U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today chaired a hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, & Coast Guard regarding the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA). Among the witnesses was Chris Oliver, an Alaskan testifying for the first time before the subcommittee in his new role as Assistant Administrator for Fisheries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Oliver previously served as the Executive Director of the North Pacific Fishery Management Council since 2000.
Governor Bill Walker announced today he reluctantly accepted Department of Revenue Commissioner Randy Hoffbeck’s notice of resignation.
Governor Bill Walker today signed Senate Bill 23, the capital budget, into law. As passed by the Legislature, the bill contains appropriations for fiscal year 2018 totaling $1.4 billion, including $122 million in unrestricted general funds and $28 million in designated general funds. The bill leverages nearly $1.2 billion in federal dollars for transportation, village water infrastructure, energy, and housing projects. SB 23 is the smallest capital budget enacted since the year 2000.
The Division of Geological & Geophysical Surveys has published more than 6,500 free public-use photographs taken during geologic field projects in its new database application, the Geologic Photos of Alaska, available at maps.dggs.alaska.gov/photodb. The photos document scenery, landforms, rock outcrops, geologic observations, vegetation, wildlife, and fieldwork activities conducted throughout Alaska, usually in remote locations that are difficult or expensive to revisit.
Today, members of the Alaska House Majority Coalition expressed gratitude that the U.S. Senate turned down federal legislation that would take health care away from millions of Americans.
Yesterday, the House approved H.R. 3219, the Make America Secure Appropriations Act, a bipartisan package that includes the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense, Military Construction-VA, Energy and Water Development, and Legislative Branch appropriations bills.
The composite Alaska Confidence Index (ACI) rose slightly in the second quarter of 2017, driven by moderate increases in Alaskans’ confidence in their local economies. The composite index now stands at 51, showing slight confidence in the economy. This increase comes after a sharp drop in local economy confidence in the first quarter of the year.
Coast Guard members from the 17th District Response Advisory Team and National Strike Force Pacific Strike Team attended the Operation Arctic Guardian oil spill response seminar in Utqiaġivk, Tuesday-Thursday.
Governor Bill Walker today signed legislation ending Alaska’s unsustainable system of cash payments to oil companies. House Bill 111 passed the legislature with broad, bipartisan support, and converts cashable oil tax credits into tax deductions. With oil prices