Today, Alaska Governor Bill Walker signed House Bill 103 into law, delegating increased authority over the regulation of optometrists to the Board of Examiners of Optometry. HB 103 was introduced by Representative Ivy Spohnholz (D-Anchorage) and its Senate companion, Senate Bill 36, was introduced by Senator Cathy Giessel (R-Anchorage). The bill passed both the Alaska House of Representatives and Alaska Senate with strong bipartisan support in April and May.
Governor Bill Walker today announced 42 new appointments to Boards and Commissions. The appointments fill vacancies on several regulatory and advisory bodies, including the Governor’s Tribal Advisory Council, the Oil and Gas Competitiveness Review Board, and the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council.
Governor Bill Walker today praised Congressman Don Young for the passage of H.R. 218 in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Young sponsored the legislation which allows a land exchange between the federal government and the state to take place, an important step in allowing a construction of a road between the village of King Cove and city of Cold Bay.
Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources convened an oversight hearing titled "Promoting Onshore Oil and Gas Development in Alaska" to evaluate new opportunities for development in Alaska, particularly in areas of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and the Coastal Plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
The Department of Law announced the appointment of Steve Wallace as the new Bethel District Attorney. Mr. Wallace took over this position on July 10, 2017 after the retirement of Mike Gray.
The State of Alaska announced today that it is seeking public comment on a proposed settlement with Ahtna, Inc. regarding public access along Klutina Lake Road and to the Gulkana River near the Historic Gulkana Village. The public will have several opportunities to provide written or oral comments before the August 30 deadline.
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.