive Director. Berry will start in his position in early August.
U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, thanked his colleagues for passing S. 822, the Brownfields Utilization, Investment, and Local Development (BUILD) Act of 2017, out of committee today. The BUILD Act includes an amendment, co-sponsored by Senator Sullivan, that would protect Alaska Native Villages and Corporations from liability for the clean-up of contaminated lands conveyed to them under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA).